Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Business/Organization Records: Catalogs
Card, Printed, and Online Catalogs
Primary access to most of the personal papers and business and organizational records held by the Kansas State Historical Society is through the manuscripts card catalog in the Research Room. Since this catalog is not online, our reference staff will conduct limited searches of it upon request.
Some older collections have separate cards for each item, but most collections have one card describing the entire collection or major parts of a collection (archival subgroups and series). There are author and one or more subject cards for most collections. Title cards are usually not found unless an item or collection had a distinctive title.
Information on the cards range from a minimum of information—usually author, type of document, dates, and collection name—to more descriptive, often containing names and locations of authors and recipients of letters, information about copies in other formats, biographical or historical information, brief contents notes, information about arrangement, provenance of the collection, source or donor and copyright information, finding aids and other sources of description, published versions, information about the condition of the document, and title transcriptions and variations. Manuscripts cataloged since 1995 appear in the online catalog, ATLAS.
The Archives Catalog includes government records, collections of personal papers, records of organizations and businesses, and other original materials. Most of the descriptions in the Archives Catalog are for individual manuscript collections and State Archives records series (groups of records that result from a shared function or activity, have a particular format, or were kept together for some other reason). The catalog can be searched by keywords; titles; creators; and unit identifiers (UIDs), the unique number given to each record. The results displayed at the present time give contents information for most of our unpublished materials. Enhanced descriptions; improved formatting; and additional details such as box, folder, and microfilm roll contents information will be added in the future. For small collections and records series, only basic information is included at the present time.
For more information on these records and collections, please contact our reference staff.
The preparation of this catalog was made possible, in part, by a basic processing grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Descriptions of most collections of personal papers and business and organizational records cataloged since 1995 are available on our online catalog, the Associated Topeka Libraries Automated System (ATLAS). Records in ATLAS may describe entire collections, archival record groups, major subgroups of collections, records series, or individual items. ATLAS also includes books, magazines, photographs, maps, and other media. ATLAS is searchable by author, title, subject, author and title together, keyword, and call number. Many descriptions of archival records in ATLAS contain links more detailed finding aids for the record group or collection. Almost every record in ATLAS also appears in the Kansas Library Catalog, a statewide database of holdings from libraries throughout Kansas, and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) catalog of worldwide resources.
Portions of the card catalog are being converted to ATLAS as resources and staffing allow.
Microfilm Cataloging and Lists
The Kansas State Historical Society holds over 1600 rolls of microfilmed personal papers, business and organizational records. Most of the microfilm may be borrowed through interlibrary loan for researchers’ use in a library convenient to them.
Microfilm cataloged since 1995 appears in the online catalog, ATLAS. Microfilm also is described in the Archives Catalog.
Descriptions of older microfilm appear in the manuscripts card catalog in the Research Room and on a printout from an early database. At a minimum, microfilm descriptions include the creator or collector of the material, a title or type of document, information about the contents of the collection, exact or approximate dates of the documents, microfilm roll numbers, and any restrictions on access, use, interlibrary loans, or copying that may exist.
Information on specific microfilm publications held by the society is available by contacting our reference staff.
The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) is a catalog of manuscripts held by repositories throughout the United States. Descriptions of unpublished collections, papers, and records in repositories nationwide were issued in printed volumes from 1959 through 1993. Copies are available at the Kansas State Historical Society’s Research Room and in many university, research, and larger public libraries and manuscript repositories. From 1986 to the present, information has also been available online.
The Kansas State Historical Society submitted a number of collection descriptions to NUCMC that appeared in the printed volumes. Items currently being cataloged are sent to WorldCat (the catalog of the Online Computer Library Center, OCLC), another international bibliographic database, and our online catalog, ATLAS.