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Dec 18

Governors' News Releases

Posted to KGI Online Library Blog on December 18, 2015 at 2:45 PM by Bill Sowers

News releases by government officials are something akin to a "daily diary" of government agencies and administrators.  They are usually short announcements of activities, programs, memorials, calls to action, appointments, bill signings or vetoes, funding availabilities or opinions on federal, local or international news events.  They can be used to express approval or disapproval of legislation or court rulings.  On a lighter side they can also promote the participation of government in cultural or social events such as book fairs, egg hunts, tree lightings and music festivals.

An avid researcher of political history is well advised to look through these seemingly ephemeral, newsy notices.  They are often helpful in giving a sense of what government is about.

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library has press releases for three Kansas governors online:
The news releases are collected and added to KGI at the end of each year so we'll be adding Governor Sam Brownback's 2015 News Releases in January, 2016.  The current media releases of Governor Brownback can be found at: 


Dec 04

Kansas Legislative Journals Online

Posted to KGI Online Library Blog on December 4, 2015 at 11:40 AM by Bill Sowers

One of the most important tools for researchers of Kansas government and political history are the Journals of the Kansas Senate and Kansas House of Representatives.  The Legislative Journals are a detailed description of the activities of the Kansas Legislature during legislative sessions, special sessions and budget sessions. 

The KGI Online Library has a growing collection of scanned Senate/House Journals online.  At present we have volumes available from 1861-1862, 1913-1966.  This covers the initial years of statehood and the Civil War, the two world wars, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Days, the Cold War, the post-WWII days of development, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and the beginnings of social change in the 1950s and 1960s.

OK... so these volumes are not the sort of thing most of us would curl up with for a good read... BUT... they are indexed and text searchable allowing viewers to seek out issues, people and events that shaped not just Kansas but the nation as a whole during six decades.

A description of the collection with a link to the documents is available at:


Once there, click on the link at the top to access the collection itself.  Some volumes were combined Senate/House Journals while most were separated by each legislative body.  Also... for many years the State Legislature only met for regular session during odd numbered years. 

The Hathitrust Digital Library has the Kansas Senate and House Journals online from 1861-1921 filling the gap. House Journals, 1860-1921  and Senate Journals, 1861-1920 (The years listed on the Hathitrust pages are misleading.  Click on their links to see the full run of what's available)