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Audio-visual collection

Construction of Topeka High SchoolConstruction of Topeka High School The audio-visual collection at the Kansas State Archives is quite diverse.

  • More than 1 million feet of motion picture film
  • More than 500 reel-to-reel and cassette audiotapes
  • More than 500 videotapes 
  • Around 50 disc recordings

Independent Salt Mine, KanopolisIndependent Salt Mine, Kanopolis Each of these formats requires a piece of equipment or machine to view or listen to the content of each item. We have reformatted some of our holdings to more user friendly mediums. A listing of motion picture titles transferred to VHS videocassettes is available at this site. These videotapes promote the use of the collection, while protecting/preserving the original film. Many reel-to-reel tapes and disc recordings have been transferred to audio compact cassette tapes for the same reason. Duplicate tapes are available for loan at no charge through our Inter-Library Loan program. The collection spans the years from 1890 to the present. The bulk of our holdings is in the 1950 through 1979 period. The most significant collections include the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway film archives, John R. Brinkley films and audio recordings, KSNT newsreel collection, and WIBW newsreel collection. The Historical Society's collection contains large holdings of audio/visual media relating to agriculture, railroads, and public health and hygiene.

Access to the majority of AV materials is limited to on-site use. Because to the size of the collection and cost of reformatting, much of the collection is only available in original format. Finding aids and a card catalog by title and subject are available in the research room. Patrons can also find AV materials online through our Archives Catalog. Patrons wanting to use the AV collections are encouraged to make prior arrangements. 

Reformatting of AV materials is provided on a demand basis. Please refer to the copy services page for further information concerning the procedures for ordering AV materials. Allen D. Birch and family gathered to listen to radio at their home in Topeka, 1920s.We require completion of our permission form and the payment of use fees.

The photograph and audio visual collections are strengthened and expanded through donations, loans, and transfers. The majority of acquisitions are received through donations and loans from private individuals. Since the Historical Society has limited funds to purchase materials, we are dependent on the generosity of our donors. Please see more on donating materials to our collections.