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William Allen White collection

Call Number: RH MS 929


The William Allen White Collection contains correspondence and writings by and about native Kansan William Allen White, whose grass roots social and political editorials as editor of the Emporia Gazette earned him a Pulitzer Prize and international fame. Included in the collection, acquired by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information at the University of Kansas, are many photographs of White and his associates.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1970


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 William Allen White

William Allen White was born at Emporia, Kansas, on February 10, 1868, to Dr. Allen White and Mary Ann (Hatten) White. White attended the College of Emporia, and then the University of Kansas. He entered newspaper work, first in El Dorado, and later with the Kansas City Journal and the Kansas City Star. On April 27, 1893, he married Sallie Moss Lindsay of Kansas City.

In 1895, the Whites moved to Emporia, Kansas, where White purchased the Emporia Gazette. The Gazette soon gained national prominence for White's grass roots social and political editorials, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1923. White also wrote many articles and books, and was influential in state and national politics.

The Whites had two children--son William Lindsay and daughter Mary Katherine, who died at age sixteen from a horseback riding accident. White's editorial eulogy for his daughter was carried nationally and became one of his best-known writings. White died on January 29, 1944 at Emporia.


2.75 Linear Feet (6 document cases + 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The William Allen White Collection, acquired through gifts and purchases by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Public Information at the University of Kansas, contains correspondence and writings by and about William Allen White and his associates, as well as photographs, clippings, and other memorabilia.

Included is a substantial component of correspondence, photographs, and clippings from Gazette managing editor Frank C. Clough, including manuscripts and proofs of his book, William Allen White of Emporia. More than 90 photographs of White and his associates--including those from the files of Frank Clough--are located at RH MS-P 929. Among these are many photographs of William Allen White, the White family, members of the Gazette staff, sites in the Emporia community, and prominent statesmen and writers, including U.S. President Herbert Hoover, Kansas Governor Henry J. Allen, and writer Walt Mason.

Items of additional note in the collection include a pair of riding stirrups used by White's daughter Mary and an audiotape of a William Allen White speech (both in Box 4 at RH MS 929), photographs of the March 31, 1931 wreckage of the plane carrying football coach Knute Rockne, and drawings by Associated Press sports cartoonist Tom "Pap" Paprocki, cartoonist Chester Gould, and artist Buck Martin of The Kansas City Star.

At RH MS Q137 are three oversize items, including one photograph. At RH MS R263 is the Nov. 18, 1977 reproduction of William Allen White's editorial in the The Emporia Gazette regarding the May 1921 death of his daughter, Mary White.

Physical Location

RH MS 929

Physical Location

RH MS Q137

Physical Location

RH MS-P 929

Physical Location

RH MS R263

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer, University Archives, 1968, 1988, 1998, 2002, 2003. Items at RH MS R263: Gift, Helen Foresman, 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, School of Journalism, 2021.

Related Materials

William Lindsay White collection, RH MS 608, Kenneth Spencer Researcy Library, University of Kansas.

William Allen White letter to SEnator George Moses, RH MS P745, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Clough, Frank C. William Allen White of Emporia. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, [1941]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11177 and at Watson Library at Pn4874.W52 C5.

William Allen White collection, University Libraries & Archives, Emporia State University.

William Allen White papers, Mss45377, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress.

William A. White papers, Manuscripts Collection 87, State Archives Division, Kansas Historical Society.

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 20 and at RH MS 660.

Guide to the William Allen White Collection
William Allen White collection
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2007. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2007. Finding aid revised by tmw, 2017; cmp, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William Allen White collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 929, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States