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Papers of Carol Buhler Francis

Call Number: RH MS 582


Carol Buhler Francis was a longtime resident of Lawrence, Kansas, and an active member of the community. This collection includes materials related to projects in which she was involved professionally through her advertising, journalism, and other writing; and personally through her community involvement.


  • Creation: 1874 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Audio visual materials housed at KC AV 86 are 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) before a planned visit; staff will respond within three days, though materials may not be available in that timeframe. Access to audio visual materials may require digitization first. 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 Carol Buhler Francis

Carol Marie Buhler was born February 9, 1928 in Pretty Prairie, Reno County, Kansas, the youngest of seven children born to Dr. David and Helen Hansmann Buhler. Her parents died when she was still young, and the family moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1936, eldest sister Esther taking over the role of caregiver for her younger siblings.

Carol attended the University of Kansas, majoring in advertising and journalism. She was active in several choirs and played both violin and oboe while at KU, as well as joining in two women's fraternities and participating in other student activities. Graduating in 1950, that same year she married George Francis, with whom she had four children: April, Wendy, Jay, and Jon. Francis went back to KU to earn her MS in journalism in 1971.

Francis began her career as advertising manager for Weaver's Department Store in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. She was active in the Lawrence community throughout her life. She was a member of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance for several years, purchasing in 1978 the only building found to survive William Quantrill's 1863 raid of Lawrence, according to her research. Francis wrote two books about this building, The House Building, A Search for Its Foundations and Local Happenings in Lawrence, Kansas 1921-1946. She also compiled Douglas County, Kansas, family histories, 1991-1992 Vol. 1 and wrote newsletters for the Douglas County Historical Society.

Francis remained involved with the Girl Scouts throughout her life, was a member of the Lawrence Aquahawks swim team, and served various capacities in her church, Trinity Episcopal. She won awards for her advertising, writing, and interviewing skills and won medals in swimming in the Senior Olympics. Carol Marie Buhler Francis passed away March 21, 2015 in Lawrence, Kansas.


10 Linear Feet (14 boxes + 10 oversize boxes, 3 oversize folders, 10 reel-to-reel audio tapes, 133 cassette tapes, 1 DVD)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Francis' collection includes materials from many of her civic activities, including the Lawrence Flower Club, the Pinckney Neighborhood Association, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Lawrence Girl Scout Committee, for which she served as the first executive director in 1953. The collection includes information about the Liberty Memorial High School, the University of Kansas (KU), and collegiate organizations such as Theta Sigma Phi/Women in Communications, Delta Gamma, and Delta Upsilon.

Also included are textual materials and reel and audio cassette tapes of interviews conducted for the project "Plowshares to Waterskis," documenting the creation of Clinton Lake and the communities that were formerly located there in the Wakarusa Valley. Other items in the collection relate to Francis' interests in advertising, journalism, and local history, including Douglas County, Kansas, family histories, 1991-1992 Vol. 1, which Francis compiled, and The House Building : my search for its foundations, the book that Francis wrote about the building that housed her husband's sporting goods store.

The bulk of the textual materials in Francis' collection are located at RH MS 582 and RH MS 1473. Oversize materials, including scrapbooks, news clippings, and maps, have been physically separated and are located at RH MS Q365, RH MS Q449, RH MS R227, and RH MS S13. Audio visual materials, most of which are audio cassette tapes of interviews and local history projects, have also been physically separated and are located at RH Tape 39, RH Cassette Tape 61, KC AV 86, and KC AV 118.

Physical Location

RH MS 582

Physical Location

RH MS 1473

Physical Location

RH MS Q365, RH MS Q449

Physical Location

RH MS R229

Physical Location


Physical Location

RH Tape 39

Physical Location

RH Cassette Tape 61

Physical Location

KC AV 86, KC AV 118

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Carol Buhler Francis, 1982 (formerly RH MS P442), 1991 (formerly 91-08-56), 1992 (formerly 96-6-11(f)), 1999 (formerly 2001-05-01), 2001 (formerly RH MS R100, RH MS S13), 2002 (formerly RH MS R101), 2003 (formerly 2003-03-01, RH MS R229); April Francis Dwyer and Wendy Francis Clay, 2016, 2018; Mariana Remple, 2013; Mary Jo Mensie, 2014; April Francis Dwyer, 2021, 2022.

Separated Materials

American Association of University Women yearbooks, shelved at RH Ser A31 at Spencer Research Library.

Processing Information

Much of Francis' collection was previously shelved at Spencer accession numbers before being consolidated in 2005 at RH MS 582. 2016 and 2018 additions to the collection were processed in 2019 and given call numbers RH MS 1473, RH MS Q449, and KC AV 86. 2021 and 2022 additions to the collection were added to the materials located at RH MS 582.

Guide to the Carol Buhler Francis Collection
Papers of Carol Buhler Francis
Finding aid prepared by ha/mab, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ha/mab, 2005. Finding aid revised by skt, 2010; brch, 2013; eear, 2013; haz, mwh, 2019; mwh and cd, 2022; eje, 2022; mmj, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for processing portions of this collection was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Papers of Carol Buhler Francis, RH MS 582, 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