The mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and interpret the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people. Please explore our website, and let us know how we can help. Read our recent news below...

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History Comes Alive For Lawrence Youth!

SummerProgram2014_04.jpgAfter the success of our summer program for local youth in 2013, the staff members at the Lawrence History Center were anxious to hold it again this year. With funding from the Betty Beland Greater Lawrence Summer Fund (GLSF), archivist Jennifer Williams and intern Andrew Scott worked with fifteen students this past July and August. The goal was to help local youths develop their research, writing, and public speaking skills by researching and documenting their life stories as they relate to the broader history of Lawrence.

The perception of Lawrence can be negative, so Williams and Scott worked hard to help students realize they should be proud of living in Lawrence, not ashamed. After a discussion of the positive events in Lawrence with regional, national, and worldwide impact, the students began to realize this fact. As one student said, “I feel proud now...our city is important, we've done important things...no one ever talks about this stuff, but they should.”

After writing a timeline of their lives and conducting oral histories with their family members, the participants developed topics related to their lives that they were interested in researching. These subjects included the social history of Lebanese community, the history of women in Lawrence, the history of fashion, and the development of rights for the Latino community.

The materials through which students looked included oral histories, scrapbooks, magazines, letters, research papers, photographs, and newspaper clippings. They were amazed at the large amount of history that had been preserved at the Lawrence History Center and were very enthusiastic about their chance to make new discoveries on their topics. One student stated, “This is great, I never knew this was here…can anyone come in and look at this stuff?”

Let's Talk Equality in Lawrence on September 11, 2014

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From the Research Room

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Australia, South Africa, Germany, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, Quebec and the United States. These are just some of the places that recent research requests to LHC have come from. Every week, staff and volunteers field requests for information from people all over the world. With the click of a mouse a researcher can e-mail us with questions about topics ranging from public health and working conditions to arts and entertainment.

Earlier this year we were contacted by an author from Australia who is working on a book about the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and requested some general information about its effects in Lawrence. LHC Assistant to the Director Amita Kiley searched our newspaper archive and scanned a few significant articles, e-mailed them to our researcher and, without even leaving the building, we helped someone on the other side of the world learn about Lawrence!

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