News from the Dean: Where new discoveries begin—LaBudde Special Collections

Did you know that UMKC Libraries holds a world-renowned collection of rare and special research materials?  A treasure trove of cool and unique materials awaits you in the Labudde Special Collections, University Archives, and Marr Sound Archives located in the Miller Nichols Library.  The LaBudde Special Collections and University Archives will soon be housed on Miller Nichols Library’s 3rd floor in a new, expansive space providing plenty of room to spread out and use the research materials.  You will even be able to listen to sound recordings from the Marr Sound Archives (still on the Ground Floor) in the new space.   Leading you into Special Collections is the new Special Collections Gallery which will exhibit highlights of the Special Collections.

The LaBudde Special Collections is a place for deep learning and research using primary resource materials.  From diaries, old photographs and maps, to manuscripts and music scores, the history of Kansas City and the region will come to life.  Many research methods, public history, Conservatory, and English classes actively use the Special Collections and there have been a number of student exhibits created using materials from the collections and then displayed in the Miller Nichols Library.  Just a few highlights of the collection include:

  • The Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA), a set of over 30 individual collections on the history of the Kansas City gay and lesbian communities.
  • The Martha Jane Starr Papers, a collection of papers of one of the first female UMKC Trustees.
  • The Richard W. Bolling Collection, Missouri Democratic Representative to the US Congress from 1949-83.
  • The L. Perry Cookingham Collection, city manager of Kansas City, from 1940-59.
  • The KC Repertory Theatre Collection.
  • Mutual Musicians Foundation Photograph Collection.
  • Julian Samora Legacy Archive, a founder of Latino Studies in the US.
  • The Jay McShann Collection of KC jazz musician.
  • Arthur B. Church KMBC Radio Collection.
  • Edgar Snow papers (in University Archives).

If you come to the 3rd floor, you can also find a new study area off to your left as you get to the end of the Special Collections Gallery.  Check it out along with the Special Collections and its exhibits.  We hope you enjoy this newest addition to the renovated library space.

The renovations of the 3rd floor were made possible from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Challenge Grant and the generous donations of private funders who met the 3-to-1 challenge.