The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements


Laird Wilcox standing in the Wilcox Collection stacks, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, KU, 1996     RG P/LW


The winners of the Taylor Book Collecting Contest, KU Libraries, 1964

Left to right: Laird Wilcox, Elizabeth M. Taylor (sponsor of the contest), two unidentified contest winners.  RG 32/40


The Taylor Book Collecting Contest (today known as the Snyder Book Collecting Contest) was established in 1957 by  Elizabeth Taylor who partnered with the KU Libraries to cultivate and recognize students' interest in collecting books.  

 Laird Wilcox was one of the winners in 1964 with his collection of political materials, that later became part of the Wilcox Collection.

Shown here are the rules and award amounts for the 1964 competition.

 WL MS 1:1.5

Snapshot views of an exhibit in the Kansas Memorial Union, February, 1964.  The exhibit was prepared by Laird Wilcox when a freshman at KU and featured his personal collection of U.S. “leftist and rightist” publications. 

From the Laird Wilcox scrapbook RH WL MS Q5

Laird Wilcox and George Lincoln Rockwell, KU, 1964

From the Laird Wilcox scrapbook RH WL MS Q5

In February, 1964, George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party spoke at the University of Kansas amid much controversy over his appearance.  The SUA Minorities Forum(Laird Wilcox was chairman) supported Rockwell’s right to free speech while they opposed his actions and ideas. 

From the Laird Wilcox scrapbook RH WL MS Q5

Student protestors, KU, 1964.

From the Laird Wilcox scrapbook RH WL MS Q5    


While a student at KU Laird Wilcox was Editor-in-Chief of this bi-weekly independent newsletter, published in Lawrence, Kansas. This issue focuses on the escalating war in Vietnam, an outline of the historical context for the then current situation, and observations about the rise of a coalition of liberal and radical students known as SDS, or Students for A Democratic  Society. RH E 17 no. 31 1965  


Poster for a documentary film shown at KU in 1964 focusing on the Committee on UnAmerican Activities (HUAC).     From the Laird Wilcox scrapbook RH WL MS Q5


In the 1980s the Curator of the Kansas Collection and Laird Wilcox worked together to develop a questionnaire that was sent out to hundreds of organizations identified by Mr. Wilcox through his regularly published directories on the left and right. Hundreds of questionnaires and accompanying material (brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, posters, membership information were received and added to the Wilcox Collection.  Shown here are two returned questionnaires.    RH WL Eph 4000 and RH WL EPH 1865