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Anne "Petey" Cerf papers

Call Number: RH MS 633


This collection consists largely of material related to Anne "Petey" Cerf's efforts to improve conditions at nursing homes, such as through the Kansans for Improvement of Nursing Homes (KINH), Inc. organization which she helped found. Other material in the collection reflects Cerf's other philanthropic and community-based efforts to improve life for everyone in her community.


  • Creation: 1974 - 1994


Conditions Governing Access

All materials in this collection except those located at RH MS R126 are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area. All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Anne "Petey" Cerf

Anne Cerf was born on March 20, 1913 in New York City to Edward Lathrop and Elizabeth Biglow Ballard. She was educated at Brearley and Vassar College and in 1935 married pianist H. Arthur Dann. He taught at Oberlin College in Ohio and they had three children.

Cerf divorced her first husband and moved to California with her children, marrying violinist Raymond Cerf in 1943. She had two children with him. In 1949 the Cerfs moved to Lawrence, Kan. where Raymond began teaching at the University of Kansas. Raymond Cerf passed away in 1978.

Cerf's activism included participating in the League of Women Voters and Lawrence League for the Practice of Democracy; donating the original transmitter to Kansas Public Radio KANU's Audio-Reader Network and helping fund the Audio Reader program at the University of Kansas; serving on the board of the Villages, Inc. of Topeka, Kan.; and establishing such institutions as the Raymond Cerf Village, a group care home for children, the Ballard Community Center in North Lawrence, and Cottonwood, a program for adults with mental disabilities. She was also involved with Penn House, Biship Seabury Academy, Planned Parenthood, and the Lawrence Early Childhood Education Program of the Lawrence Schools Foundation, all in Lawrence.

Cerf was a charter member of the Drug Policy Foundation and a member of the Physicisn for a National Health Program (PNHP), an organization promoting single-payer health insurance.

In 1975, Cerf founded the Kansans for Improvement of Nursing Homes (KINH), serving as its president until the early 1990s. The group later became known as the Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC).

Anne Ballard Cerf, nicknamed "Petey," passed away on August 31, 1996.


28.25 Linear Feet (37 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection provides a wealth of information regarding Cerf's efforts at improving conditions in nursing homes and lessening elder abuse, particularly through the Kansans for Improvement of Nursing Homes organization. Much of this material is restricted until 2017 due to the sensitive nature of the information.

The collection also reflects Cerf's other civic and community-based efforts and involvement in other organizations, both nationally such as through the Drug Policy Foundation and Physicians for a National Health Program, and locally in Lawrence, Kansas.

No attempt at reorganization was made after the collection was donated to the Spencer Research Library; Cerf's idiosyncratic foldering system and folder titles have been used throughout the collection description.

Physical Location

RH MS 633

Physical Location

RH MS R126

Physical Location

Contact Spencer Library Public Services (Library Annex)

Physical Location

KC AV 103

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Anne "Petey" Cerf Estate, 1997

Guide to the Anne "Petey" Cerf Collection
Anne "Petey" Cerf papers
Finding aid prepared by aw, 2006. Finding aid encoded by aw, 2006. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2016, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Anne "Petey" Cerf papers, RH MS 633, 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