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Peter Argersinger papers

Call Number: RH MS 1502


This collection contains photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence and essays by historian Peter Argersinger, whose research interests have included the Populist movement, rural and agricultural history, and institutions surrounding U.S. politics and elections. It also contains correspondence and minutes from SHGAPE (Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era), of which Argersinger was a founding member and president from 2006-2008.


  • Creation: 1965 - 2018


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 Peter Argersinger

Peter Argersinger was born in 1944 in Lawrence, Kansas to William and Marnie Argersinger, a University of Kansas chemistry professor and the mayor of Lawrence, respectively. Argersinger received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1970 and taught at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County before coming to Southern Illinois University, where he has worked since 1998. He is now a Professor Emeritus in History at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

Argersinger's research interests have focused on the Populist movement in the United States, which originated in Kansas in the 1890s. He has also researched "New Institutionalism," U.S.-based history that focuses on the interaction of political decisions and structural constraints, publishing on such topics as ballot format, nomination procedures, gerrymandering, and election laws. His expertise in this area has led to his involvement in several cases heard before the United States Supreme Court, signing onto amicus curiae (friends of the court) briefs regarding voter suppression, ballot access, and gerrymandering. Additionally, Argersinger has studied U.S. rural history.

Argersinger was actively involved in the development of quantitative social history, which had its beginnings in the 1960s. He was a founding member of the Social Science History Association (SSHA) and of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE), later serving as SHGAPE's president. He has also co-authored a major university textbook in U.S. history.

Publications Argersinger has written by himself or co-authored include Populism and Politics: William Alfred Peffer and the People’s Party (1974); Populism: Its Rise and Fall (1992); and Twentieth-Century America: A Social and Political History (2005).


4 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Physical arrangement of the collection remains as it was when Peter Argersinger donated the collection to Spencer Research Library. Intellectually, the collection has been organized into three series: materials related to Argersinger's publications and writings, including works he co-authored and edited; general correspondence and papers documenting Argersinger's career; and materials related to professional organizations and conferences with which Argersinger has been affiliated.

Physical Location

RH MS 1502

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Peter Argersinger, 2019.

Guide to the Peter Argersinger Collection
Peter Argersinger papers
Finding aid prepared by gem. Finding aid encoded by gem.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Peter Argersinger papers, RH MS 1502, 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