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James L. Sellers, History Papers

 Collection — Box: 001
Identifier: RG-12-14-18

Scope and Contents

The Seller Papers consist in large part of correspondence between Sellers and colleagues at various universities. Correspondence and other documents relating to Sellers’s involvement with various historical associations and projects, as well as the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, is also included. Sellers’s interest in politics is reflected in letters from individuals such as Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Adlai Stevenson. There are manuscripts and publications by Sellers and others and notecards relating to Sellers’s areas of historical research.


  • 1920-1965

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

To inquire about usage, please contact Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. For more information see the Use Guidelines

Biographical / Historical

James Lee Sellers was born on June 18, 1891, in Sellers Precinct (named after his father), Lincoln County, Nebraska, near North Platte. The precinct was named after his father, Enoch Reed Sellers. His family moved to Indiana and later Kansas, where Sellers graduated high school before getting a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1916. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War I, Sellers completed a Masters’ degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1920 and a Doctorate in History at the same university in 1922. Sellers taught at the University of Wisconsin as an Instructor and then an Associate Professor from 1922 until 1930, when he left to become an Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska (UN). In 1932, Sellers became a full Professor at UN, a position he retained until his retirement in 1959. Sellers’s research and writings focused mainly on the lead-up to, events during, and aftermath of the American Civil War. He was the Chairman of the Department of History briefly between 1947 and 1948 and again between 1951 and 1956, and the president of the Nebraska branch of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in the late 1950s. He also served on the UN Senate. Amongst other organizations, Sellers held various leadership roles for the Nebraska State Historical Society, American Historical Association, and the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, as well as the Board of Directors for the Truman Presidential Library. Heavily involved in Democratic politics throughout his career Sellers ran as a candidate for the state legislature in 1960. He married Nellie Irene Kennedy in 1922. Nellie Sellers died in 1946. Sellers died on February 16, 1966.


3.5 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Language of Materials


James L. Sellers, History Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries Repository

Archives & Special Collections
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
P.O. Box 884100
Lincoln NE 68588-4100 United States