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Western Trails Project - About the Project

The Kansas Historical Society joined a collaborative project to digitize collections relating Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 1867to Western Trails. The project built on the successful Colorado Digitization Program (CPD), which organized a consortium of Colorado institutions to create web-based digital collections. The CDP created a digital resource for the unique and special collections in Colorado’s archives, historical societies, libraries and museums. With funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Colorado Digitization Program extended their boundaries to include Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. Four Kansas institutions participated in the Western Trails Project: Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, Kansas Heritage Center, Dodge City, Wichita State University, Wichita, and the Kansas Collection, University of Kansas, Lawrence.

The Historical Society digitized photographs, printed materials, maps, and broadsides that document several facets of transportation across Kansas. We selected materials from four collections in the Library/Archives: 1. Alexander Gardner stereograph collection showing the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division’s progress across Kansas, 2. Railroad land sales promotion and emigrant pamphlets for the three major railroads that traversed Kansas, 3. Early automobile travel guides, and 4. Photographs from the L. W. Halbe collection documenting the change from horses to horsepower in the small agricultural community of Dorrance, Kansas.