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Papers of Lillian T. Orme

Call Number: RH MS 585


This collection includes professional and some personal papers of African American Lillian T. Orme, a Kansas City community member who became an honored leader in elementary school education.


  • Creation: 1905 - 1992


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 Lillian T. Orme

Lillian Taylor Orme was born in 1911 at Kansas City, Kansas to Harry Alfred and Nora (Askew) Taylor. She graduated from Kansas City, Kansas Teachers College in 1932 and then attended the University of Kansas, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1941. In 1942, she married Beltron L. Orme. She returned to the University of Kansas, earning a Master of Science in Education degree in 1952 and an Education Specialist degree in 1962.

Orme was first employed as a classroom teacher and then as an elementary school principal, working at several schools in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. For the last seven years of her career, Orme worked at the Kansas City, Missouri Education central office. At the time of her retirement in 1979, Orme held the position of Director of Elementary Instruction for the school district of Kansas City. For her many years of service to Missouri education, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1978 named Orme a "Pioneer in Education."

Orme was a member of numerous organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha (Mu Omega chapter), Delta Kappa Gamma (Alpha chapter), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Links, the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Education Association, the National Elementary Principals Association, the School Adminsitrators Association, and the Kansas Citians.

Orme's leadership in various organizations included membership on the Board of Directors for the Philharmonic Women's Division, on the advisory board of the Community Children's Theatre, and on both the advisory board and Board of Directors for the YWCA of Kansas City, Missouri. As a member of the Women's Chamber of Commerce, she held the distinction of being the first minority elected to the Board of Directors.

Lillian T. Orme died on 22 April 1993 at Kansas City, Missouri.


1.5 Cubic Feet (3 document cases + 5 oversize boxes, 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Lillian T. Orme papers date from 1905 to 1992 and are arranged in five series: Correspondence, Educational Records, Professional Records, Organizational Records, and Personal Papers. Folder arrangement within each series is generally alphabetical by topic, with chronological arrangement of items within each folder.

Correspondence include letters both to and from Orme. The Educational Records deal chiefly with Orme's time at the University of Kansas, and includes information from her 50th class reunion. Orme's Professional Records include such items as an article Orme wrote, teaching contracts, and information regarding various schools. The Organizational Records chiefly consist of certificates, with some clippings and programs. Personal Records include such items as certificates, guest books, newspaper slippings, and items regarding Orme's family. They also include loose materials removed from several scrapbooks -- for example letters, cards, clippings, programs, and newsletters. Arrangement of these items is consistent with the order in the scrapbooks.

Photographic materials from the collection are located at RH MS-P 585 and RH MS-P 585 (f). Oversize items from the collection are located at RH MS Q104, RH MS R102, and RH MS R103.

Series List

The Lillian T. Orme collection dates from 1905 to 1992 and is arranged in seven series:

  1. Correspondence, 1942-1991
  2. Educational records, 1941-1991
  3. Professional records, 1948-1978
  4. Organizational records, 1942-1991
  5. Personal papers, 1905-1992
  6. Oversize materials
  7. Photographs

Physical Location

RH MS 585

Physical Location

RH MS Q104

Physical Location

RH MS R102

Physical Location

RH MS R103

Physical Location

RH MS-P 585

Physical Location

RH MS 585 (f)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Lillian Orme, 1987; estate of Lillian Orme, 1993, 2014.

Related Materials

Orme, Lillian. "Building Readiness for Reading with First Grade Children by Means of Special Instruction." M.S.Ed. thesis, University of Kansas: Department of Education, 1952. Located at Thesis 1952 Orme in Anschutz Library and the Annex, University of Kansas.

Orme, Lillian. "The Validity of the Iq as a Predictor of Academic Achivement for Negro Pupils: A Report of Data and Their Interferences Derviced from Educational Tests of Fifth Grade Pupils in Charles Sumner and Phyllis Wheatley Schools, Kansas City, Missouri." S. Ed. thesis, University of Kansas: Department of Education, 1961. Located at Thesis 1961 O743 at Anschutz Library and the Annex, University of Kansas.

Julia V. Harris Collection, RH MS 1179, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Guide to the Lillian T. Orme Collection
Papers of Lillian T. Orme
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2005; revised by cl, 2010; revised by skt, 2010. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2005; revised by mbw, 2010; skt, 2010; revised by eh, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Lillian T. Orme Collection , Kansas Collection, RH MS 585, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States