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University Relations

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October 12, 2005
Contact: Becky Schulte, (785) 864-2024 or William Crowe, (785) 864-4970.

Wilcox Collection of political literature to celebrate 40 years at KU

LAWRENCE -- One of the largest collections of left- and right-wing American political literature -- including nearly 10,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals and more than 100,000 fliers, brochures, mailings, clippings and bumper stickers -- will celebrate its 40th anniversary next month at the University of Kansas.

The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements at KU's Spencer Research Library was established in 1965 when the university purchased student Laird Wilcox's collection of pamphlets, books, periodicals and other materials on contemporary political activity.

Since then, the collection has grown to become national in scope and include holdings from the 1940s to the present day. It is among the largest and most heavily consulted collections of its kind in North America, attracting scholars from many countries.

KU will honor Wilcox, 63, a retired carpenter who also is an investigator and writer in Olathe, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in the Spencer library's North Gallery. Speakers will include Rusty Monhollon, author of This Is America? The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at KU.

In addition to an exhibit at the library, there will be a companion online exhibit, "Free Speech and the Wilcox Collection," at http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/.

The Spencer Research Library, KU's archival, manuscript, rare book and regional history library, is located at 1450 Poplar Drive, between Strong Hall and the Memorial Campanile in the center of KU's Lawrence campus.

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