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Kanka Finding Aid - HTML

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Inventory of the James George Kanka Papers, 1932 - 1963


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Descriptive Summary
Repository: Benedictine University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Creator: James George Kanka.
Title: James George Kanka Papers, 1932 - 1963
Language of Material: Correspondence in English, Czech, and French
Abstract: James George (Vaclav) Kanka was an author and a reporter for the Chicago Czech-language newspaper Daily Narod. He was born in 1896, probably in Bohemia or Moravia, and moved to Chicago in the early 1920s.
Collection consists of correspondence received by Kanka from political and military figures in various countries. Kanka sent copies of Czech-language books he authored to these individuals and received their responses of thanks, which he then compiled. Notable responses received by Kanka include letters from Anton Cermak, Faik Komitza, T.J. Carney, Carter H. Harrison Jr., A.A. Bickford, Henrik Kauffmann, Samuel Alphonsus Cardinal Stritch, Malvina C. Thompson, Dwight Eisenhower, George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Adlai Stevenson, Richard J. Daley, Evelyn Lincoln, Herbert Hoover, and Allen W. Dulles. Also included are letters from the secretaries of several African and European kings, as well as from the private secretary to Mahatma Gandhi.
Extent: .5 linear feet, 1 document case

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

None.


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Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James George Kanka Papers SC-102, Archives and Special Collections, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL, USA.


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Acquisitions Information

Source unknown.


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Processing Information

Processed by Benn P. Joseph, March, 2007

Encoded by Benn P. Joseph, March, 2007


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Biographical Note

James George Kanka (also known as Vaclav Kanka, and sometimes Vaclav Kankovi or Vaclav Kanka-Pruhonicky) was an author and a reporter for the Chicago Czech-language newspaper Daily Narod headquartered at 1637 South Allport Street in Chicago. He was born in 1896, probably in Bohemia or Moravia, and probably moved to Chicago some time in the early 1920s to work for Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Kanka worked for Sears from 1923-1932, at which time he likely began working for Daily Narod. His book "Memoirs of my Life" (Vzpominky z meho zivota) was first published in 1938 by the Czech Benedictine Press (publisher of Daily Narod), and Kanka began sending copies to well-known political, religious, and military figures. After receiving numerous responses, Kanka reissued "Memoirs of my Life" in 1943 as "A Czech Book in All Countries of the World: Memoirs of my Life", and continued sending them to notable individuals.


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Collection Overview

Collection consists of correspondence received by Kanka from political and military figures in various countries. Kanka sent copies of Czech-language books he authored to these individuals and received their responses of thanks, which he then compiled. Notable responses received by Kanka include letters from Anton Cermak, Faik Komitza, T.J. Carney, Carter H. Harrison Jr., A.A. Bickford, Henrik Kauffmann, Samuel Alphonsus Cardinal Stritch, Francisco Franco, Malvina C. Thompson, Dwight Eisenhower, George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Adlai Stevenson, Richard J. Daley, Evelyn Lincoln, Herbert Hoover, and Allen W. Dulles. Also included are letters from the secretaries of several African and European kings, as well as from the private secretary to Mahatma Gandhi.

In addition to correspondence, the collection also includes three essays by B.V. Lastuvka, as well as pages taken from Daily Narod.

Collection Arrangement

Correspondence is arranged chronologically; other materials have been left in their original order.

1. Correspondence, 1932-1963
2. Other materials

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Online Catalog Headings

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

Bohemian Benedictine Press.
Cermak, Anton Joseph, 1873-1933.
Dulles, Allen Welsh, 1893-1969.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
Franco, Francisco, 1892-1975.
Harrison, Carter H. (Carter Henry), 1860-1953.
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
Kanka, Vaclav, 1896- .
King, Ernest Joseph, 1878-1956.
MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
Patton, George S. (George Smith), 1885-1945.
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965.
Stritch, Cardinal (Samuel Alphonsus), 1887-1958.
Thompson, Malvina, 1893-1953.

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Related Collections

Additional correspondence received by Kanka is held in the archives of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Ill.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1932-1963.
About 90 items.
Arrangement: chronological.
Folder 1 1932
Folder 2 1938
Folder 3 1939
Folder 4 1940
Folder 5 1941
Folder 6 1942
Folder 7 1943
Folder 8 1944
Folder 9 1945
Folder 10 1947
Folder 11 1953
Folder 12 1955
Folder 13 1956
Folder 14 1957
Folder 15 1958
Folder 16 1959
Folder 17 1960
Folder 18 1961
Folder 19 1963
Folder 20 undated
2. Other materials.
10 items.
Arrangement: original order.
Folder 21 Lastuvka essays
Folder 22 Daily Narod