Thursday, May 13, 2010

KSPACe Digital Archive

Online State Government Publications

Just about every Kansas state government agency, board and commission has a website. Within most of these websites one can find documents issued for public viewing. These online documents can include (but are not limited to) newsletters, annual reports, special topic studies, timely notices, legal opinions, maps, posters, bulletins and pamphlets.

Years ago paper copies of these documents would have been collected by libraries and archives, processed, cataloged and made available to users within the library/archive or via services like interlibrary loan. Today more and more government documents are issued primarily, or solely, in electronic format (commonly called "born digital") and made available via the Internet.

So how can archives and libraries preserve these new electronically formatted documents for future use? Documents on the Internet come and go. A report released today might disappear off the Internet within a year. An agency might undergo new leadership or be eliminated with all the current online information deleted. The fluidity of information on the Internet can mean instant access, but it can also mean instant deletion.

Printing off electronic documents on paper would take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. With smaller library staffs and budgets this isn't feasible. In the end what works best is the creation of an electronic or digital library or archive where electronic government documents, supplied by agencies or harvested from their websites, can be collected, cataloged and made available to the public permanently.

For several years the Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS) and the State Library of Kansas (SLK) have been developing just such an electronic archive for online Kansas state publications called the Kansas State Publications Archival Collection (KSPACe). KSPACe currently has about 5,000 entries and is continuing to grow as KSHS and SLK staff add more documents to it. This collection, viewable by the public, is your virtual Kansas state government documents library.

Below are links to pages within the KSPACe website as well as some other Kansas electronic archives which preserve government documents, manuscripts, letters, pictures, books, articles, web pages and other resources. It is important that libraries, archives and other interested groups continue to preserve information about our state and material written by its residents. Internet library collections like KSPACe assure that we will not lose much of what 21st century Kansas and Kansans have given the world.

Kansas State Publications Archival Collection
  • Main Page
  • Agencies and Publication Groups
  • About KSPACe
    (You can search KSPACe or particular collections using the basic search box in the upper left-hand corner or by clicking on "Advanced Search")


    Fort Hays State University
    Forsyth Library Digital Collections

    The Kansas Collection
    (The Kansas Collection website is managed by Susan Stafford and Dick Taylor and was created by Lynn H. Nelson, retired Professor of History at the University of Kansas)

    Kansas Memory
    (Primary sources from the Kansas Historical Society. The website includes a Kansas Memory Blog:

    Kansas State Historical Society
    State Government Records
    (Territorial and state records, publications and guides. Most of the information here is not online but there are a few items which are online)

    Kansas State University
    Historical Photographs
    (This collection provides a limited selection of historical photographs preserved in the University Archives of Kansas State University located in Hale Library)

    Kansas State University
    Research and Extension Publications
    (Online publications of the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service)

    Pittsburg State University
    Axe Library Digital Collections

    State Library of Kansas
  • Kansas Constitution
  • Kansas Governors' Executive Orders
  • Kansas Governors' Messages (Transcriptions)

    Territorial Kansas Online
    ("Explore the turbulent times of 'Bleeding Kansas.' Hundreds of personal letters, diaries, photos, and maps bring to life the settling of Kansas during the fierce debate over slavery.")

    University of Kansas
    Digital Collections and Projects

    Wichita State University

  • Special Collections & University Archives
  • Images of Kansas Towns and Cities
  • A Collection of Digitized Kansas Maps
  • Wichita Photo Archives

    Article contact: Bill Sowers
    (Check out recent additions to our collection here)
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