Local history

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Map

Fires, a hazard of the industrial revolution, often caused uninsured property owners to suffer great financial loss. To protect against such calamity, fire insurance companies sprang up all over the U.S.  Policy writers, however, could not always inspect properties in person. In 1866, D. A. Sanborn, an enterprising surveyor in Massachusetts, began creating specialized maps to help under-writers evaluate the risks.

Local History

Know Your KC History: Ads of the 1800s

Bustle ad

Did you know that the Missouri Valley Special Collections has over 2,000 19th century advertising cards?  Many of these advertising cards, or trade cards, are from Kansas City businesses and constitute one of the more picturesque collections in the Missouri Valley Room. 

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Monarchs Shine a Light on Baseball

Wilkinson Poster

There was a time when you could only watch baseball in sunlight. I grew up in Idaho during the 1950s and 60s. I’m sure I’m not the only person who remembers playing pickup midsummer baseball games that started late afternoon and continued through sunset.

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Italian Mission

Basketball

Presbyterian church, kindergarten, free health clinic, recreation center – the Italian Mission in Old Northeast was many things. As a recent donation of artifacts to the Missouri Valley Special Collections shows, the Mission was a Kansas City cultural hub for the better part of a century.

Local History

The Hyatt Regency Disaster in Photos & Headlines

At 7:05 p.m. on July 17, 1981, two walkways inside the Hyatt Regency hotel at Crown Center collapsed during a massive party. By the time the wreckage had been cleared, 114 were dead and 216 were injured. This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the disaster, and a special event at the Kansas City Public Library will explore its causes and aftereffects.

Kansas City Public Library Beta