World War I: University Archives

This subject guide provides information on selected print, photographic, and primary resources held at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas for the study and teaching of World War I .


The University Archives, established in 1969, is the repository for the records documenting the history of the University of Kansas. While some early records were lost, numerous documents were identified and kept by various offices and eventually brought to the Archives for proper preservation and storage. The Archives is working to increase the digital availability of materials within the collections. Digital projects encompass audiovisual material, documents, photographs, and websites.

The following areas are included in the collections: Athletics, Campus Buildings, Chancellors, Faculty and Staff, Photographs, Records Management, and Student Life. 

Personal Papers

The University Archives collection includes the papers and correspondence of many KU faculty members. The collection forms an important source documenting the scholarly work and other accomplishments of the men and women who have served KU through the years. Finding aids, briefly describing the contents of the papers, have been created for each faculty member. You can learn more about those relating to WWI by clicking on the hyperlinks below to read the finding aid descriptions. 


The University of Kansas records listed below cover topics related to World War I. Click on the hyperlink to navigate to the online finding aid or catalog record. Not all record groups have finding aids; those that do not are not linked and instead have a listed description of available resources. 

Memorial Union Building Record [RG 0/22/54]: The Memorial Union was dedicated to the 129 KU students and alumni who died during World War I. 

Memorial Stadium Building Record [RG 0/22/53]: The Memorial Stadium was dedicated to the 129 KU students and alumni who died during World War I. 

Memorial Corporation Records [RG 55/1]: The Memorial Corporation was in charge of the "Million Dollar Drive" fundraising effort to pay for both the Memorial Stadium and Union. 

1916, 1917, 1918 Jayhawker- Available in Reading Room

Graduate Magazine- Available in Reading Room

  • President Wilson's visit: Volume 14:5, p. 140
  • Red Cross effort: Volume 15:7, p. 207-202
  • Strong's "Mobilization of the University": Volume 15:8, p. 235-237
  • How things changed at the University: Volume 16:2, p.45-46
  • Spanish flu: Volume 17: 1, p. 21; volume 17:2, p. 45
  • Strong's address to KU alumni: Volume 16:8, p. 229-232

Biographical Files

  • Fitzsimons, William T.: KU Medical School graduate and first official US casualty in the WWI. 
  • Bailey, Austin: Served as a Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps during WWI.
  • Wheeler, Raymond H.: Served from 1917-1919.

University Daily Kansan- Available in Reading Room

  • January 10,11,13 1916: Kenneth Pringle's letter to student body about peace ship, and military training.
  • February 1, 2 1916: President Wilson's visit to campus.
  • March 6, 1916: Governor Capper's response to the KU International Polity Club.
  • March 13, 1917: Military training.
  • April 12, 17, 19, 26 1917: "War Credit" policy and student participation.
  • May 11, 1917: "War Credit" policy and student participation.
  • October 1, 5, 22, 25 1917: Military drill officer assigned to KU, to organize cadets, senate adopts plan for military drill, students must enroll in military drill.
  • November 13, 19 1917: Drill takes organized form, government sanctions use of army uniform.
  • January 7, 1918: "War credit" policy and student participation.
  • February 22, 1918: Inspect campus for coming of draft men.
  • October 7, 8, 9 1918: Spanish flu.
  • January 10, 22 1919: Will plant grove in honor of students who died, trees for hero grove.
  • May 9, 1924: University did its 'bit'. 


  • SB/0 volume 1, p. 76, 77, 93, 105, 116: KU and the war.
  • SB/0 volume 3, p. 39: Photos.
  • SB/0 volume 7, p. 43, 47, 48, 81: Training, Electrical engineers to Signal Corp.
  • SB/0 volume 8, p. 13: Training for Signal Corp.
  • SB/71 volume 1, p. 3, 4: Memorial and the dead.
  • SB/71/99 student scrapbooks from the time period.


  • ROTC, Photographs, 1880-1956/60 [RG 29/0]: General ROTC photographs from the WWI period. 
  • World War I, Memorial Photographs [RG 0/22/54]: Individual photographs of the 129 KU students who died in WWI. 


  • Bolshevik Jayhawk statue. The artifact was sent to the School of Journalism in 1921 by a former KU student who found it in a Bolshevik prison camp [RG 23/0]
  • Black leather military shin guards/gliters worn by officers [RG 29/0].

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Contact Information

Rebecca Schulte: University Archivist


Molly Herring: Associate Archivist/Records Manager