Wichita State University Obtains the Gordon Parks Collection

Wichita State University has announced that it will be the repository for the papers of Gordon Parks. A true Renaissance man, Parks is best known for his photography. But he was also successful at poetry, painting, films, journalism, fiction writing, and musical composition. Parks, a native of Kansas, died in 2006 at the age of 93.

The Parks collection to be housed at Wichita State includes more than 150 boxes of documents, photographs, and other papers. Included are drafts of unpublished manuscripts, notes, and an early version of the script for the movie Shaft. University archivists believe that the boxes of materials will contain numerous surprises including unpublished poems and other original material.

The university made a payment of $505,500 to the Gordon Parks Foundation in order to secure the collection. It will take two years for the university to sort through and archive the materials before they will be available for scholarly research.