WSU officials begin unveiling Gordon Parks Papers
The first six of more than 100 boxes of Gordon Parks’ manuscripts, photos, letters and other papers were opened Friday, Feb. 22, at Wichita State.
WSU staff - including vice president and general counsel Ted Ayres and curator of Special Collections Lorraine Madway - were on hand for the unveiling of the papers. WSU Foundation donors Pete and Mickey Armstrong, along with Mark McCormick, Wichita Eagle columnist and Parks supporter, opened the first box.
Longtime donor Velma Wallace; foundation president and CEO Elizabeth King; and WSU president and first wife Don and Shirley Beggs also took part.
It will take about two years of fully processing the materials before Special Collections expects to publish an online guide, or finding aid, describing the contents of the Gordon Parks Papers.
Earlier in February, WSU announced that the Gordon Parks Foundation in Chappaqua, N.Y., had accepted a proposal from the university to receive the collected papers of Parks, a deceased photographer, author, filmmaker, composer from Kansas.
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks (Nov. 30, 1912-March 7, 2006) was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine, his many books, including "The Learning Tree," and as director of the 1971 film "Shaft."
The Gordon Parks Papers were delivered to WSU on Monday, Feb. 18.