Many classes at William Jewell College require students to conduct research. The online and physical resources provided through Curry Library are a great place to start, but there are some places Jewell students may not have thought to look for their research.
Kansas City Public Library – Central Library
Central Library, the main branch of the Kansas City Public library, is located at 14 West 10th Street in Kansas City, Mo. It is open Monday through Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Parking is free on the weekends and on weekdays for the first hour with validation from library staff. After that hour, parking is $1 for every 20 minutes before 5 p.m. and $2 after 5 p.m. with a maximum charge of $8 per day.
Features of Central Library include a total of 66 computers for various age groups, four study rooms, four meeting rooms, six special event spaces and the Missouri Valley Room.
The Missouri Valley Room is an archive that “provides historians and genealogists with a unique setting in which to conduct research.” There are three collections of resources held in the Missouri Valley Room: the Missouri Valley Collection on local history, the Ramos Collection on African American history and materials on Western expansion. For more information on this archive, visit its page on the Kansas City Public Library website or call 816-701-3427.
Central Library is open to the general public, but to access computers, check out materials and access certain areas of the library you must apply in person for a traditional library card at one of the many branches of the Kansas City Public Library. You must be a current resident of Missouri or Kansas to apply for a traditional library card. If you are a resident of the Kansas City metropolitan area, you can apply online for an eCard, which will only grant you access to the library’s digital collections.
For more information on Kansas City Public Library as a whole, visit its website or call 816-701-3400.
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Some people may not be aware that one of the 13 presidential libraries currently in existence is located in the Kansas City area. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum specializes in American politics and history in the Truman era or simply President Truman himself. The library and museum are located at 500 W. U.S. Highway 24 in Independence, Mo., just 20 minutes from Jewell’s campus. The library and museum are open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m., and is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
While the Truman library and museum are open to the general public. Admission is not free.The fee is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $3 for children six to 15, and free for children five years and under. Once you have paid you will gain access to the library as well as all the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibits and attractions.
Any person who is at least 14 years or older, or is accompanied by a person who is 14 years of older, can access over 99 percent of the library’s vast archives. According to the Truman Library Institute, the resources held by the library and museum combined include “15,000,000 pages of manuscript materials, 100,000 still pictures, over 500 hours of disc and tape recordings, 400 motion pictures, approximately 500 oral histories, 75 hours of videotape recordings, 30,000 books, 10,000 periodicals and 1,400 microfilm copies of printed materials” as well as approximately 30,000 objects associated with President Truman including 1,300 letters between him and his wife. Researchers can access this material in one of the library’s research rooms, which are open Monday through Friday 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and closed on all federal holidays. It is highly encouraged for you to inform the library staff that you wish to use a research room prior to your arrival. You can do so by calling 816-268-8200 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum website.
The Clay County Archives and Historical Library
For those looking for primary sources regarding Liberty or Clay County, the Clay County Archives and Historical Library may be useful. Located just several blocks east of campus at 210 E Franklin, the Clay County Archives are open Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30–9 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. It is closed on holidays and the entire week of Christmas.
Research can be conducted on-site or through correspondence. On-site research is free for members of the archives and is $5 daily for non-members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the archives, you can apply to do so online. The cost of the membership is $15 annually.
The mission of the archives is “procure, preserve, restore, maintain, study, and promote manuscripts, instruments, records, charters, evidence, and documents of a public or private nature which may have statistical, legal or historical significance to Clay County, Mo., its government or residents, or such documents as might be desirable to the association and to encourage public interest therein.” Their collection of material includes birth and death records, census records, circuit court records, county court records, tax lists, deeds, maps and atlases, resources on black history and much more.
For more information visit the Clay County Archives and Historical Library website or call 816-781-3611.