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Papers of Willis A. Carto

Call Number: RH WL MS 51


Willis A. Carto was an American far right political activist, perhaps best known for his promotion of conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. This collection focuses on Carto's correspondence and reference material from the mid-1940s through 2013 and documents his writings and advocacy for many American rightist political groups, such as the National Segregation Party and the American Heritage Protection Committee. Administrative papers for the publication, The Spotlight, which Carto helped found and run are also included.


  • Creation: 1945 - 2013


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Willis A. Carto

Willis A. Carto was born in 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served during World War II and received the Purple Heart. After the war, he lived with his family in Ohio before moving to San Francisco, California where he worked for the Household Finance Company.

Carto founded Liberty Lobby, a political advocacy organization, in 1955. Liberty Lobby was responsible for publishing The Spotlight, a weekly political newspaper from 1975 until Liberty Lobby's demise in 2001. Carto was a well-known advocate for right-wing political policies, such as racial segregation. He and his organizations supported anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and several Neo-Nazi groups. He was involved in starting the Populist Party, a vative and sometimes white nationalist political party.

Willis A. Carto died in Virginia in 2015 at the age of 89.


5.25 Linear Feet (10 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection largely consists of correspondence between Carto and others. The collection came to Spencer Research Library in chronological groupings, which Spencer staff have maintained; some correspondents had been separated by Carto or somebody else prior to coming to Spencer, and those separations have also been maintained, with these individuals appearing at the end of the correspondence series.

Frequent or notable correspondents include the American Progress Foundation (Willis E. Stone), American Council of Christian Laymen (Verne P. Kaub), America First!, Association of Citizen's Councils of Mississippi, The National Segregation Party, National States' Rights Party (Ed Fields), America Plus, the Constitution Party in California, Nationalist Conservative Party, New Foundations, The Virginian (William Scott Stephenson), Christian Educational Association, American Heritage Protective Committee, Abraham Lincoln Republican Club, United White Party (Matt Koehl), Christian Crusade, the National Socialist White People's Party, We the People (Harry T. Everingham), the Freedom School (Robert LeFevre), American Flag Committee, Trade Policy Congress, John Birch Society (Robert Welch), Noontide Press, Western Destiny, Church of the Creator (Ben Klassen), Youth Action, Christian-Patriots Defense League, Institute for Historical Review, and the Congress of Freedom.

Also in the collection are some reference materials, newspaper clippings, and other items of interest to Carto and related to his political philosophies and affiliations.

Physical Location


Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Elisabeth Carto, 2016.



Guide to the papers of Willis A. Carto
Papers of Willis A. Carto
Finding aid prepared by bas. Finding aid encoded by bas.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Papers of Willis A. Carto, RH WL MS 51, 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