Guide to the Kirk MacGugan Papers, 1941-1996

Processed by Claora Styron; completed by Jane Bassett Rosario
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2001
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Kirk MacGugan Papers, 1941-1996

Collection number: BANC MSS 97/143 c

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Claora Styron; completed by Jane Bassett Rosario
Date Completed:
June 2001
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 2001 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Kirk MacGugan Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1941-1996
Collection Number: BANC MSS 97/143 c
Creator: MacGugan, Kirk
Extent: Number of containers: 5 cartons, 2 boxes, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 7.0
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Kirk MacGugan papers, BANC MSS 97/143 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collections

Title: World Institute on Disability Records,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 99/148 z
  • Additional related collections may be found under the corporate author heading, "Disabled Persons' Independence Movement," in U.C. Berkeley's online catalog.

Material Cataloged Separately

  • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
  • Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.
  • Medal and a button have been transferred to the Objects Collection of The Bancroft Library.

Administrative Information


The Library is grateful to Mary Lou Breslin for her assistance in preserving and making available Kirk MacGugan's papers.

Acquisition Information

The Kirk MacGugan Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by MacGugan's mother, Ellen Wildman, in April 1997, with an addition made in July 1998.


Funding provided by a research grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitative Research.

Biographical Chronology

1939 Born in Kirkville, Missouri on February 9.
1951 Contracts poliomyelitis.
1957 Graduates from Artesia High School, Artesia, New Mexico.
1960-1961 Receives B.A. degree from Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
1962 Receives M.A. degree from the University of the Americas, Mexico City.
1963-1966 Teaches sixth and seventh grade and Spanish at Santa Barbara Christian Day School, Santa Barbara, California.
1966-1968 Lecture coordinator and discussion leader for World Civilization, University of Hawaii.
1973 Marries Thomas MacGugan, a childhood friend.
1968-1981 History Instructor, Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii.
1977-1981 Handicapped Officer and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 Compliance Officer in Postsecondary Education, Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii.
1980 Awarded Ed.D. from Nova University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
1981 Director, Projects REACH and ASSIST, Mesa College, Mesa, Arizona and Campus ADA Section 504 Coordinator.
  Conference Coordinator: Employment of the Handicapped, Scottsdale, Arizona.
1982-1983 Executive Director, Phoenix Independent Living Center, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, Phoenix, Arizona.
1983-1984 Gallery Interpreter, Mesa Museum, Parks and Recreation, City of Mesa, Arizona.
1985 Enters Ph.D. program, Department of History, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1987-1988 Client Advocate, Client Assistance Project, Protection and Advocacy System,
1988-1989 Consultant, Protection and Advocacy System, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1990 Coordinator, Disabled Students Services Program, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  Co-coordinator, Self-Determination Grant, Protection and Advocacy System, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1990-1993 Physical and Environmental Disability Coordinator, California State University, San Francisco.
  Continues research and writing of doctoral dissertation, "An Interpretive History of the American Disability Rights Movement, 1945-1978."
1992-1993 Member, Board of Directors, Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund, Inc., Berkeley, California.
1993 Participates in World Institute on Disability tour to Moscow, Russia.
  Dies of breast cancer on December 13.

