Collection Summary

The Kansas Public Media Collection includes over 3,700 Kansas public radio and television programs and original materials documenting Kansas’s unique history over the past 60 years. The project will eventually include approximately 2,000 hours of programming from stations across Kansas, including KMUW, NPR for south-central Kansas; KRPS in Pittsburg; High Plains Public Radio (HPPR) in Garden City; Kansas Public Radio (KPR) in Lawrence; PBS Kansas (KPTS) in Wichita; Radio Kansas (KHCC) in Hutchinson; KTWU in Topeka; and Vietnamese Public Radio in Wichita. The collection roughly spans the years 1960-2020, and chronicles the past 60 years of Kansas arts, culture, history, and politics. The collection includes series such as High Plains Public Radio’s High Plains History, a look at Kansas state history; KMUW’s Dockum Drug Store Sit-in, coverage of one of the first organized sit-ins against segregation; news reports and public conversation relevant to the time from KHCC; stories told by Kansas immigrants from KPR; and KPR’s State of the State, the annual state address from the governor. Individual programs are also featured, including a KMUW report on the women of Wichita; High Plains Public Radio’s Hispanic Experience, about Hispanic people in Western Kansas; KRPS’ Eva Jessye & Porgy & Bess about the artistic relationship between Kansas conductor Eva Jessye and composer George Gershwin; and Hard Questions: An Examination of Racism in Southcentral Kansas, which presents diverse local voices discussing racial issues in the areas of economic opportunity, crime, and education.

Collection Background

The materials in this collection were digitized during the course of the Kansas Public Media Preservation Project, funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). During the course of this project, KMUW acted as the anchor station by acquiring, organizing, shipping, and cataloging items in this collection. This statewide collaboration funded the digitization of materials from public broadcasting stations across Kansas that resided on obsolete and deteriorating audio and video formats. Materials continue to be added to the collection as digitized items are returned.

The collection includes items from stations across Kansas, including KMUW NPR for Wichita, a National Public Radio member station owned by Wichita State University operating since 1949; KRPS in Pittsburg, a station licensed to Pittsburg State University and providing content to the four-state region (Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri) since 1988; High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, serving the High Plains region since 1977; KMUW in Wichita, a National Public Radio member station owned by Wichita State University operating since 1949; Kansas Public Radio (KPR) in Lawrence, a station operating out of the University of Kansas since 1952; PBS Kansas (KPTS) in Wichita, a community licensed station serving Wichita since 1970; Radio Kansas (KHCC) in Hutchinson, owned and operated by Hutchinson Community College since 1972; and Vietnamese Public Radio in Wichita, connecting Wichita’s Vietnamese immigrant population to their surroundings by reading and discussing local and national U.S. news in Vietnamese.