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Kansas Open Records Act

The state of Kansas considers all state and local government records to be public unless otherwise restricted by statute or regulation. This means that the public is entitled to view them.

Your Rights as a Requester

You have the right to inspect all public records during regular office hours.
Generally, public records are to be open for inspection by any person. However, there are numerous exceptions listed within the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) (K.S.A. 45-221). For example, the first exception indicates that records may not be disclosed where prohibited or restricted by federal law, state statute or rule of the Kansas Supreme Court. There may be other state statutes or federal regulations restricting access to records besides the KORA. (KORA only applies to state and local government records not private collections held by the Kansas Historical Society.)

You are entitled to be notified of the name and location of the custodian of the public record you have requested. If you request a record from a person who is not the custodian of the record you have requested, KORA requires that you be furnished with the name and location of the custodian of the record, if known.

You have the right to know why there is a delay in responding to your request. If there is a delay in providing access to the records that you have requested, you will receive a detailed explanation for the delay and indicate the earliest time and date that the records will be available.

You have the right to know why your request has been denied. If your request has been denied, you may ask for a written explanation including a reference to statute upon which the denial is based. In some cases the confidential portion of the records have been removed and you will receive only the information that is open to the public.

You may obtain copies of open records. Generally, you may obtain a copy of any public record. The Kansas Historical Society may require that your request be in writing. You will be required to pay a fee for copies of records.

The KORA does not require an agency to research questions, or prepare reports.

An agency is only required to provide public records that already exist. There is no requirement for the agency to create a record upon request.

The Agency’s Responsibilities

The Kansas Historical Society has the responsibility to adopt procedures which will provide full access to public records, protect public records from damage and disorganization, prevent excessive disruption of the agency’s essential functions, provide assistance and information upon request, and insure efficient and timely action in response to applications for inspection of public records.

The custodian may deny access if the request creates an unreasonable burden in producing public records or if the custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the Kansas Historical Society.

The Kansas Historical Society has the responsibility to act upon your request as soon as possible. KORA requires that a response to an open records request be made by the end of the third business day following the date the request is received. If more time is required, the initial response should explain the reason for the delay and state when the requested records will be available.

The Kansas Historical Society is responsible for making the copies. The copies shall be made while the records are in the possession, custody and control of the custodian.

The Kansas Historical Society may charge reasonable fees for providing access to and/or copies of open records. The fees charged may include the actual cost for production of copies, including office staff, supplies, and use of other resources.

Statutes other than KORA establish the fees charged for some records. You have the right to appeal the reasonableness of fees charged for access to and/or copies of open records. You may appeal the reasonableness of fees charged under an open records request to the Secretary of Administration.


Public record:
A “public record” is defined as any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency.

Business day:
A “business day” is defined as any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or day designated as a holiday by the congress of the United States, by the legislature or governor of the state or by the respective political subdivision of this state.

Procedures for inspecting and obtaining a copy of public records

•You may contact the Kansas Historical Society Official Records Officer and Freedom of Information Officer.

•More information may be required if the records you have requested are restricted by KORA.

• The agency may request proof of your identity.

If you have questions about your request, contact the Attorney General’s Freedom of Information Officer.

Additional information on the Kansas Open Records Act can be obtained on the Attorney General's web site, including A Citizens Guide To KOMA/KORA.

This brochure pertains to laws in effect on July 1, 2000.