Skip to main content

LaBudde, Kenneth James, 1920-2000



  • Existence: January 20, 1920 - March 15, 2000


Dr. Kenneth James LaBudde was born January 20, 1920, in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. He studied at the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota, completing his doctorate in American Studies. Culminating his career with status of Professor Emeritus, no person ever had a more decisive influence on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries than Dr. LaBudde, who served as Director of Libraries at UMKC from 1950-1985.

During his career Dr. LaBudde lived his ideas as he built the libraries. He championed the appointment of UMKC librarians to full faculty rank and status, developed the UMKC Special Collections Department’s holdings into a nationally significant treasure, encouraged the humanities and fine arts, and influenced the design and construction of the UMKC Miller Nichols Library (originally known as the General Library). Following his retirement in 1985, he spent much of his time furthering the development of the collections of the Miller Nichols Library.

In 1988, Dr. LaBudde received the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award from the University of Missouri for his lifelong dedication to scholarship, knowledge and public access to education. Too numerous to mention are Dr. LaBudde’s civic, cultural and philanthropic endeavors. Unlike any other, he was a true Renaissance Man.

Dr. LaBudde died March 15, 2000, in Kansas City, Missouri. On September 22, 2002, the name of the Special Collections Department at the Miller Nichols Library was dedicated in his honor and in recognition of his accomplishments. Nowhere else is his love of learning and commitment to Kansas City more apparent.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Collection

Identifier: MS-0139
Scope and Contents The Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Collection was received in 2000 from his estate. Dates range from 1919 to 1999, a year before his death. The bulk of the collection relates to his travels, much of which was in connection with his association with the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH). The Society would conduct an annual meeting that included historical trips or tours throughout the United States and abroad. Aside from the SAH, Dr. LaBudde took several other international trips with...
Dates: 1848 - 2000