Collection - Abby Lindsey Marlatt papers

Identity area

Reference code


Abby Lindsey Marlatt papers


  • 1874-1966 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

11.50 Linear Feet

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Abby Lindsey Marlatt, daughter of Frederick and Annie Marlatt, was born on 5 December 1916 in Manhattan, Kansas. She was the granddaughter of Manhattan settler Washington Marlatt and the niece of Abby Lillian Marlatt.  Abby Lindsey Marlatt graduated from Kansas State College (KSC) in 1938 with a degree in home economics and dietetics. In 1941, she earned a certificate in hospital dietetics from the University of California at Berkeley and continued her education there, eventually earning her Ph.D. in nutrition and food science in 1947.
In 1943, Abby Lindsey Marlatt donated a cookbook collection of 600 volumes to KSC that included titles owned by Abby Lillian Marlatt. This collection was the start of the Kansas State University Libraries' extensive cookery collection.
By 1945 Marlatt had accepted a position as associate professor in the Department of Food Economics and Nutrition at KSC. Her research focused on nutrition and dietary habits of school children. She was a visiting professor during the 1953–1954 academic year at the Beirut College for Women in Lebanon. In 1956, she became head of the Home Economics department at the University of Kentucky.
Abby was personally involved in civil rights issues. She helped form the Lexington chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and was involved in other organizations that included the Lexington Committee on Religion and Human Rights, Community Action Council, and Unitarian Universalist Church. Her activism influenced her demotion from the department head position in the 1960s. She retired from the University of Kentucky in 1985, the same year she received the Sullivan Medallion and the Brotherhood Award in recognition of her devotion to civil rights and social justice.
Marlatt was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in July 2001. She died on 3 March 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Archival history

The material was donated to Kansas State University by the executress (Esther Rigby) of Abby Lindsey Marlatt's estate. University of Kentucky archivist Ruth Bryan sorted and brought the material to Kansas State University. Ruth brought a second group of materials in September 2012 that we included with this accession, which received accession number U2012.21. The doctoral hood of Abby Marlatt was then transferred to the Historic Costume and Textile Museum. Also, Ruth brought a guest register in 2017 that had entries from Manhattan, Kansas, and Lexington, Kentucky. We made scans of the Manhattan pages and returned the register to the University of Kentucky.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Acqusition Source: Abby Lindsey Marlatt Estate
Acqusition Method: Donation.
Acqusition Date: 20120525

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Abby Lindsey Marlatt papers include records from her academic career and personal life. They are divided into series covering her academic work, personal life, correspondence, and publications and art.
The academic series covers her undergraduate coursework at Kansas State College (KSC), graduate work at the University of California-Berkeley, and employment as associate professor at KSC. Types of material included are assigned work, study materials, notes, quizzes, and exams. Also, this series contains items from her academic year teaching at the Beirut College for Women in Lebanon.
The materials in the personal series include documentation of her life outside academia, including information about her church, travel documents, newspaper clippings, and programs, as well as a few personal effects such as a driver's license, budget book, and guest register.
The correspondence series represents much of Abby’s adult life, although the bulk is from the late 1930s though the late 1950s. Exchanges with her parents and friends include letters, telegrams, and postcards covering topics that include her personal and professional activities, as well as social issues such as pacifism, race relations, rationing, and religion.
The publications and art series contains books and artwork from Abby's collection usually focused on Kansas and KSC.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

These documents represent the life of a member of a prominent Manhattan family as well as a Kansas State College graduate and faculty member.


System of arrangement

This collection is arranged into four series: 1) Academic; 2) Personal; 3) Correspondence; 4) Publications and Art.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No Access restrictions: All materials are open for research.

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

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Notes area


Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], Abby Lindsey Marlatt papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

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Rules and/or conventions used

Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Basic editing and formatting revisions made in June 2015.


  • English



Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: James Smith
Processing Info: Project archivist James Smith processed and described materials and university archivist Cliff Hight reviewed the finding aid in late 2013.
Publication Date: 2013-11-05

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: All