|Abstract||Mildred Kittell Ray was born in Halstead, Kansas, on September 22, 1895. An avid collector of postcards (buttons, too), Mrs. Ray, at the age of 72, initiated a column in the Kansas City Times and Kansas City Star entitled "A Postcard from Old Kansas City." The columns ran for 23 years. They proved to be extremely popular with the reading public, and two selected sets of articles were collected and published in book form; the first volume won a national design award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts. |
The collection consists of over 16,000 postcards and materials associated with Mrs. Ray's writing career. Subjects in the postcards include Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas, the other states of the US, a large number of foreign countries, an assortment of different topics (humor, holidays, etc.), and card format (wood, leather, copper, etc.). Items related to Mrs. Ray's career as a writer include: correspondence; research materials such as newspaper clippings and handwritten notes; draft, manuscript, and published versions of early "pre-postcard" historical articles; postcard articles that were rejected by the publisher; and the texts of lectures and presentations given by Mrs. Ray. Graphic materials make up another part of the collection, with items like advertising envelopes, ephemera from Emery, Bird, Thayer, and a number of photographs. An audiotape of a speech given by Dick Ray (Mrs. Ray's son), on February 13, 1998, at the official debut of the Library's online version of the newspaper column is included in the collection.