Volume 33, Number 1, Fall 1993
An important part of Lyons Memorial Library is the Ozarkiana collection. Established in 1968, the purpose of the collection is to house and preserve materials on the Ozarks and the College of the Ozarks. Today the collection contains books as well as photographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, clippings and campus publications. Many of the items are rare, out-of-print, one-of-a-kind or not elsewhere available.
Within the Ozarkiana collection, there are several areas of specialization. These include the following:
Local newspapers, dating back to 1887, are permanently preserved on microfilm. Paper copies of recent issues are kept until the microfilm arrives.
The Ozarks Collection contains a variety of materials. There are more than 700 books that deal with the history, culture and geography of the Ozarks as well as novels and personal reminiscences by authors such as Vance Randolph, Rose ONeill and Harold Bell Wright. Although genealogical records are not actively sought by the library, the collection does contain some county histories, cemetery and census records, and lists of early settlers. Non-book items include recordings of Ozarks music, tapes of May Kennedy McCords radio program on KWTO and copies of her newspaper column.
The Vance Randolph photographs owned by the library are a significant and valuable part of the Ozarkiana collection. Mr. Randolphs work in preserving Ozark folklore and culture is well-known. These photos were taken and captioned by Mr. Randolph and are quite rare.
The Rose ONeill collection consists primarily of original letters written in Roses own hand to Vance Randolph. There are also photos, clippings and papers pertaining to Rose, author, artist and creator of the Kewpie doll, as well as her unpublished autobiography.
The Godsey collection was donated by Helen and Townsend Godsey, writers, historians and photographers. The collection includes clippings, manuscripts, photographs and interviews. A significant part of the material is devoted to the history of the College of the Ozarks as researched by the Godseys for their book Flight of the Phoenix.
Also maintained in the Ozarkiana Room is a collection of campus publications. These include year-books, student newspapers, Alumni Notes and The Ozark Visitor.
The Ozarkiana Collection is available to all researchers. The rare and valuable nature of the materials mandates that all use must be supervised and that items must remain in the library. However, photocopying is permitted fora nominal fee. There are also four librarians available for assistance. For further information, visit the library or call 417/334-6411, ext 3411.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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