Scope and Content

The Kirk MacGugan Papers, 1941-1996, reflect the life of a disability rights scholar, advocate, and educator, and chronicle her academic career as an historian and professional career as an advocate, administrator, and teacher, as well as her personal life. The bulk of the collection consists of McGugan's prolific writings, along with a small amount of correspondence and personal papers.
McGugan's writing includes topics ranging from abstract historical philosophy ( The Historical Helix and The Toil Coil), to local history (the history of a bank in Poplar Bluff, Missouri), to disability rights heroes (Frank Bowe and Howard Rusk), Native American issues, and disability rights law. She often developed subjects discovered in the course of her academic or professional pursuits into published works.
Although she used a wheelchair since contracting poliomyelitis at the age of eleven, MacGugan pursued her education to the doctoral level, despite the discrimination that barred her way to libraries and opportunities for scholarly travel, scholarships, and fellowships. Much of her coursework, thesis, and a culminating project from her studies at the University of the Americas in Mexico City and Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is included in the collection. Also present is a near-final draft of her dissertation, "A History of the Disability Rights Movement, 1945-1978," and notes from her research done at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she had nearly completed her Ph.D. when she died in 1993. Of particular interest to scholars of disability rights history are the copies of federal records MacGugan gathered from the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Correspondence from MacGugan's professional career is also present, from her early years as a history instructor at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, Hawaii, to her consulting and advocacy work in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and includes her work for Albuquerque Protection and Advocacy, the New Mexico State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. Of note is her report and plan for student services for American Indians with disabilities for the Institute. In addition to some administrative records from her position as Physical and Environmental Disability Coordinator at California State University, San Francisco, the collection also includes syllabi, notes, and research materials for classes in the History and Women's Studies Departments, which she began teaching upon her arrival in 1990.
Among MacGugan's personal papers are biographical materials, awards, poetry and prose, and a number of personal journals, which include her dreams, short stories, travelogues, reading notes, and diary entries. A few photographs, newclippings about MacGugan, and posthumous tributes round out the picture of MacGugan as a teacher, historian, and an active advocate for persons with disabilities.

Container List

Carton 1, folders 1-24

Series 1: Writings, 1975-1993

Scope and Content Note


Arranged chronologically.
Divided into 2 sub-series: Books, and Articles. Consists of writings that were published or intended for publication. Final or published versions of a work is filed first, followed by drafts, including manuscripts, typescripts, handwritten notes, correspondence, and photocopies of research materials.

Books, 1975

Ctn. 1, folder 1

The Historical Helix by Gary F. Goodman and Kirk Wildman 1975

folder 2-3

The Toil Coil by Gary F. Goodman and Kirk Wildman 1975


Articles, 1977-1993

Ctn. 1, folder 4

Attitudinal Versus Architectural Barriers for the Handicapped Traveler [1977]

folder 5

An Analysis of the Implications of Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act Related to Leeward Community College 1978

folder 6-7

First Steps in Mainstreaming 1978-79

folder 8

Books and Bare Feet: Experiencing Prehistory with Hedrick Alixopulos 1979

folder 9-10

A History of the Bank of Poplar Bluff, Missouri 1985

folder 11-13

Earliest Published Images of Southwestern Indians, 1846-1851 [1986]

folder 14

Improving Services for Handicapped Indian Infants and Toddlers 1988

folder 15-23

Frank Bowe: Spokesman for the American Disability Rights Movement, 1976-1990 1992

folder 24

It Shall Be So: The Disability Rights Movement In Russia 1993

Carton 1, folders 25-32; Cartons 2-3; Carton 4, folders 1-16

Series 2: Education, 1962-1993

Scope and Content Note


Arranged chronologically.
Divided into 3 sub-series: University of the Americas, Nova University, and University of New Mexico. Within each sub-series, administrative correspondence is filed first, followed by course work assignments. Drafts follow the final version of an assignment, and include related correspondence, notes, and research materials.

University of the Americas, Mexico City, 1962

Ctn. 1, folder 25-29

Role of Mexico in the Cortez of Cadiz, 1810-1813 and 1820-1821 [Master's thesis] 1962

folder 30

Comprehensive examination notes 1962


Nova University, 1978-1981

Ctn. 1, folder 31

Administrative correspondence 1978-80

folder 32

Activities and Programs for Handicapped Women at Leeward Community College 1978

Ctn. 2, folder 1-2

The Place for a Handicapped Officer in the Governance Structure of Leeward Community College 1979

folder 3-4

Ki-Aikido for Handicapped Students at Leeward Community College 1979

folder 5-17

East/West Attitudes Toward the Handicapped and Their Presence in Postsecondary Education 1979-81


