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L. Kay Gillespie papers

Identifier: 10-01---001

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the research and writings of L. Kay Gillespie on crime, quackery, media, social class, and miscellaneous topics. It also contains papers and photographs related to his time as a professor as well as personal documents.


  • Creation: 1859-2010


Language of Materials

Most of the materials are in English. Some newspaper articles are in German.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. L. Kay Gillespie was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on April 8, 1940. He received a B.A. in Political Science in 1965 and an M.S. in Sociology in 1969, both from Brigham Young University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California in 1976. He worked as an Administrative Case Worker at the Ettie Lee Homes for Delinquent Boys in Los Angeles, California and Provo, Utah, from 1966-1968. In 1968, he worked at the Las Palmas Detention Center in Los Angeles, California in the Training Program for Foster Parents. From 1968-1969, he served as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Rexburg, Idaho before becoming a Cottage Supervisor at the Idaho State Youth Training Center in St. Anthony, Idaho, from 1969-1972. He was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho from 1968-1972, and a Sociology Instructor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California from 1973-1974. From 1974-2010, he was a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Weber State College. Some of the committees and boards Dr. Gillespie served on include the Governor’s Committee on Cancer Quackery (1975), the Utah Medical Association Committee on Unproven Health Practices (1975-1978), the Executive Board of the Big Brothers of Northern Utah (1977-1981), the Chairman of the Utah State Youth Development Center Advisory Board (1977-1978), and the Utah State Health Project Review Board (1981-1983). While on leave from Weber, he served as a member of the first full-time Utah State Board of Pardons in 1983 and was the Director of Training at the Utah State Division of Corrections in 1984. He served as president of the Utah Sociological Society from 1988-1989, and was a member of the American Society of Criminology, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Pacific Sociological Society, Western Society of Criminology, Phenomenological Sociology, and the Maconochie Society. He has published multiple books including Cancer Quackery: The Label of Quack and Its Relationship to Deviant Behavior (1979), Social Problems: Myths & Realities (1985), The Unforgiven: Utah’s Executed Men (1991), Dancehall Ladies: The Crimes and Executions of America’s Condemned Women (1997), and Inside the Death Chamber: Exploring Executions (2003).


24.3 Linear Feet (52 full-size Hollinger boxes and 2 flat document boxes.)


Arranged in 8 series. Series 1, Crime Research, 1859-2010; Series 2, Quackery Research, 1920-1995; Series 3, Media Research, 1980-2010; Series 4, Social Class Research, 1929-2010; Series 5, Miscellaneous Research, 1954-2010; Series 6, Criminal Justice & Sociology Professor, 1955-2010; Series 7, Personal Papers, 1915-2010; Series 8, Artifacts & Oversized Papers, 1878-2010.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

There are no physical access restrictions. Collection contains compact discs and floppy disks.

Custodial History

Material was acquired from L. Kay Gillespie (2011-020).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from L. Kay Gillespie, August 15, 2011.


No accruals expected.

Publication Rights

Materials may be used for non-profit and educational purposes, please credit the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University. Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.

Tanner G. Flinders
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Weber State University Archives Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408