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Personal papers of E.H.S. Bailey

Call Number: PP 158


E.H.S Bailey, the University of Kansas' first, and for many years, only, chemistry professor, served K.U. from 1883-1933. His personal papers primarily include record books documenting his own academic study and research, as well as the administrative duties of chemistry professorship and the Kansas State Board of Health, 1870s-1905. A 1923 scrapbook commemorates his 40 years of service to the University. The collection also includes family papers dating from throughout the 19th century, particularly dealing with estate and probate matters.

The "Bailey Boys" refers both to his four surviving sons and to his graduate students in Chemistry, many of whom rose to prominence on the faculty at K.U. as well as at other universities.


  • Creation: 1647, 1793-1973


Language of Materials

The majority of the collection is in English; some materials are in German or French.

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 E.H.S. Bailey

Edgar Henry Summerfield Bailey was born in Middlefield, Connecticut in 1848. He studied chemistry at Yale and earned his doctorate at Illinois Wesleyan. Bailey was appointed to the chair of chemistry, mineralogy, and metallurgy at the University of Kansas in 1883, where he served at various times as head of the Chemistry Department until 1918 and in full- and part-time professorships until his death in 1933.

In his first years at K.U., Bailey alone taught courses in general chemistry, qualitative chemistry, organic chemistry, assaying, mineralogy, metallurgy, blowpipe analysis, toxicology, physiological chemistry, and materia medica. In 1886 he made K.U. one of the first schools in the nation to offer a domestic and sanitary chemistry class. Bailey specialized in food and domestic science and qualitative analysis, developing the nation's first State Board of Health in Kansas. He also lead the state's first geological survey, which began in 1889.

E.H.S. Bailey married Aravesta "Vessie" Trumbauer (1853-1931). Together they had five sons, four of whom survived to adulthood: Herbert S., William H., Edgar L., and Austin.


6.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes + 2 oversize boxes, 7 oversize folders, 1 oil painting)

Scope and Contents

The E.H.S. Bailey collection of personal papers includes primarily record books kept by Bailey, who documented in them his own academic study and research and his participation in forensic investigations and chemical seminaries, as well as the administrative duties of chemistry professorship and the Kansas State Board of Health. These materials date from the 1870s to 1905.

The collection also contains a photocopy of Bailey's doctoral thesis, a copy of his laboratory manual used in classes at K.U., and a scrapbook dating to 1923 commemorating 40 years of service to the University.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bailey himself is the author or recorder of the information. Individual record books are arranged chronogically by earliest date of range of material covered.

In 2009, further materials concerning genealogy, family correspondence, photographs, and his sons were added to the collection by surviving descendants. Included at this time were volumes written by E.H.S. Bailey, a French Chemistry text (1647) from the family library, family legal and estate papers and correspondence from throughout the 19th century, and an oil painting of E.H.S. Bailey's maternal grandmother, Charity Birdsey Miller.

Physical Location

PP 158

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Kathie Webber-Plank, descendants of E.H.S. Bailey.

Related Materials

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

Austin Bailey Collection, University Archives, PP 427, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Guide to the E.H.S. Bailey Collection
Personal papers of E.H.S. Bailey
Finding aid prepared by amc, 2005; revised by lmb, 2009.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of E.H.S. Bailey, University Archives, PP 158, 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