Harry Ferman Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Harry Ferman Collection
Call Number: MS 98-11
Size: 0.25 linear feet (1 box and 1 OS folder)
Acquisition: Donated by Ralph Finnell, 1998; Dick Haines, Omer C. Belden, John Heckman, and the Ferman family, 2004; Dick Haines, January 2011
Processed by: JLY, 1-2001; JZ, 4-2017
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Harry Ferman Collection mainly consists of illustrated letters from longtime Wichita Beacon editorial artist Harry Ferman and his wife Myrtle to various associates from the 1940s to the 1980s. Also included are Harry's drawings and illustrated matchbooks, as well as photographs, news clippings, and additional correspondence on Ferman and his art.


Harry Elvis Ferman was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on March 6, 1906. He became the editorial artist for the Wichita Beacon in 1929 and produced artwork for its Sunday magazine section. Publications such as Weird Tales and The Saturday Evening Post also benefited from Harry's illustrations. The audience entertained by his productions became known as "Fermanites." Harry also became well known for the illustrated letters he would send to friends who lived throughout the United States. In 1960 the Wichita Eagle purchased the Beacon and afterward Ferman went to work for Boeing as its lead corporate artist. He died in Wichita on April 28, 1973, survived by his wife Myrtle, four children, and several grandchildren.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1, OS 1 Correspondence. This series contains illustrated letters and cards Harry and Myrtle Ferman sent to friends and associates at the Wichita Beacon and at Boeing, 1944-1988, n.d. Material is arranged by the recipient's last name.
Series 2 Box 1 Artwork and Other Material. This series consists of illustrations, newspaper clippings, correspondence regarding Harry Ferman's artistic output, two photographs of Harry, and other items, 1964, 1968, 2004, n.d.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Correspondence

Box 1 FF 1 Omer C. Belden, 1981, 1987-1988, n.d.
Box 1 FF 2 Ralph Finnell, 1944-1945
Box 1 FF 3 Dick Haines, 1964-1973, n.d.
Map case OS 1 Dick Haines, n.d.
Map case OS 1 Dorothy Wood, n.d.

Series 2 ‒ Artwork and Other Material

Box 1 FF 4 Artwork and drawings, 1964, n.d.
Box 1 FF 5 CD containing scans of Ferman's illustrations, 2004
Box 1 FF 6 Correspondence on Ferman and his art, 2004
Box 1 FF 7 Other, 1968, 2004, n.d.