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Alvin Terry papers

Call Number: RH MS 1333


The collection consists of Terry family history, photographs and correspondence. There are also papers related to Alvin Terry's education, time in the military, career and his avid interest in photography.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1990


Language of Materials

English; German; 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 Alvin C. Terry

Alvin (Al) Terry was born to Pauline [Burcher] and Alvin Terry Senior March 24, 1914 in Westport, Missouri. He attended grades K-8 at Allen School from 1919-1927 and subsequently attended Westport High graduating in June 1931. He continued his education at the Kansas City Junior College for two years and worked in Kansas City until 1938 when he took an extended tour of Japan, China, and Malaysia. He worked for William Rockhill Nelson Galleries as a gallery guard (1933-1934 and 1937- 1938), Arthur Cars and Surety Company (1935-1936), Driver with Kansas Truck Lines (1936-1937), and an auditor and accountant for Farmers Insurance Group (1939-1942; 1946-1971).

Terry served in the United States Army June 1942-March 1946. He was awarded the Bronze Medal for his service in the 96th Chemical Mortar Battalion. Alvin Terry and his comrades were trained at Camp Livingston, Louisiana in the 66th training battalion. The unit was motorized at Camp Livingston, Louisiana the first of April, 1944 and was deployed in France and England in 1945.

Throughout his life, Al had a passion for photography. A self-taught photographer who acquired his knowledge of photography through reading and experimentation; he created a number of audio visual presentations, mostly dealing with Kansas Prairie and small towns during his travels in Europe, Iceland, Asia, and around the United States. He was a member of the Photography Exhibitors Association of Kansas City, the National Stereoscopic Association and the Kansas City Color Slide Club. His photography won awards and was published in several national publications. Alvin Terry passed away in 1992 in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of seventy-eight.


24.5 Linear Feet (44 boxes + 3 oversized boxes, 2 oversized folders, 1 volume)

Physical Location

RH MS 1333

Physical Location

RH MS Q388

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RH MS R360

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RH MS R361

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RH MS-P 1333

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1333(f)

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1333(ff)

Physical Location


Related Materials

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

Separated Materials

Alvin Terry Photos, RH MS 1189, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Guide to the Alvin Terry Collection
Alvin Terry papers
Finding aid prepared by el, 2015. Finding aid encoded by el, 2015. Finding aid revised by mhr, 2016; mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Alvin Terry papers, RH MS 1333, 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