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Richard B. Sheridan papers

Call Number: RH MS 1468


The Richard B. Sheridan collection contains correspondence, academic writings (both of Dr. Sheridan and other authors), newspaper clippings, magazines, photographs, and University of Kansas course-related materials during his time as a professor at KU. A majority of the collection is centered around Dr. Sheridan's written works and research interests.


  • Creation: 1906 - 2008


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 Richard B. Sheridan (1918-2002)

Dr. Richard B. Sheridan was born in Emporia, Kansas, on February 10, 1918. He received a Bachelors of Science in commerce from Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) in 1940, a Masters of Education in 1947 from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of London in 1951. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1946, achieving the rank of Lieutenant and serving on the U.S.S. Kretchmer.

Sheridan taught as a high school teacher in 1940-1941 and at the University of Kansas from 1952-1988, becoming a full professor in 1963 and receiving emeritus status in 1988. He was a visiting professor at the College of the Virgin Islands (1971) and The University of the West Indies, Trinidad (1987).

Sheridan received numerous honors and grants, being a Fulbright Reseach Scholar and receiving a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), amongst other awards. He published over 50 papers and manuscripts, his major area of research and study focusing on the slave trade in the Caribbean. During his retirement, Sheridan studied and wrote much about Kansas history. Books Sheridan wrote include but are not limited to Sugar and Slavery: An Economic History of the British West Indies, Doctors and Slaves: A Medical and Demographic History of Slavery in the British West Indies, 1680-1834, and Freedom's Crucible: The Underground Railroad in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas, 1854-1865.

Dr. Richard Sheridan married Audrey Marion Sheridan, and they had two children, Richard David Sheridan and Margaret Anne Sheridan. Richard B. Sheridan passed away in April 2002.


23.75 Linear Feet (24 boxes + 3 oversize folders, 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



The bulk of the collection concerns Sheridan's academic career and includes manuscript drafts, research, presentation notes, reference materials, correspondence, and other related materials. These materials can be found in the Academic Writings, Professional correspondence, Emporia and Lyon County, and Research and teaching records series. Academic Writings is further sub-divided into sub-series for Sheridan's own writings, with materials related both to Caribbean history and the African slave trade and to his research into Kansas history in the 19th century; and a sub-series for writings by others in which Sheridan was involved or interested.

Other series concern other parts of Sheridan's life, including his time on the U.S.S. Kretchmer and family genealogy. Photographs and oversize materials have been separated from the rest of the collection and can be found at call numbers RH MS-P 1468, RH MS-P 1468(f), RH MS Q509, RH MS R439, RH MS R529, and RH MS S59.

Series list

  1. Academic writings
  2. Professional correspondence
  3. U.S.S. Kretchmer materials
  4. Sheridan family history
  5. Emporia and Lyon County materials
  6. Research and teaching records
  7. Photographs
  8. Oversize materials

Physical Location

RH MS 1468

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1468, RH MS-P 1468(f)

Physical Location

RH MS Q509

Physical Location

RH MS R439, RH MS R529

Physical Location


Physical Location

KC AV 135

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Richard Sheridan, Jr., 2012, 2016.

Processing Information

Materials formerly located at PP 41 have been incorporated into this collection.

Duplicative materials may remain in the collection, and materials related to a particular topic or area of study may appear in more than one location in the collection.

Guide to the Richard B. Sheridan Collection
Richard B. Sheridan papers
Finding aid prepared by adc. Finding aid encoded by adc. Finding aid revised by cmp, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for portions of the processing of this collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Richard B. Sheridan papers, RH MS 1468, 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