The Cohen Center for Kansas History is a special collection and research library dedicated to preserving historic resources in Kansas, and inspiring research, teaching, and creative work on the agricultural, cultural, economic, educational, military, and political histories of Kansas. A result of the generosity of the late Barton P. and Dr. Mary Davidson Cohen of Leawood, Kansas, the Cohen Center is located in the southeast alcove of the Barton Library on the Great Bend campus.
The Cohens donated funds to renovate the portion of the Library that is now the Cohen Center, and contributed more than 8,000 books to establish the collection. Their dream, and that of Barton Community College, was that these donations would be the foundation of an ever-growing special collection within a library that is continually advancing as the information hub for Barton and the communities it serves.
This vision is being realized, as other generous donors have since added materials in many subject areas such as agriculture, the Civil War, pioneer life on the plains, Native American Studies, politics, railroads, and the Santa Fe Trail. Currently the Cohen Center’s holdings number over 1,700 titles, many of which are sets comprising multiple volumes. In addition to the Barton P. and Dr. Mary Davidson Cohen History Collection, other donated collections include:
- Barton Community College Foundation Collection
- Angela Bates Collection
- Frederick Cross Collection
- Robert A. Fiala Collection
- Vern Fryberger Collection
- Mary L. Hester Collection
- Becki Libhart Collection
- Linda McCaffrey Collection
- Ray S. Schultz Collection
- Rex Wade Collection
- Mae Weaver Collection
The Cohen Center has holdings of scholarly journals in the fields of Kansas and western history, as well as complete printed sets of Kansas Historical Collections, Kansas Historical Quarterly, and Kansas History. Ephemera is an emerging portion of our print collection.
Details on the collection and its management can be found in the Collection Development Plan.
The books and other printed material are searchable by subject, title, and/or author through the Cohen Center Catalog. For the benefit of Barton Community College faculty and students, as well as unaffiliated researchers, we offer an annotated bibliography of monographs and another bibliography of journal articles.
Researchers and other visitors are welcome to visit the Cohen Center. In order to guarantee the maximum benefit, though, we do require the completion of a Research Appointment Form. This will ensure that appropriate staff and resources are available. Details for arranging the visit as well as parameters for use of the Cohen Center are found in the Guidelines for Access.