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Personal papers of Calder M. Pickett

Call Number: PP 368


Pickett taught in the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas from 1951-1989. This collection contains correspondence, subject files, personal materials, a manuscript, and scripts for The American Past, a radio show Pickett hosted on Kansas Public Radio from the 1970s-2000s.


  • Creation: 1940s-2008


Conditions Governing Access

The processed portion of this collection is stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Calder M. Pickett

Calder M. Pickett was born July 26, 1921 in Providence, Utah, the child of Lealand M. and Julia (Gessel) Pickett. As a youth he worked as a printer's devil. He received his B.S. from Utah State University in 1944, his masters in journalism (M.S.J.) from Northwestern University in 1948, and his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1959.

Pickett taught journalism at Utah State University and the University of Denver before coming to the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas in 1951. He reached full Professor status in 1961. While acting dean for KU's School of Journalism, it received the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Award in 1962. Pickett was the Clyde M. Reed Distinguished Professor of Journalism and received several teaching awards, including the Chancellor's Club and the HOPE. Pickett retired from teaching in 1989.

Pickett worked for several newspapers in Utah, Kansas, and Missouri, including the Salt Lake Tribune, Topeka Capital Journal, and the Lawrence Journal World. He wrote book reviews for the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times. He was a radio broadcaster with Kansas Public Radio for 32 years, producing more than 1,500 hourlong episodes of "The American Past" between 1973 and 2008.

Pickett was a member of the Lawrence Unitarian Fellowship and volunteered for Audio Reader. He married Nola A. Agricola on March 20, 1947 in Ogden, Utah, with whom he had two daughters: Carolyn and Kathleen. Nola Pickett passed away on March 12, 2013, and Calder M. Pickett passed away October 29, 2013.

[Information taken from obituary for Calder M. Pickett,, accessed September 12, 2019.]


13 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 368

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Calder Pickett collection, Miller Nichols Library, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Processing Information

Audio cassettes of Pickett's radio program The American Past remain unprocessed. If interested in listening to any of these tapes, contact staff at or (785) 864-4334 for assistance.

Guide to the Calder M. Pickett Collection
Personal papers of Calder M. Pickett
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2019; mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Calder M. Pickett, University Archives, PP 368, 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