The Center has a long tradition of promoting original research on the American Midwest, a region which traditionally has received less attention from scholars. We encourage an exploration of the diverse people whose stories make up the history of this compelling region and promote the dissemination of this scholarship through print, digital media, exhibits, and public programming. Partnering with regional museums, libraries, historical societies, and universities, the Center’s projects encourage both a greater awareness of the region’s history and culture.

Notable Projects Associated with the Center

  • Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border
  • On Slavery’s Borders: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households
  • Heartland Green: An Environmental History of Kansas City
  • Cowtown Cool: A Cultural Atlas of Kansas City
  • Wide Open Town: Kansas City Between the Wars, 1918-1941

Border Wars Project
The Center co-sponsored the successful Border Wars Project with the Kansas City Public Library, the Hall Center for the Humanities at the Universtiry of Kansas, and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. Fifteen scholars, who actively research and write about the Civil War in the Kansas/Missouri border region, shared and received feedback on their scholarship at the workshop held at the Hall Center. Historical themes and points of connection emerged from these conversations. The scholars met again to present their revised papers at a well attended public conference that was held at the Kansas City Public Library. The University Press of Kansas published the articles in an award winning volume, Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Western Border. Many of the Border Wars scholars worked with the Kansas City Public Library on its multiple award winning Civil War on the Western Border website. The Center is partnering with the library on a similarly organized project that focuses on the 1920s and 30s in Kansas City.