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Katie Armitage papers

Call Number: RH MS 1479


This collection of Lawrence, Kansas-based historian Katie Hart Armitage's papers includes Armitage's correspondence spanning from the 1970s until 2016, as well as her historical research materials and preparatory notes for tours and presentations centered primarily on the American Civil War, the Oregon-California Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail.


  • Creation: 1953 - 2017


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 Katie Armitage

Katie Hart Armitage is a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent historian whose research interests concentrate primarily on the history of the local area, particularly the American Civil War, including Quantrill's Raid and Order No. 11, as well as the 19th century overland trails to the Western territories of the United States, such as the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails.

Armitage has worked both in a voluntary and in an official capacity at the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence and the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka, as researcher, consultant, educator, and tour guide. She is a talented presenter and has given presentations on various historical topics to a wide variety of audiences at conferences, events, workshops, programs, and conventions, both in Douglas County and further afield.

Armitage is the author of several books relating to Lawrence history, including Food in Kansas: A Cookbook for Young Kansans with Historical and Nutritional Information (1986); Nineteenth Century Houses in Lawrence, Kansas (1991); On the Hill: A Photographic History of the University of Kansas (2007); and Lawrence: Survivors of Quantrill's Raid (2010).

Armitage has been active in the Lawrence community for decades, participating in dozens of local projects and sitting on several committees, including the site study committee at the Lawrence Arts Center during its planning project. She has been an active participant and organizer of local commemorative historical events, particularly relating to the Civil War and the overland trails.

Katie Armitage is married to Kenneth Armitage, a professor emeritus of biology at the University of Kansas. One of their children, Karole, is a professional ballet dancer and choreographer.


6.75 Linear Feet (8 boxes + 3 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection has been arranged into three series: Programs and special projects, Correspondence and Lawrence community materials, and Research materials. The "Programs and special projects" series includes notes and research related to specific programs and talks given by Armitage, as well as smaller-scale research projects. "Correspondence and Lawrence community materials" includes Armitage's correspondence from specific years and people, as well as documents relating to Lawrence community history and events. The final series, "Research materials," includes a substantial portion of Armitage's research materials relating to her main topics of interest: the American Civil War, the overland trails, and Kansas history.

Armitage's original file names have been preserved to the greatest extent possible, and file dates refer to the dates of the research/correspondence materials rather than the historical time period discussed within the file.

Physical Location

RH MS 1479

Physical Location

RH MS Q451

Physical Location

RH MS R447

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Katie Armitage, 2009, 2010, 2017.

Related Materials

Materials relating to educational issues in Lawrence, Kan., RH MS 272, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

John C. Johnson Collection, RH MS 1476, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

"Diary of Daily Life, Lawrence, Kansas: Elizabeth Duncan in 1864," RH MS P753, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

"Kids, Let's Make a Mud Fort" workshop materials, RH PH P2798, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Katie Armitage research on African Americans in Douglas County, Kansas, RH MS 1390, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Separated Materials

Midwest Battlfield Update/Midwest Region Battlefield Update, located in Spencer Research Library at RH Ser D3375.


Guide to the Katie Armitage Collection
Katie Armitage papers
Finding aid prepared by vej, 2019. Finding aid encoded by vej, 2019. Finding aid revised by eje, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Katie Armitage papers, RH MS 1479, 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