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, et.al.