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The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Oct 29

Kansas Fair and Exposition Publications

Posted on October 29, 2015 at 11:45 AM by Bill Sowers

Most of us have been to county fairs and some of us have been to the Kansas State Fair held annually in Hutchinson.  Many years ago around the turn of the last century Kansas participated in larger fairs or expositions setting up buildings and displays promoting Kansas agriculture, ranching and industries.  Commissions/Boards were established by the state for planning these Kansas exhibits and at the end of each event a report was published listing the accomplishments and expenses incurred in preparation and presentation.

Some of these wonderful books, full of photographs and rich Victorian commentary (They knew how to write a colorful sentence or two back then!) have been scanned and are now available at the KGI Online Library.  Our collection includes:

Kansas at the Centennial report of the Centennial Managers to the Legislature of the State of Kansas (1877)
A report on Kansas' participation at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876.  The Exhibition was the first official World's Fair in the United States, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 10 to November 10, 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

Report of the Kansas Board of World's Fair Managers (1894 - First Edition).
A report on Kansas' participation in the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893

Report of the Kansas Board of World's Fair Managers (1894 - Second Edition).
A report on Kansas' participation in the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893

Report of the Kansas Commission, Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition (1899)
A report on Kansas' participation in the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition held in Omaha in 1898

Report of the Kansas commissioners to the Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904 (1905)
A report on Kansas' participation in the Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition held in St. Louis in 1904

These are not the only expositions to which Kansans have contributed.  The Kansas Historical Society has material online for you to view at Kansas Memory...   manuscripts, documents and other items relating to exhibits, fairs, centennial and semi-centennial celebrations with a Kansas connection.  The Society also has a brief entry on the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at Kansapedia.

ALSO...
The South Central Kansas Library System (SCKLS) Digital Library Initiative http://digitalsckls.info, just unveiled on Monday, includes the Canton Township Carnegie Library’s stereographs at http://canton.digitalsckls.info.  One of those collections is of images from the 1904 World’s Fair.  To date, only a handful of them have been digitized, but progress is ongoing.