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Unified School District 497 records

Call Number: RH MS 1255


Unified School District (USD) 497 is located in Douglas County, Kansas and administered from Lawrence, the county seat. This collection contains records from both the central administrative offices and from individual schools in the district. Materials include administrative records, financial information, annual reports, Board of Education records, newsletters, yearbooks, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) records, bond issues, photographs, and calendars.

Individual schools located in the district include Broken Arrow, Burnette, Centennial, Central Junior High School, Cordley, Deerfield, East Heights, Grant, Kaw Valley, Lawrence Memorial High School, Lawrence High School, Lawrence Junior High School, McAllaster, New York, Pinckney Elementary School, Riverside, South Junior High School, Southwest Junior High School, and West Junior High School.


  • Creation: 1858 - 2022


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

History of Unified School District 497

The State of Kansas unified Lawrence schools in 1965, creating Lawrence Unified School District #497, or the Lawrence Public Schools. This was during an era when schools were consolidating across the state in part due to better transportation options.

Elementary schools currently found in the district include Broken Arrow, Cordley, Deerfield, Hillcrest, Kennedy, Langston Hughes, New York, Pinckney, Prairie Park, Quail Run, Schwegler, Sunflower, Sunset Hill, and Woodlawn. Middle schools include Billy Mills Middle School, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, South Middle School, Southwest Middle School, and West Middle School. High schools include Lawrence Free State High School and Lawrence High School.


113 Linear Feet (144 boxes + 33 oversize boxes, 24 oversize folders, 143 video tapes, 18 audio tapes, 7 CD)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection contains documentation relating to USD 497 and to individual schools within the district, including documenting the history of schools and previous boards prior to consolidation in the 1960s. It includes school and district newsletters; meeting minutes from the Board of Education; administrative and financial documentation; photographs; scrapbooks and newspaper clippings; annual reports; Parent Teacher Association (PTA) records; yearbooks; and other related materials. The records have been organized by record type, and in some cases further organized by individual school. The collection provides a broad overview of the history of education in Douglas County, Kansas from the territorial era when Euro-Americans began settling the area to the present era.

The collection has been accrued by Kenneth Spencer Research Library over time, and additions have also been processed over time. Therefore materials of a particular format or on a particular theme may be located at several different call numbers in the collection. Audiovisual material and oversize materials have been cataloged separately; information about audiovisual items is available at the end of the finding aid, and oversize materials are typically described in relation to the series in which they belong.

Physical Location

RH MS 1255

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RH MS 1334

Physical Location

RH MS 1497

Physical Location


Physical Location

RH MS Q353, RH MS Q461

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RH MS R318, RH MS R319, RH MS R456, RH MS R457

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RH Video 32

Physical Location

RH Cassette Tape 56

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RH CD 31

Physical Location

KC AV 85

Immediate Source of Acquisition

On deposit from USD 497. Received in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018. Gifts, Janet Reeder, 2017; Martha Marsh, 2022.

Related Materials

Janet Reeder collection, RH MS Q500, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Separated Materials

Lawrence (Kan.) Board of Education. "Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education of District 497." Lawrence, KS: The Board, 1969-2005. Available at Spencer Research Library at RH Ser D3227.

Additional publications created by and for USD 497 and its Board of Education have been cataloged separately and can be found through the online library catalog.

Processing Information

Material related to Riverside School was previously located at RH MS 339.

Guide to the Unified School District 497 Collection
Unified School District 497 collection
Finding aid prepared by brch, 2012. Finding aid encoded by brch, 2012. Finding aid revised by hc, 2014; vej, 2019; mmj, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Unified School District 497 collection, RH MS 1255, 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