This is the "Averill Kansas Studies Collection" page of the "Washburn University Archives and Special Collections" guide.
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Washburn University Archives and Special Collections  

Washburn University Archives and Special Collections
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Averill Kansas Studies Collection Print Page


The Washburn University Archives and Special Collections offer access Monday through Friday by appointment.

Please note all of the materials in the Archives and Special Collections are non-circulating.



It is always best to make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance of your desire to work in the Washburn University Archives and Special Collections due to both personnel and space constraints.

This is best done by directly contacting the University Archivist Martha Imparato either by e-mail at and/or telephone at (785) 670-1981.

Access Thomas Fox Averill's website.

Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection

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The Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection is an eclectic, inclusive set of materials dedicated to the study of Kansas literature through the state’s folklore, history, geography, flora, fauna, social fabric and culture.  The holdings include novels, plays, collections of poetry and fiction, histories, biographies, memoirs, letters, scholarly articles, collected folklore, manuscripts and ephemera gathered over 40+ years. Wichita author and musician Irma Wassall has donated her literary papers to the Collection.

Tom Averill

Professor Thomas Fox Averill joined the Washburn English Department in 1980. After the publication of his story collection, Passes at the Moon(Woodley Press,1985), Tom was appointed Writer-in-residence in 1986. He is also the author of two other story collections, Seeing Mona Naked (Watermark, 1989) and Ordinary Genius (Nebraska, 2005), as well as two novels, Secrets of the Tsil Café and The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson (BlueHen/Putnam, 2001 & 2003).  

In 1991 he edited a collection of affectionate essays on Kansas, What Kansas Means to Me, for the University of Kansas Press.  Tom has taught creative writing and Kansas literature for 30 years and is the founder and first director of the Washburn University Center for Kansas Studies.  His most recent Center project is a Map of Kansas Literature.

Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection

In 2009, Tom made arrangements to transfer his Kansas collection to Mabee Library, and in 2010 he worked with others to establish the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection Support Fund to enhance, preserve, increase and publicize the collection.

Tom encourages Kansas authors and their supporters to add books, manuscripts and other materials to the collection. To do so, please contact University Archivist Martha Imparato.

Several additions were announced and accepted after the inaugural lecture/reading by Steven Hind on April 21, 2010. Guests viewed the collection in its new home in glass fronted bookcases on the lower level of Mabee Library, while enjoying a variety of refreshments.

TheThomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection welcomes use by any researcher. However, due to the specialized nature of the collection, the items are available for in-library use only.

  • Click here to donate online
    If you would like to contribute, you may click here to donate online (please designate "Mabee Library" in Gift Designation 1 and type in "Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection" in Other Gift Designation).
  • ATLAS catalog
    The current list of holdings in this collection is accessible through the ATLAS on-line library catalog by selecting the author term "Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection."

University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

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Martha Imparato
Contact Info
Washburn University Archives
Mabee Library Room 103
1700 SW College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-1981
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