This Guide began as a listing of resources, but soon grew to be much more. A search through the accession lists for any collection associated with a woman or women's organization, and adding the names of women in the vertical file and photograph collection resulted in a list of women historically significant, either for their contributions or their existance. Some of these women are well-known on a regional or national level, such as Representative Martha Keys, but a significant number are relatively obscure, such as Agnes Nichols Dearborn. The majority of the entries in the guide are for women who had some connection with Kansas State University, either as a student or a faculty member.
Entries naturally fell into three general categories: women with collections, women's organziations, and women without collections. Each entry contains biographical or historical information obtained primarily from the ready reference resources in the Special Collections Research Room. Collection information was obtained from unpublished registers available from the University Archives or a cursory appraisal of the contents.
The Special Collection Research Room contains a number of reference resources available for use by patrons. The University Archives maintains a complete collection of college catalogs and college yearbooks. The first distinctly student publication was the College Symposium, prepared by the Class of 1891. The next class book was prepared by the Class of 1895, followed by the classes of 1896, 1898, 1900, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908. Each of these class books had individual names. The Royal Purple was first issued by the Class of 1909 and has appeared annually ever since.
The Kansas State University History Index was created and maintained by Julius T. Willard, during the years he was associated with the college, 1871-1950. After Willard's death in 1950, Charles M. Correll continued adding information until 1965. The History Index consists of over 100,000 cards arranged alphabetically according to approximately 40,000 subject headings. The majority of the citations in the index are from the following items: Board of Regents minutes, faculty records, session laws of Kansas, college catalogs, annual and biennial reports, Manhattan newspapers, including the Nationalist, Beacon, and Mercury, as well as student newspapers, such as the Industrialist, Students' Herald, Kansas Aggie, and Collegian.
The library staff has continued to maintain a card file index to The Collegian since 1965 to supplement the history index. In 1983, the University hired it's first University Archivist, who implemented retroactive indexing of the alumni publication, The K-Stater, from it's first issue in 1951 to the present. Another innovation by the University Archivist was the Vertical File, which contains pamphlets, brochures, and flyers from academic and administrative departments of the University, as well as photocopies of articles from the K-Stater, Collegian, Manhattan Mercury and the Topeka Daily Capitol. The Vertical File is contained in six filing cabinets, arranged alphabetically according to approximately 1,500 subject headings.
The photograph collection contains over 50,000 photographs, negatives, slides and albums obtained from offices and departments on campus, as well as from individuals. The photographs are housed in six filing cabinets and divided into two sections: people, filed alphabetically by name, and subjects, filed alphabetically by subject. An index to the photographs is maintained by the University Archives staff.
Although this Guide includes descriptions of major groups of records, personal papers, and other collections containing information about women, it is by no means exhaustive. Inventories, registers, card catalogs and indexes, and bibliographies are available to assist researchers with identifying and accessing material related to women and associated topics in the holdings.Cindy Von Elling