Library Purchases Kansas City Star Archives for Public Use

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
laptop and phone viewin digitized archives

The Kansas City Public Library has purchased the digitized archives of The Kansas City Star and Kansas City Timesdigitized archives from 1880-1990. These archives will complement the existing NewsBank subscription that gives patrons access to The Star from 1991 to today.

Patrons can now simultaneously conduct a keyword search of the entire collection, including classified ads and images. Images are not included with the texts from 1991-2013 but are available on microfilm.

“I’m excited for our patrons," Special Collections Manager Jeremy Drouin says, "because this purchase unlocks thousands of articles that would otherwise be difficult to locate without knowing the exact dates of publication.”

The system is especially user friendly for students, educators, and researchers; it automatically generates citations and features quick sharing via Google Classroom or email and can easily save articles to personal folders.

front page of newspaper from 1880
front page of newspaper from 1914

In 2018, The Kansas City Star donated a portion of its records (from 1829-2007) to the Missouri Valley Special Collections. The 86 boxes, four volumes, and three map drawer folders materials document the history of the newspaper and its founding family and are available to researchers who visit the Central Library.

While the acquisition of those records in 2018 deepened the partnership between the city’s library and newspaper of record and the city’s newspaper of record, the purchase of the historical archives broadens it. And Drouin says it is an extension of the Library’s commitment to preserving Kansas City history.

The NewsBank database can be accessed from any computer, as opposed to microfilm and the The Star’s physical records and documents, which are only accessible at the Library.

“This is something we’ve looked at for several years,” says Joel Jones, the Library’s director of library services. “It’s important for the Kansas City Public Library to own these digital archives and provide access to them to our patrons, to residents of Kansas City.”

Access Kansas City Star Historical & Current Collection Now »