Born: October 22, 1911, Lawrence, Kansas. Died: February 24, 2000, Des Moines, Iowa.
Edgar Langsdorf, in Lawrence in 1911, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Kansas. Following graduation in 1935, he began working at the Kansas Historical Society. Langsdorf worked as a member of the Historical Records Survey of Kansas, a division of the Women's and Professional Projects of the Works Progress Administration, a federal depression relief program, compiling a list of early Kansas imprints. He soon became a full member of the archives staff there.
Langsdorf was activated on December 23, 1940, to one year service with the 127th Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard. He graduated from artillery officer candidate school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and was assigned to the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, a part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the famous Japanese American unit known for its motto "Go For Broke!" Accompanying this battalion to Europe, he served in the fire direction center. He was discharged in November 1945 and joined the Historical Society staff once again.
He began assisting with the Historical Society's publication Annals of Kansas and was soon named state archivist. He held this position until he was promoted to assistant secretary November 1, 1951. In 1963 he added the duty of treasurer. He retired from the Historical Society on March 31, 1977.
Langsdorf was author of Kansas: A Pictorial History and edited and authored numerous articles and publications by the Historical Society, including "The First Hundred Years of the Kansas State Historial Society," first published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly in 1975. He also served as adjunct professor of history at the University of Kansas. Langsdorf died February 24, 2000, in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Edgar Langsdorf Award for Publications is given in his memory to an author of an article published in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. An exceptional historian and writer, Langsdorf made many contributions to Kansas history, often unheralded.
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Entry: Langsdorf, Edgar
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2011
Date Modified: July 2011
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