Kansas City Museum to expand Hispanic history collection

Louis Trigg

The Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall recently announced the expansion of its collection of Latino artifacts, including an acquisition of the entire 30-year archives of the Dos Mundos bilingual newspaper.

Museum administrators and local Latino leaders want to rectify the omission of Latino history in museums across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

“The history of Hispanics in Kansas City has not been collected,” said local resident Freda Mendez Smith in a Kansas City Star article. “We have no depository for our stuff.”

Mendez Smith is also part of a committee to assist the museum with its collection and outreach efforts to the Latino community.

The museum’s resolution was announced two weeks ago with a presentation by local historians Daniel Serda and Gene Chavez at the Kansas City Public Library.

Chavez delivered an oral history of the local Hispanic community with local Hispanic individuals. He serves on the committee with Mendez Smith.

Likewise, Serda discussed his research, which focuses on the segregation of Mexican-American school children in the 1920s.

Both are examples of the kind of material that the Kansas City Museum wants to make more accessible to the public.

The museum already has Native American and African-American artifacts. It plans to enhance its depository with more diversity, reflecting Kansas City’s dynamic background.

Located at the former estate of lumber baron and civic leader Robert A. Long, at 3218 Gladstone Blvd., the Kansas City Museum is the city’s first museum of local and regional history.

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