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Source: Linda Marston, 785-532-5989,
News release prepared by: Donna F. Ekart, 785-532-7452,

Friday, July 2, 2010


MANHATTAN -- K-State Libraries at Kansas State University have completed the opening round of a project to digitize U.S. Department of Agriculture aerial photographs of Kansas counties for study and research.

The new Kansas Aerial Photography Initiative includes aerial photographs taken of Riley County in 1939 and Marshall County in 1956. The photos are available to view and download from the K-State Libraries website,, by searching "KAPI" using the search box on the upper right of the page.

The project showcases one small portion of a much larger collection. In 2004 K-State Libraries undertook a project to conserve, catalog and store nearly 65,000 black-and-white aerial photographs of Kansas from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project also includes their associated photo index sheets. The original high-quality photographs, most of which date between 1952 and 1971, provide a pictorial record of the cultural and physical features of a large portion of the state.

"This historic collection of photographs will be an invaluable source for researchers in geography, history and agriculture," said Debora Madsen, licensing and metadata librarian for K-State Libraries. "It's a clear record of how the landscape of Kansas evolved through the middle of the 20th century."

In addition to photographs from Riley and Marshall counties, photo index sheets from all but one Kansas county have been digitized and made available online. The index sheets can be used to determine whether specific photographs are held, either as digital or physical copies, in the K-State Libraries collection.

Anyone interested in seeing photographs not yet digitized may request that K-State Libraries staff scan and deliver digital copies. Individuals needing large numbers of images are also welcome to make arrangements to examine physical copies and do their own scanning in Hale Library on the K-State campus.

For more information about the initiative or to make arrangements to access and scan archival photographs from the collection, contact Linda Marston at 785-532-5989 or