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Wichita State Receives Grant To Digitize Historic Mead Documents


Wichita State University received a grant to digitize thousands of historic documents from a famed 19th-century Kansas settler.

The $60,000 grant comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It will go toward digitizing more than 17,000 pages from the papers of James R. Mead, a former Kansas legislator and one of the founders of modern Wichita. (And namesake of Mead Street in Old Town.)

WSU Libraries currently houses the Mead papers. Curator of special collections and university archivist Lorraine Madway wrote the grant, one of just five grants like it awarded this year.

Madway says digitizing the collection will help students and researchers learn about "mid-19th century social, economic and cultural patterns of democracy in the west."

The university’s collection of James R. Mead papers includes business materials, personal correspondence, biographical materials and photographs from the explorer.


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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.