When the Wichita Eagle was cleaning out its building in preparation for the big move, the staff found some old ledger books. They looked interesting, so they offered them to us, and we eagerly accepted them. They offer a detailed, financially-nerdy look into the operation of our local paper.
- General ledger 1929-1947, 1948-1953, 1960. These books show the everyday revenues and expenses for the paper. There are pages for Marcellus and Victor’s personal expenses and pages and pages of information on what it cost to license comics, set type, engrave pictures, and supply street newsstands.
- Assets and Equipment ledger (1955-1964.) This ledger records all the purchases, modifications, repairs, etc for the buildings, vehicles and equipment. Here you can find out that they bought a Brown Copper Etching machine in 1944 and that they used Hoe presses to print the paper.
- Payroll ledgers (1956-1960.) These ledgers record the payroll for the army of people who created and distributed the paper. Want to know how many women worked for the paper? How many people worked in the mail room? Now you can find out!
At the moment, we have no plans to digitize these ledgers, but you are welcome to work with them here at the library. They’re upstairs in the vertical file room.