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Elizabeth Layton papers

Call Number: RH MS 1278


The collection consists of newspaper articles, correspondence with Vivian Rogers, recordings of an interview and speeches, and photographs of selected works by Elizabeth Layton


  • Creation: 1980 - 1999


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 Elizabeth Layton

Elizabeth Layton was born on October 27, 1909 in Wellsville, Kansas to Asa Finch and May (Frink) Converse. Her father owned the Wellsville Globe while her mother wrote poetry for the paper. Elizabeth attended the Wellsville area schools until she graduated from high school in 1926. She attended Ottawa University for two years, 1926 to 1928. In 1929 she married Clyde C. Nichols of Wellsville. They had five children together and later separated in 1942. In 1942, Elizabeth and her children moved back to Wellsville where she managed the Wellsville Globe with her mother until the family sold it in 1957. In March of 1957, Elizabeth married Glenn Layton.

Throughout her lifetime, Elizabeth struggled with bi-polar disease and bouts of depression. She began drawing in 1977, at age 68, after taking a contour drawing class at Ottawa University in Kansas. Contour drawing helped Elizabeth express herself and cured the depression she had been suffering with for thirty years. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art and in more than 200 museums and related institutions around the United States. Elizabeth Layton passed away March 15, 1993. Collections of her artwork can be found at the Mulvane Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Lawrence Art Center, and the Emprise Bank collection.

Biography of Vivian Rogers

Vivian (McCoy) Rogers was born on September 3rd, 1919, in New Haven, Connecticut to Josephine and Martin Rogers. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology from Albertus Magnus College in 1941. In 1943, she was a member of the first class of women officers to be commissioned in the United States Marine Corps.

After being on active duty for three years, Rogers continued her education after the war, receiving a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago in 1949. She founded the University of Kansas Adult Life Resource Center in 1968 to help non-traditional students who were either returning to earn mid-career degrees or had families to support. She earned a master's degree in counseling from Kansas University in 1973 and, at age 53, she received a doctorate in adult education and development in 1975 from Kansas State University.

Rogers worked at the University of Kansas for nineteen years and, at the age of 65, took another director's position of continuing education at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She retired from that position at age 68 and moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. She wrote a column for the local newspaper and was a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Rogers was a pioneer of women's career advancement and an advocate for continuing adult education. She wrote numerous books on midlife change and the adult life cycle. Vivian Rogers died at age 84 on June 14, 2004 in West Hartford, Connecticut.


1 linear foot (2 boxes + 1 oversize box, 3 cassette tapes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1278

Physical Location

RH MS R328

Physical Location

RH Cassette Tape 59

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Vivian Rogers, 2003.

Related Materials

Don Lambert collection of Elizabeth Layton papers, RH MS 1538, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Lynn Bretz collection of Elizabeth Layton and Asa Converse materials, RH MS 1541, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Guide to the Elizabeth Layton Collection
Elizabeth Layton papers
Finding aid prepared by el, 2012. Finding aid encoded by el, 2012. Finding aid revised by mhr, 2016; mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Elizabeth Layton papers, RH MS 1278, 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