Skip to main content

Shane-Thompson papers

Call Number: RH MS 58


James Boucher Shane, a Civil War veteran, settled in Lawrence, Kansas in 1878, where he began to operate a commerical photography business. His daugther, Juno Belle Shane, and her husband, Herbert Thompson, eventually took over the business, which operated until 1953. The collection includes personal records of the Shane family, as well as business records of the Shane-Thompson studio, photographic prints, and glass plate negatives.


  • Creation: 1864 - 1944


Conditions Governing Access

Glass plate and flexible negative originals are only issued if the curator or head of Public Services gives permission.

Conditions Governing Use

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

History of Shane-Thompson family

Captain James Boucher Shane was born in Kentucky in 1840. He served with distinction in the 16th Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War, and after the war was promoted to the rank of Captain. After the war, he moved his young family to Abilene, Kansas, where he tried a number of business ventures, including planting a crop of wheat on 2500 acres. This venture was sponsored by the railroad, and was one of the first attempts to farm wheat exclusively. He came to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1878. He operated a photography business out of a railroad car, and owned several studios on Massachusetts Street, eventually building his own home and studio at 615 Massachusetts in 1885. In May of 1902 he was convicted of murder and was sent to Lansing Prison. He was paroled in 1912, and was pardoned in December of 1913. Upon his incarceration, his daughter, Juno Belle Shane, took over the business. She was a graduate of the Illinois College of Photography. After her marriage in circa 1907, her husband, Herbert Thompson, joined her in the business. Thompson was a veteran and, after he got out of the army, he went back to school and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1910. Thompson died in 1929, and again Juno Belle operated the business alone until her death in 1953.


27 Linear Feet (61 boxes + 11 volumes, approximately 16,950 glass plate negatives in 870 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The manuscript collection consists of family correspondence, business correspondence and records, some of Thompson's fraternal organization and Mason papers, and a file on the missionary work of Juno’s sister, Myrtle Shane. Also included are bound registers of cash and business accounts, as well as studio sittings.

The photographic collection contains some photographic work done by Capt. Shane, but the bulk of the collection seems to consist of portraits taken by Juno Belle and Herbert between 1903 and 1923. Considering that Shane, Shane and Thompson operated a photography business in Lawrence for 75 years, and given the number of photographs and negatives in the current collection, it is believed that the Library does not have all of the photos ever taken by the studio. Prints are described in this finding aid; the glass plate negatives remain for the most part unprocessed.

Physical Location

RH MS 58

Physical Location


Physical Location


Physical Location

RH PH 500

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Juno Belle Shane Thompson, 1953.

Related Materials

Captain Shane's Douglas County court file may be found at 1990-06-24-KC, box 13, case #1643. His court trial may be found in the Douglas County Journal, book W, 1901-1903.

Shane, James B., Not Guilty: The Story of a Life. Abilene, KS: Reflector Publishing Company, 1903. Available at Spencer Research Library at RH C5553.

Processing Information

The four volumes studio registers at RH MS CK10 were removed from the collection after Spencer staff determined the volumes actually came from the Hannah Scott collection. The studio registers can now be found there.

Guide to the Shane-Thompson Collection
Shane-Thompson papers
Finding aid prepared by kl, 2005; revised by, cl 2010. Finding aid encoded by amc, 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Shane-Thompson collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 58, 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