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Public Libraries

Kansas City Public Library

Missouri Valley Special Collections

1951 Kansas City Flood

1951 Kansas City Flood

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

The 1951 flood was one of the most devastating natural events in the Kansas City area. The photographer of these 30 images is unknown.

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Advertising Cards

Advertising Cards

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Victorian trade cards provide not only a rich resource for researching the history of printing, advertising, medicine, fashions, late nineteenth-century culture, etc., but also Kansas City companies. The cards reached their height of popularity in the 1880s and 1890s.

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Assorted Images of Kansas City

Assorted Images of Kansas City

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

This collection, drawn from many smaller collections, consists of images of people and Kansas City places including schools, houses, churches, hospitals, street scenes, historical monuments, etc.

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Autochromes

Autochromes

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

During the early 1930s Frank Lauder employed the autochrome process to photograph homes, gardens, and landmarks throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Many of the 1200 images are close-ups of individual plants and flowers, but also include many exterior views of residences.

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Border Star Newspaper [also Weekly Border Star]

Border Star Newspaper [also Weekly Border Star]

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library; State Historical Society of Missouri

This collection includes issues of the Border Star newspaper published weekly in Westport, Missouri from the years 1858 to 1860, covering various concerns of Westport, especially slavery.

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Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra

Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Joe Sanders and Carleton Coon co-founded the Coon-Sanders Nighthawks orchestra that gained fame during the 1920s. This collection includes many photographs of the orchestra and other performers as well as photographs from Fred Edmiston, author of The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks.

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Guadalupe Center Scrapbooks

Guadalupe Center Scrapbooks

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

The Guadalupe Center in Kansas City began in 1919 when the Catholic Diocese asked the Agnes Ward Amberg Club for Women to establish a settlement house primarily for Mexican immigrants. Photographs include the Guadalupe Center Building, events like festivals and fairs, band concerts, athletic teams, camping and outdoor activities, folk festivals, and family activities.

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Guerrillas and Outlaws

Guerrillas and Outlaws

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

These 53 drawings feature members of William Quantrill's Guerrillas, the James-Younger gang, and others associated with these men, like Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby. All but one of the drawings are done in charcoal by two artists, A. L. Dillenbeck and Elmer Stewart.

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Journal-Post Photographs

Journal-Post Photographs

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Journal and the Kansas City Post merged in 1928 to form the Kansas City Journal-Post. The paper ceased publication in the 1940s. In 1998 Richard Zeldin donated about 400 glass negatives that his grandmother had purchased from the sale of the newspaper’s assets. This digital collection of some of the prints showcases sports figures, numerous celebrities, aerial views, aviation, and the Bennett bridge game murder trial.

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Judge Elmo M. Hargrave Photograph Collection

Judge Elmo M. Hargrave Photograph Collection

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

These images, taken circa 1920s-1940s, were used to document accident sites in Kansas City. They provide a unique perspective on the traditional views of streetscapes, businesses, residences, parks, and other locales.

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Kansas City 1940 Tax Assessment Photographs

Kansas City 1940 Tax Assessment Photographs

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Over 40,000 images of 1940 tax assessment of Kansas City residences and buildings by Jackson County Tax Assessor's office. Each photographic print is approximately 1"x1.5", mounted on 12"x18" cards, and organized by block. The collection does not include all photographs of the 1940 tax assessment project. Several hundred block cards are missing from the original survey.

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Kansas City Churches

Kansas City Churches

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Comprised primarily of photographs from Olive Hoggins' Centenary History of the Churches and the Westminster Congregational Church Records, this group highlights many of Kansas City's churches and their pastors.

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Kansas City Education

Kansas City Education

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City schools and school children comprise the bulk of this grouping of over 470 images. Photographs come from multiple collections including the Kansas City School District archives.

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Kansas City Photographs

Kansas City Photographs

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Brookings Montgomery was a local Kansas City photographer who owned and operated Montgomery Foto Service for over 50 years during the twentieth century. Photographs are continually added to this collection that features people and places in Kansas City.

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Kansas City Postcards

Kansas City Postcards

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

For some years, Mrs. Ray wrote a weekly column based on the some 16,000 postcards she owned for The Kansas City Star and The Kansas City Times called "Postcards from Old Kansas City." About 700 of these cards with their accompanying historical articles have been digitized here.

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Maps from the Kansas City Public Library

Maps from the Kansas City Public Library

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Digital images of maps in the public domain held by the Missouri Valley Room include state, county, and city maps as well as road, railroad, river, and other areas such as trails.

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Missouri-Kansas Conflict: Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865

Missouri-Kansas Conflict: Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Documents related to the hostilities that shook the Missouri-Kansas border region before and during the American Civil War. The collection includes photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and military records from over 25 contributing institutions.

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Native American & Western Photograph Collection

Native American & Western Photograph Collection

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

This collection of 146 photographic images includes scenes of Native American peoples in Indian Territory, Oklahoma, "Boomer" settlers and settlements, and scenes from the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. The principal tribes represented are the Ponca, Kiowa, Comanche, Pawnee, Apache, Cherokee, Sac and Fox, Otoe, and Sioux.

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Nelly Don Collection

Nelly Don Collection

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Nell Donnelly built a multi-million dollar business - the Donnelly Garment Company and the Nelly Don clothing label, "a stylish, feminine frock" at a reasonable price. Many women of the 1930s and '40s owned a Nelly Don dress. These few photos are mostly group employee shots.

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Nineteenth Century Kansas City

Nineteenth Century Kansas City

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

These late nineteenth-century images of early Kansas City provide views of the Board of Trade building under construction, exterior and interior views of the glass Exposition Building, unusual weather events, hotels, and businesses. Early transportation is depicted by bridges, street cars, trains, railroad stations, etc.

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Robert Askren Photograph Collection

Robert Askren Photograph Collection

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Photographer Robert G. Askren purchased the Harkin Commercial Photography Company. Images include the company’s as well as ones he took. They depict Kansas City buildings, parks, streets, important events, local personalities, and aerial views of Kansas City. The bulk of the collection dates from 1950s-1980s, although there are some early aviation photos.

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South Central Business Association

South Central Business Association

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

The South Central Business Association, organized in 1919, was a business group located in the area of 31st and Troost in Kansas City. This digital collection of 900 photographs includes portraits of local business, civic, educational, and church leaders as well as famous entertainers.

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Transportation Photographs from the Kansas City Public Library

Transportation Photographs from the Kansas City Public Library

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

This collection shows modes of transportation used around 1910: railroads, the newly evolving automobile, streetcars, interurban to Excelsior Springs, riverboats, and an early airplane. Few photos of rolling stock and engines appear, but views of railroad track and bridges are numerous as well as railroad employees.

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Willis Castle Memorial Photographs

Willis Castle Memorial Photographs

Contributed by: Kansas City Public Library

Primarily from the 1940s-1950s, these 340 photographs contain shots of the Kansas City market, municipal auditorium, street scenes, city officials, aerial views, and parks.

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