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Barton Library to host Cohen Center for Kansas History grand reopening celebration
courtesy photo The Cohen Center is located in the southeast alcove of the Barton Library.

The Barton Community College Library’s Cohen Center for Kansas History holds a wealth of preserved historical documents, books, as well as other resources and is celebrating a grand reopening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 in the Barton Library located in the center of campus.

The celebration will feature Metropolitan State University of Denver History Professor Dr. John H. Monnet as the keynote speaker and he will be available for book signings. Light refreshments will be served and tours will be available. 

Barton Library Director Darren Ivey said it’s a very exciting time. 

“The Cohen Center is being rebranded as a ‘special collection and research library’ that is an accumulation of rare or important primary and secondary sources on Kansas, the Great Plains, and the American West. The collection will focus in part on ‘Bleeding Kansas’ and Kansas units and soldiers who fought during the Civil War in Missouri, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), as well as in Georgia and Alabama. We will also touch on northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado due to our emphasis on the Santa Fe Trail. Additionally, we have a collection of ethnographic and ethnohistorical works on the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, Southern Arapaho, Wichita, Osage, and several other tribes.”

Ivey said his goal is to make this resource widely- known and available for all who can benefit from its use.

“First and foremost, we want the collection to be a teaching resource for Barton faculty and students, and to area middle- and high-school educators, tutors, and home school parents,” he said. “However, we are also reaching out to university history departments in the state, to county historical societies and to private historical organizations such as the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Westerners International.”

The Center is dedicated to preserving resources in Kansas and inspiring research in Kansas history. The original collection was a generous gift from the late Barton P. and Dr. Mary Davidson Cohen to the Barton Community College Foundation. Donations from other individuals and organizations to add to the collection are accepted. For more information, visit or contact Ivey at