University of New Mexico, 1984-1993

Ctn. 2, folder 18

Administrative correspondence 1984-93



folder 19

Road to Hawikuh: Contact and Trade with the Greater Southwest 1985

folder 20-24

Native American Problems with Attitudes toward Illness and Disability: A Pueblo Navajo Comparison 1988

folder 25-29

"What's Mentally Retarded? Are You Trying to Tell Me My Child is Crazy?" Handicapping Attitudes: A Pueblo/Navajo Comparison 1988

Ctn. 3, folder 1-2

Women and Disability in the Late 19th Century 1988-90

folder 3-5

Howard A. Rusk, M.D., F.A.C.P. and the American Rehabilitation Movement, 1920-1972 1989

folder 6-8

Biographical Accounts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1882-1945 1989

folder 9

Historical Interpretations of the Populist Movement, 1870-1900 1989

folder 10

Analysis of Tracks by Louise Erdrich 1989

folder 11-16

Ph.D. oral examination notes and research materials 1990-91



folder 17-28

A History of the Disability Civil Rights, Movement, 1945-1978 [near final draft] 1993

folder 29

Research correspondence 1990-93

folder 30

Interviews and notes 1990-93


Edward V. Roberts, 1939-1995


Michael Winters


Judith E. Heumann


Kitty Cone


Mary Lou Breslin, 1944-

folder 31

Center for Independent Living, Berkeley Histories 1975-91

folder 32-33

Background materials 1980-93


Edward V. Roberts


Judith E. Heumann

folder 34-36

Rehabilitation research materials 1990-93

Ctn. 4, folder 1-11

The President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities records, 1947-1971 1992



folder 12-13

Proposals for funding 1990-93

folder 14

Independent Living: Preparing for the 21st Conference 1991

folder 15

"Independent Living: Theory and Practice" by Steven E. Brown 1993

folder 16

Society for Disability Studies 1991-93

Carton 4, folders 17-24; Carton 5

Series 3: Professional Career, 1966-1993

Scope and Content Note


Arranged chronologically.
The bulk of this series contains materials from MacGugan's consulting work in New Mexico and at California State University, San Francisco, both in the Office of the Physical and Environmental Coordinator, and as an instructor in the History and Women's Studies departments. A miscellany file, containing materials from MacGugan's early career as well as correspondence documenting her job searches, follows at the end of the series.
Ctn. 4, folder 17

History Instructor, Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii 1969-76

folder 18-19

Consultant and advocate, New Mexico 1978-90


Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

folder 20

Administrative correspondence 1989-90

folder 21-23

Report and Plan for Student Services for American Indians with Disabilities 1990


California State University, San Francisco

Ctn. 5, folder 1-2

Physical and Environmental Coordinator 1990-93



folder 3-9

Women's Studies 279: Women and Disability 1991

folder 10-11

History 448: History of the American Northwest 1992

folder 12-17

History 490: History of Disability in America 1993

folder 18

Miscellany 1966-93

Boxes 1-2; Oversize Folders 1-2

Series 4: Personal Papers, 1941-1996

Scope and Content Note


Arranged hierarchically.
Includes MacGugan's résumés, diplomas, transcripts, credentials, awards and honors, poetry, prose, journals, personal correspondence, photographs, newsclippings, and posthumous materials.
Box 1, folder 1

Résumés ca. 1990-92

folder 2

Diplomas 1957-80

folder 3

Transcripts 1957-91

folder 4

Teaching credentials 1962-81

folder 5

Awards and honors 1962-94

oversize Oversize, folder 1A

Awards and honors 1989

Box 1, folder 6

Scrapbook of tributes from Albuquerque Protection and Advocacy 1991

folder 7

Letters of recommendation 1963-90

folder 8-10

Poetry and prose 1964-90, n.d.

folder 11-16

Journals 1977-93, n.d.

Box 2, folder 1

Correspondence with family and friends 1969-92

folder 2-3

Calendars 1981, 1989

folder 4-5

Photographs 1941-93

oversize Oversize, folder 2 A

Newsclippings 1966-85

Box 2, folder 6

Memorial Service 1993

folder 7

Obituaries and tributes 1993-95

folder 8

Correspondence of Ellen Wildman and Tom MacGugan concerning Kirk 1994-96