Dr. C. Kermit Phelps papers
The Papers of Dr. C. Kermit Phelps are those of a native Kansan who became a leader in the field of clinical psychology.
- 1955 - 1997
- Phelps, C. Kermit, 1908-2002 (Person)
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 Dr. C. Kermit Phelps
C. Kermit Phelps was born December 4, 1908 in Newton, Kansas to Clifford and Eva (Bradshaw) Phelps. He attended the University of Kansas, where he earned his Bachelor's (1934), Master's (1949, Psychology), and Doctorate (1952, Psychology) degrees. In earning this last degree, Phelps became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from KU. He also attended the Menninger Foundation Clinical Psychology Program.
Phelps later returned to KU as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry; due to this, he is considered the University's first African American faculty member. He also taught at Avila College, Marymount College, and Conception Seminary.
For 31 years, Phelps worked at the Kansas City, Missouri Veteran's Administration Hospital, rising to Chief of Psychological Services and Associate Chief of Staff for Education. He also had a private practice and began The Life Enrichment Series at the Shepard Center.
Phelps was active in numerous professional organizations, including the Missouri Psychological Association (of which he was president), the Advisory Committee for Professional Services of the Mental Health Association, and the Recreation for Handicapped Council (of which he was Vice Chairman). He served on the Board of various organizations, such as the Missouri Mental Health Association, St. Mary Hospital, and the Neurological Hospital Association. Phelps not only taught at but also served on the Board of Regents at Rockhurst College and St. Mary's College.
Phelps participated in various community organizations, including the Rotary Club, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the AARP. He served as a board member and as Chairman of the Board of this latter group. For his work with the AARP, a scholarship was established at the University of Southern California for those wishing to pursue geriatrics. Phelps received numerous awards and commendations for his work and public service, including the Veteran's Administration Civil Servant of the Year Award and the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Citation.
Phelps married Lucille Mallory. The couple had two daughters, Patricia and Constance. C. Kermit Phelps passed away in 2002.
1 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 3 oversize boxes)
Scope and Contents
The Dr. C. Kermit Phelps papers date from 1955 to 1997 and are divided into 4 series: Career Papers, Memberships, Personal Papers, and Photographs.
Career Papers include speeches, correspondence, and information on various programs with which Phelps worked. Memberships mainly include certificates and clippings. Personal Papers consist chiefly of award information. Within each series, folders arrangement is alphabetical. Photographs from the Dr. C. Kermit Phelps Collection are located at RH MS-P 687.
Oversize materials are located at RH MS Q151 and RH MS R140. The item in RH MS R140:1 and items 1-3 and 6 in R140:2 are framed and include glass so should be handled with care.
RH MS 687
RH MS-P 687
RH MS Q151
RH MS R140
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts, Dr. C. Kermit Phelps, 1991, 1995; Amber Reagan-Kendrick, 1996.
- African American Catholics
- African American psychologists
- American Association of Retired Persons
- Phelps, C. Kermit, 1908-2002
- University of Kansas -- Faculty
- University of Kansas -- Alumni and alumnae
- University of Kansas. Department of Psychology
- Veterans Administration Hospital (Kansas City, Mo.)
- Guide to the Dr. C. Kermit Phelps Collection
- Dr. C. Kermit Phelps papers
- Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2006; revised by cl, 2010; revised by skt, 2010
- 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
Dr. C. Kermit Phelps papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 687, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas