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George Allen photograph collection

Call Number: RH PH 137


Collection of photographic images of Kansas and other states from the late 19th century and early 20th century of towns, scenery, and events.


  • Creation: 1850 - 1916


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 George V. Allen (1913-2007)

George V. Allen was born in Wichita, Kansas and spent his early years in Conway Springs before moving with his family to Lawrence, Kansas in 1927. He graduated from Liberty Memorial High School and earned a law degree from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Allen was a member of the Douglas County (Kansas) Bar Association and practiced law in Lawrence for 40 years. He enjoyed studying western United States history and collected photographs, stereoview cards, books, and antiques.

Allen married Betty Jane Sackmann on June 5, 1943 in Kansas City, Missouri. They had four children.

[Information from George V. Allen's obituary published in the Lawrence Journal World, Lawrence, Kansas, September 7, 2007.]


2 Linear Feet (988 photographs in various formats in 6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection contains images from Kansas and other Great Plains and Western U.S. states, including Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Dakota Territory. Most of the images are from Kansas; those from other states may have a Kansas tie. Themes that appear in the collection include late 19th century and early 20th century town scenery, schools, cowboys, sod homes, coal mining, floods, cattle raising, the Chicago Exposition of 1874, the Benders murder cases, and railroads.

The majority of the collection is in the format of stereoview cards, including Kansas images from the series "Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division," by Alexander Gardner (1821-1882). Terms and language used on the items themselves are representative of when and by whom the colection was compiled and may have been used in this finding aid when directly quoting from captions.


The collection has been organized by format, with all stereocards in boxes labeled "a" and all photographic prints in boxes labeled "b." Within each series, items are organized alphabetically by state or territory and then by town or county.

Physical Location

RH PH 137

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, George Allen, 1990

Physical Description

The collection is comprised of several photographic formats, including 722 stereoview cards (stereographs), 73 board-mounted photographs, 70 postcards, 11 cartes de visite, 14 cabinet cards, and 1 advertising card. While most items are black and white or sepia-toned, a few are hand-colored. There are 3 photomechanical reproductions.

Guide to the George Allen Collection
George Allen photograph collection
Finding aid prepared by rw, 2008. Finding aid encoded by rw, 2008. Finding aid revised by lmw, 2020; mwh, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
George Allen photograph collection, RH PH 137, 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