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Doris Kerr Larkins papers

Call Number: RH MS 895


Doris Kerr Larkins, of Wichita, Kansas, was the co-founder of the First National Black Historical Society of Kansas (now the Kansas African American Museum, Inc.), as well as a home health aide.


  • 1879 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Doris Kerr Larkins

Doris J. Kerr Larkins was born in 1938 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and moved to Wichita, Kansas as a child. She graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor's degree in Musical Education; she later attended Lane College (Jackson, Tennessee), earning a degree in Humanities, and Friends University for a degree in Human Resources Management. Larkins worked in a number of community organizations throughout Wichita such as the YWCA and Volunteers in Services to America in the 1960s. She also worked on various civil rights issues, including the development of Kwanzaa and Juneteenth celebrations, and issues of African-American history.

When the congregation of Calvary Baptist Church moved to a new location in 1972, Kerr-Larkins, her sisters, and the community, fought to save the old church building. Their efforts paid off and in 1974 she co-founded (along with her sisters Ra'Shualaamu Beruni and Barbara Kerr) the First National Black Historical Society of Kansas. In 1993, the Society became a non-profit organization and placed the original Calvary Baptist Church building on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The Society's name changed to The Kansas African American Museum, Inc. in 1999. At the time of her death on February 17, 1994, Doris Kerr Larkins also worked as a home health aide. In 2005, Sedgwick County designated November 12th as Doris Kerr Larkins day.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection dates from 1879 to 1989 and is arranged into two series: the First National Black Historical Society records and Personal papers. The Historical Society records contain information relating to the Society's founding and administration, as well as documentation regarding the establishment of the Calvary Baptist Church as a historic site. The Personal papers consists of assorted material including some writing drafts, personal notes, programs, and clippings.

Photographs are located at RH MS-P 895 and are listed by subject. Oversized items are located at RH MS Q223.

Physical Location

RH MS 895

Physical Location

RH MS-P 895

Physical Location

RH MS Q223

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Doris Kerr Larkins, 1986, 1988.

Processing Information

Formerly located at RH MS 463.

Guide to the Doris Kerr Larkins Collection
Doris Kerr Larkins papers
Finding aid prepared by bkm,2006; revised by cl 2010; revised by skt, 2010; revised by eh, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Support for the processing of this collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Doris Kerr Larkins Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 895, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States