Research Guide to Unique William Allen White Resources in the United States
by Kara Luedke
LI 870, Practicum
Heather Wade, Supervisor
William Allen White, known as the "Sage of Emporia", was born in Emporia, Kansas, on February 10, 1868, to Allen and Mary Ann White. He attended the College of Emporia and the University of Kansas, but never graduated from either institution. After his experiences with higher education, he took a job at the El Dorado Republican, and later with the Lawrence Journal and the Kansas City Star. He married Sallie Lindsay in 1893, and purchased the Emporia Gazette in 1895. White used his position as editor to expound his personal and political views, playing a role in Progressive and Republican Party politics locally and on a national scale. He ran for political office in 1924, fought against the Ku Klux Klan, and was involved through his work in both World Wars. William and Sallie had two children, Mary and William Lindsay. William Allen White died on January 10, 1944, and is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, one for the editorial "To an Anxious Friend," and one awarded posthumously for his Autobiography of William Allen White.
This research guide is the result of a graduate level practicum completed at the Emporia State University Archives, for the fulfillment of a master's of library science degree at Emporia State University. Creating a research guide to William Allen White was chosen for the practicum because past researchers have requested a subject guide on White, but one did not exist. Work on the subject guide was completed from January through March, 2007. Not all of the repositories contacted responded, making future revisions of this work probable.
This subject guide is meant to serve as a springboard for White researchers, as there seem to be no comprehensive research guides related to White currently available. There are two bibliographies on William Allen White considered to be authoritative in the field, which were consulted in the creation of this work. They are, A Bibliography of William Allen White, published by the Kansas State Teachers College in 1969, and, A Bibliography of the Published Works of William Allen White by Walter Johnson and Alberta Pantle, published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly, February, 1947. The former is limited to one repository's holdings - ( Emporia State University, formerly named the Kansas State Teachers College); the latter addresses White's publications, but does not give information on finding White's manuscript materials. Johnson and Pantle's work is not concerned with primary sources. It is hoped that this subject guide will be broader to provide researchers a starting point in searching for documentary sources on William Allen White throughout the United States.
In compiling this work, research was conducted online, with follow-up questions submitted to various repositories via e-mail or the telephone. Special collections and archives at various academic institutions and regional archives were looked at, but the bulk of the research focused on the University of Kansas, Emporia State University, and the Library of Congress.
There are a number of places affiliated with the name William Allen White, such as the Emporia Gazette, the Whites' Emporia home, Red Rocks, the cabins the White family owned in Estes Park, Colorado, and White Memorial Park and Peter Pan Park in Emporia which are not listed in this research guide as repositories. It could not be ascertained at the time of this writing that these places still house White's original materials. Any original works or information by or about White evidently have been transported from these places to be housed in other repositories. This is also true of the aircraft carrier and World War II bomber that were named after White.
Entries in this research guide are arranged by repository. Each entry has the repository name followed by the division name, if applicable (example: University of Kansas, Spencer Research Library). The title, date, extent, and scope and content notes follow. Where applicable, the DACS standard was used. Following the scope and content note in each entry is a note on the availability of finding aids, and a list of potential restrictions to using the collection. The repository information section contains such contact information as the address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URL's, and hours of operation of each repository. In many of the collections, particularly the Library of Congress, it is difficult to determine the amount of material directly related to White, and this is often noted in the scope and content note.
For some of the entries under the Library of Congress, finding aids can be accessed in more than one way; all access points are listed. For the purpose of this research the Library of Congress online catalog was accessed through their website at http://catalog.loc.gov/ and the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections catalog at http://www.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/.