Douglas County Historical Society manuscript collections
The Douglas County Historical Society was organized in 1933 by a group headed by Professor F. N. Raymond of the University of Kansas. This collection consists of manuscript and printed materials from a variety of individuals, businesses, and organizations associated with the history of Douglas County, Kansas, from its territorial settlment period of the 1850s through much of the 20th century, deposited by the Douglas County Historical Society with the Spencer Research Library.
- Creation: approximately 1789-1980s
- Douglas County Historical Society (Douglas County, Kan.) (Compiler, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
History of the Douglas County Historical Society
The Douglas County Historical Society was organized in 1933 by a group headed by University of Kansas Professor F.N. Raymond. The objectives for the formation of the Society were to promote historical studies and "to collect and preserve historical material and relics of Douglas County and vicinity." The Society held annual meetings and sponsored various historical projects, along with trips to various sites located in Douglas County.
Over the years the Society made several attempts to construct a museum building, but no building was ever completed. In 1972 title to the former Watkins National Bank Building in downtown Lawrence on Massachusetts Street was acquired by the trustees, in cooperation with the Museum of Natural History and the Kansas University Museum of Art, for a community museum. Funds for the renovation of the building were raised within the community. The museum was opened in May 1975.
The Watkins Museum of History, as operated by the Douglas County Historical Society, continues to provide educational resources, programs, exhibits, and public events exploring the heritage of Douglas County and connecting the past with issues affecting the area's communities today.
5.75 Linear Feet (13 boxes + 184 volumes, 8 oversize folders, 1 oversize box, 1 folder)
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
The collection of print and non-print materials (for the most part deposited in the Kansas Collection in the spring of 1969 by the Douglas County Historical Society) includes papers and records from community founders, business leaders, civic and faternal organizations, cemeteries, churches, and other community-based entities and individuals in Douglas County.
The book collection and miscellaneous publications include items such as local histories, early text books, University of Kansas catalogs, programs and invitations to local functions, account books and other records from local businesses and railroads that operated in the area, diaries, and other related materials.
Major topics and trends found in these materials include the early history of Lawrence and of Douglas County, particularly related to the border wars between Missouri and Kansas settlers fighting over whether Kansas would become a slaveholding state or not; and general history of Douglas County after the Civil War, including information about veterans who served in the war, as well as about the communities that have operated in the county.
Bound volumes have been separated from unbound items and are mostly physically organized by size. Oversize items, including newspapers and clippings, have also been physically separated. Photographs are located at RH MS-P 84 and RH MS-P 1435, with oversize photographs located at RH MS-P 1435(f).
RH MS 84
RH MS 352
RH MS 1435
RH MS A35
RH MS B54
RH MS C52-RH MS C53
RH MS CK16
RH MS D131
RH MS E111
RH MS G45
RH MS P103
RH MS Q28, RH MS Q435
RH MS R11
RH MS S3
RH MS-P 84
RH MS-P 1435
RH MS-P 1435(f)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Deposits, Douglas County Historical Society, April 1969, 1982, 2004.
Douglas County Historical Society Bicentennial Commission records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1002, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
Congregational Church, Wabaunsee, (Kan.) Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS P417, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
Haller's Drug Store Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS H17, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
Scrapbooks of Kansas crop and weather reports, RH MS D219, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
- Whitcomb, Ansel H. (Person)
- Grand Army of the Republic. Washington Post No. 12 (Lawrence, Kan.) (Organization)
- Old Settlers Association (Lawrence, Kan.) (Organization)
- University of Kansas (Organization)
- Edwards, Charles L. (Charles Livingston), 1828-1916 (Person)
- Douglas County (Kan.) -- History
- Franklin (Kan.) -- History
- Kansas -- History -- 1854-1861
- Kansas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Lawrence (Kan.) -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
- Lawrence (Kan.) -- Genealogy
- Lawrence (Kan.) -- History
- Stony Point (Kan.) -- History
- Guide to the Douglas County Historical Society Manuscript Collections
- Douglas County Historical Society manuscript collections
- Finding aid prepared by pg, 1969 and 1976; lt, 1981. Finding aid encoded by amh and mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2017, 2018, 2021; cmp, 2021.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Douglas County Historical Society manuscript collections, RH MS 84, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas