Collection - Alice C. Nichols papers

Identity area

Reference code


Alice C. Nichols papers


  • 1914-1961 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.00 Linear Feet

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

1905    Born in Liberal, Kansas
1914    Editor of The Nichols Journal
1927    Graduated from Kansas State College. Worked for Kingman Journal
1928    Moved to New York and worked for Farm and Fireside
1934    Assistant editor of Country Home
1935    In charge of publicity for Soil Conservation Service
1937    Farm programs editor for Country Home
1940    Editor of Men's Wear
1942    Worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture
1947    Managing editor of Men's Wear
1953    Worked for Artists and Writer's Guild
1954    Bleeding Kansas was released . President and publicity director of Individual Services, Ltd.
1962    Manufacturer of Bali
1969    Died in January

Archival history

It received accession number PC56 and in 1987 the accession number was revised to PC1987.08 (P1987.08).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Acqusition Source: Willed by Alice Nichols to Kansas State University.
Acqusition Method: Donation

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Alice C. Nichols papers (1922-1962) contain correspondence, notebooks, tax records, book typescripts, drafts of articles, newspaper clippings and printed material. These items document the time in which Ms. Nichols established herself as a writer from the age of nine until her death in 1969, with special emphasis on the year 1954 when her most notable publication, Bleeding Kansas, was published.
The papers are housed in five boxes constituting two linear feet. The papers are divided into five series: 1) correspondence, 2) notebooks and notes, 3) financial records, 4) literary productions and 5) printed material. Each series is arranged chronologically.
The correspondence series includes the years 1942-1961. it contains both personal and business letters. The personal correspondence is generally congratulatory during the time Ms. Nichols wrote and published Bleeding Kansas.The business correspondence deals with magazine editors of Country Gentlemen, Men's Wear, American Home, Collier's, Ladies' Home Journal and Farm Journal with whom Ms. Nichols collaborated when she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as food guide editor. The majority of the business correspondence is with Oxford university Press, publishers of Bleeding Kansas. Some notable correspondents include Milton Eisenhower when he was President of Pennsylvania State college and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Correspondents from Kansas include Robert Conover of the English Department of Kansas State College and the staff of the Kansas State Historical Society.
The next series, notebooks and notes, include notes for two literary works ("A Group of Joe Nelson" and "The Self Possessed"), geology notes, class notes, and notes taken from a meeting in Liberal, Kansas. Financial records, series three, are from 1947 to 1956. The contain U.S. and New York State income tax returns, profit shares from Western Printing and Lithographing, inc., a royalty account at Oxford university Press and the results of a trip to the Saratoga Racetrack.
The literary productions series is divided into five sub-series: 1) books, 2) photostats, 3) articles, 4) article summaries and 5) drafts. Two complete typescripts and one carbon copy are included in the books sub-series. The two books, both written by Ms. Nichols, are entitled D.A. Fay and One Destiny. Within the photostats are maps, newspapers and illustrations proposed to be included in Bleeding Kansas. The 27 articles are primarily children's short stories. They were written when Ms. Nichols was employed by Artist and Writers Guild, Inc.
The summaries of articles by Ms. Nichols include seven articles written about such topics as the Reformation, free will, letter writing, medieval church, and modern science. They were apparently completed just before Ms. Nichols' death in 1969. The drafts are hand and typewritten stories, predominately unfinished, with one finished work: "Heracitus on Essays in Optimism".
The series of printed material has five sub-series. The are 1) magazines and articles, 2) newspapers (Nichols Journal), 3) newspapers (originals), 4) newspapers (photocopies) and 5) miscellaneous. Magazines and articles are printed articles from the Century Magazine, each on a different topic, which Ms. Nichols used in her ten-year research process for Bleeding Kansas. The second sub-series contains one issue of The Nichols Journal, Ms. Nichols first publications. She published the small newspaper in Liberal, Kansas when she was nine years old.
The third and fourth sub-series (newspapers, originals and photocopies) cover the years 1947-1961. The highlight the publication Bleeding Kansas and include reviews, autograph sessions with Ms. Nichols and summaries of her book. Also included in the newspapers sub-series are articles about the history of Liberal and Ms. Nichols' parents. Cities represented among the newspapers are Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and Atlanta.
The miscellaneous sub-series of publications houses such items as a bookjacket of Bleeding Kansas, a program from the Mid-America Regional Writers Conference held at Kansas State College and a briefing from the United States Court of Appeals, U.S. against James W. Elwell and Co., Inc. and Charleston Stevedoring Company,

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

The collection relates to Ms. Nichols' life as a writer. The correspondence is both business and personal in nature and most of it concerns the publication of her renowned book, Bleeding Kansas. Ms. Nichols, born in Liberal, Kansas, was a 1927 graduate of Kansas State College.


System of arrangement

The papers are housed in five boxes (2 linear feet) and arranged according to form of the material: 1) correspondence, 1942-1961; 2) notebooks and notes, 3) financial records, 1947- 1956; 4) literary works and 5) printed material, 1914-1961. Within each series the items are arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No access restriction:  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

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Preferred Citation: [Item tiled], [item date], Alice C. Nicholes papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

This collection was originally assigned access number PC56.  It was revised to accession number PC1987.08 in 1987.


  • English



Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: Traci Hu
Processing Info: This collection was processed by Traci Hu in July of 1984. 
Archon processing by Edward Nagurny, graduate researcher assistant, June 2015.
Publication Date: 2015-06-17

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: Boxes