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Gretchen Cassel Eick collection

Call Number: RH MS 1574


The Gretchen Cassel Eick collection mostly consists of research materials and drafts compiled for Eick’s dissertation, which became the book Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest 1954-72. The collection also includes recordings of interviews, some general professional papers, and materials related to Eick's book They Met at Wounded Knee: The Eastmans’ Story.


  • Creation: 1983-2017 (bulk 1990s)


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 Gretchen Cassel Eick (1942- )

Gretchen Cassel Eick was born in 1942 in Fairview Park, Ohio to Reverend Samuel and Virginia Cassel. She studied history, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College in 1964, where she studied abroad at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, and a master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1965.

After a few years teaching in newly integrated schools, Eick became a lobbyist for religious and interfaith non-profits in Washington, D.C. For more than a decade she lobbied against the South African apartheid regime and for international peace.

From 1993-1998, Eick worked on her doctorate in American Studies from the University of Kansas. Her dissertation, “The Civil Rights Movement and America’s Heartland: Wichita, KS, 1954-72” became the book Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest 1954-72, published in 2001. At the time, the book was the only one to win the Hall Center for the Humanities' Bryon Caldwell Smith Award (2003) by a non-KU teaching faculty member. The first book focused on community studies in the Civil Rights Movement outside the American South, the book has also won the University of Illinois Press Richard Wentworth Award in 2002 for best nonfiction work and the William Rockhill Nelson Award for best nonfiction by a Kansas- or Missouir-based author in 2003.

While in graduate school, Eick began teaching history at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where she taught for 20 years.

Eick has been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to Latvia, South Africa, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she taught at Dzemal Bijedic University from 2017-2020. She has published multiple fiction and nonfiction books, including Finding Duncan (2015), Maybe Crossings (2015),The Set Up, 1984: Classified Until 2064 (2020), They Met at Wounded Knee: The Eastmans’ Story (2020), and Dark Crossings (2022).


5 Linear Feet (5 boxes + 1 oversize box, 18 audiovisual items)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1574

Physical Location

RH MS R515

Physical Location

KC AV 126

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Gretchen Eick, 2009, 2022.

Separated Materials

Kabagarama, Daisy. The Drumbeat: Poetry for Crossing Cultures. Wichita, KS: Kabatoro Publications, 1996. Available at Spencer Research library at RH C12665.

Eick, Gretchen Cassel. Maybe Crossings. Wichita, KS: Blue Cedar Press, 2015. Available at Spencer Research Library at RH C12666.

Eick, Gretchen Cassel. The Hard Verge: Britain 2025: A Novel. Self-published, 2019. Available at Spencer Research Library at RH C12667.

Davis, Nina L. A History of Wichita Public School Buildings. Wichita, KS: Unified School District No. 259, 1997. Available at Spencer Research Library at RH D9923.

Guide to the Gretchen Eick collection
Gretchen Cassel Eick collection
Finding aid prepared by eje. Finding aid encoded by eje. Finding aid revised by mwh.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Gretchen Eick collection, RH MS 1574, 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