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Guidelines for Article Topics

While the Missouri Encyclopedia is intended to be a comprehensive reference work, resource limitations necessitate a selective process for accepting entries. Potential article topics are evaluated for their significance to the history of Missouri and its region. Each approved topic is then assigned a word limit based on its breadth, complexity, and level of significance. Most published articles will be between about 250 and 2,500 words in length. The length of articles is intentionally kept short to reinforce the Encyclopedia’s purpose of providing concise overviews rather than in-depth analyses.

The subject matter of an article should fall within one of the following general categories:

Event

National or International: Events that have occurred in or centered on Missouri, or that Missourians have been significant participants in, which have gained national or international recognition. (Examples: Missouri Compromise, New Madrid earthquakes)

State: Events occurring in Missouri that have impacted the entire state. (1838 Mormon War, 1943–1944 Constitutional Convention)

Regional/Local: Events that are limited to a particular region or town, but that have had a significant and unique impact on that area. (Ste. Genevieve Race Riot, Kirkwood–Webster Groves Turkey Day Game)

Group/Organization

National or International: National or international entities that have had a significant impact on the state, or groups within the state that have had an impact on the national or international community. (Democratic Party, Monsanto)

State: Organizations or groups that have had a significant impact at the state level. (Missouri Supreme Court, German immigrants)

Regional/Local: Regional groups that have had a significant impact on their area. (Missouri Folklore Society, Missouri River Relief, Baldknobbers)

Person

The Missouri Encyclopedia defines as a “Missourian” anyone who was born in the state, lived in it for a considerable period of time, or holds significance for the state’s history and culture despite a brief length of residence. The person must have made a unique impact (especially for regional/local entries). It is not sufficient, for example, for a person to have held a notable political office; to be approved as an article topic, he or she must have made a unique and significant impact on the state or a location within it.

The Missouri Encyclopedia does not publish articles on people who are still living.

National or International: A Missourian who has made a contribution in their field that has national or international significance. (Harry S. Truman, John J. Pershing, George Washington Carver, Mark Twain)

State: A Missourian who has made a significant impact on a statewide level. (Tom Pendergast, Edna Gellhorn)

Regional/Local: A Missourian who has made a unique and significant impact on a region, county, or town within the state. (Vance Randolph, Louis Houck)

Place

This category includes geographic locations or sites in Missouri that are of historical significance: cities, counties, parks, sites such as battlefields or trails, topographic features such as rivers or mountains, buildings, cemeteries, and many others. For a place to be included as a separate entry, it should have historical significance beyond the people who built it or lived there.

National or International: Locations or sites that have national or international significance. (Route 66, Gateway Arch, Ozark National Scenic Riverways)

State: Locations or sites that have statewide significance. (State Capitol Building, Boone’s Lick Trail)

Regional: Locations or sites that have regional significance. (Arrow Rock, Eighteenth and Vine Historic District)

Thing

“Things” might be either tangible (physical objects) or intangible (activities or ideas).

National or International: Things which Missourians have created or significantly influenced that have had national or international significance. (Ragtime, Fur Trade)

State: Things created by Missourians or that occur in Missouri which have a unique statewide significance. (Missouri Mules, Missouri Fiddle Music)

Regional: Things created in or occurring in a particular region of Missouri which are unique to that area or significant to its development. (Hemp Production, Gooey Butter Cake)