Building excellence through cooperation
The UMKC History Department collaborates with a number of other institutions and agencies in Kansas City and the surrounding area in organizing programming, funding internships, and promoting community involvement and awareness. These include:
With an outstanding collection of rare medical and anatomical books and manuscripts, the Library is housed at the nearby University of Kansas Medical Center. It has an active exhibition program and sponsors a variety of public lectures and forums.
The ESMF preserves the memory and legacy of Journalist Edgar Snow. The Foundation also fosters cross-cultural activities and exchanges between the citizens of the United States and China through a number of partnerships and programming. In 2014, the Foundation commissioned and supported The Edgar Snow Project, a digital exhibit created by UMKC Public History students.
Since 1919, the Guadalupe Centers has provided a variety of social services to the Latinx community in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood and beyond. Sandra Enríquez, Director of the UMKC Public History emphasis, and UMKC Public History students are collaborating with the Centers in the creation and design of an exhibit celebrating the history and legacy of the Guadalupe Centers for its upcoming centennial commemoration.
The League is devoted to preserving our cultural heritage and sponsors workshops and public events to increase community awareness of the importance of historical agencies.
The Museum is currently closed for renovation, but it has in the past had an active affiliation with the History Department and will undoubtedly do so again when it is reopened.
KCPL offers a rich series of public programs at both the Downtown and Plaza branches, which often include nationally prominent historians and occasionally UMKC History faculty as speakers. We have partnered with them on two major public symposia that generated new research on the history of the KC region and consulted with them on their history websites: The Civil War on the Western Border and The Pendergast Years.
The Kemper Foundation supports a wide variety of educational ventures, including building projects that benefit higher education, and it has been very generous in support of History Department public programs by funding a Digital Lab in Cockefair Hall.
The LHL is the country’s foremost scientific and technical library, with an outstanding History of Science Collection. There is a professional historian of science on staff, and a History Department faculty member, William Ashworth, serves as a permanent consultant to the Library. The Library has an active series of public programs and regularly exhibits works from its collection. Some past collaborations, many of which are also available as print catalogues, include: The Grandeur of Life: A Celebration of Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species (2009); Blade and Bone: The Discovery of Human Antiquity (2012); Ice: A Victorian Romance (2008); Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas (2007); The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo (1989); and Paper Dinosaurs, 1824-1969 (1996).
The MCHE sponsors workshops and roundtables, brings in speakers, and provides internships relating to the Holocaust and other mass atrocities. Its cooperation allows UMKC to offer a Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Studies. Drew Bergerson, a member of the UMKC History faculty, serves as the liaison with the MCHE and for the Certificate; and Dr. Shelly Cline, the MCHE’s Public Historian, is adjunct graduate faculty in our department.
The MHC is based in St. Louis, but also has an office in Kansas City. It supports museums, libraries, and public education throughout the state. The MHC also runs traveling exhibits and heritage programs and maintains a speakers bureau. They have been funding partners for many projects at UMKC: workshops, exhibitions, historical dramas, and internships. The current manager of the KC office is a UMKC History graduate student.
The Regional Center of the National Archives in Kansas City is one of 13 such centers nationwide and is an invaluable resource for U.S. historians. The center also provides internships for both graduate and undergraduate history majors.
The T/m Museum is a unique Kansas City resource, not only housing an incomparable collection of toys and miniature objects, but also sponsoring regular exhibitions on historical themes, such as the history of marble tournaments or toys from the Land of Oz. The Museum is adjacent to the UMKC campus.
The WWI Museum is a national museum, dedicated to preserving memories, documents, and artifacts of the Great War, and showing the war’s impact on the global community. It is housed in Kansas City’s famed Liberty Memorial. History Department faculty and students are often involved in organizing exhibitions and frequently take part in public programs at the Museum.
The Negro Leagues Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of African-American Baseball and is located in the historic 18th & Vine district. History Department faculty and students have in the past been involved in designing exhibits for the Museum.
The SHSMO operates six research centers in Missouri, including Kansas City. The Kansas City Center is located on the UMKC campus and contains a number of important archives, including Kansas City architectural records and the J.C. Nichols company records. The KC Center can also obtain records from any of the five other regional centers.
The Institute is the private arm of the renowned Truman Library and Truman Museum in Independence; it organizes a variety of public programs and symposia, and supports scholarship in the form of awards, fellowships, and internships. Dennis Merrill, a member of the UMKC History faculty, sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute.
The John Wornall House and the Alexander Majors House are two of the very few remaining pre-Civil War residences in Kansas City. The homes operate today as historical museums. They often engage UMKC history students as interns, and we have also partnered with them on programming and exhibitions. Diane Mutti-Burke, a member of the UMKC faculty and current Chair of the Department, sits on the board of the W/MHM.