David W. Jackson is director of The Orderly Pack Rat, an historical research, consulting and publishing service he founded in 1996.
Jackson has more than 40 years of experience in personal manuscript collection. His childhood hobby of genealogy initiated at age 11 became the inspiration for his future career.
He was graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Historic Preservation--Archives Studies from Southeast Missouri State University in 1993. His 20-year professional career included archivist for Unity Archives at the Unity School of Christianity world headquarters, Unity Village, Missouri; and, Archives and Education Director for the Jackson County (Mo.) Historical Society where he promoted their mission to preserve Jackson County, Missouri, history and cultural heritage. There he fielded more than 3,500 contacts annually for the Society’s Archives and Research Center; collected, conserved, and cataloged donated materials; managed a sizable and successful volunteer and internship program; developed and updated an on-site and virtual bookshop, website, and Facebook presence; presented on behalf of its Speakers’ Bureau; regularly contributed local history-related columns to area newspapers; and, wrote and implemented grants to further the nonprofit organization’s archival program.
Among numerous other programs, services and collaborative efforts, Jackson coordinated the compilation of more than 1,800 oral histories of area military veterans as part of the Veterans History Project in collaboration with the Library of Congress's American Folklife Center. In 2009, Jackson co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA), jointly maintained and operated by the Kansas City Museum and LaBudde Special Collections of Miller Nichols Library at University of Missouri-Kansas City. And, in 2017, he debuted a HistoryPin collection titled, "Kansas City's LGBTQIA History."
Jackson has been author, editor, designer, and/or publisher of many newspaper and scholarly periodical features including the Jackson County Historical Society JOURNAL and GENERATIONS [for the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC)].
He has also written several, topical guidebooks (i.e., Practical Preservation; These Walls Were Made for Talking: Tools for Constructing the History of Your House in Jackson County, Missouri; Conserving Missouri Cemeteries; and, A River Runs By It: The Story of Independence, Kansas City, and Jackson County, Missouri), and directed the publishing of several books through the Jackson County Historical Society’s imprint, including: Illustrated Historical Atlas of Jackson County, Missouri (a 2007 reprint of the 1877 original with a new, full-name and subject index); Vital Historical Records, Jackson County, Missouri, 1826-1876 (a 2009 reprint of the 1934 original with a new, full-name and subject index); a six-year research project that culminated in a 2009 souvenir book, LOCK DOWN: Outlaws, Lawmen and Frontier Justice in Jackson County, Missouri (co-authored with Paul Kirkman to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the 1859 Jackson County Jail and Marshal’s Home, the oldest building on the historic Independence Square in Independence, Missouri); and, Winding the Clock on the Independence Square: Jackson County’s Historic Truman Courthouse (2013).
In 2010, The History Press released a compilation of adaptations of some of Jackson’s aforementioned newspaper columns in a book titled, Kansas City Chronicles: An Up-to-Date History.
To celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Missouri’s famous painter, George Caleb Bingham, Jackson assisted in the 2011 production of two books that peripherally touch on Bingham’s life ( Missouri Star: The Life and Times of Martha A. “Mattie” (Livingston) Lykins Bingham, and Borderland Families: Always on the Edge, both authored by Dr. Rose Ann Findlen. These products highlighted the life and recollections of Bingham’s second wife, “Mattie” Bingham, who had previously been married to Kansas City pioneer physician, Dr. Johnston Lykins.
In observance of the American Civil War Sesquicentennial, observed between 2011-2015, Jackson authored, edited, designed, and/or published four books, Blood on the Streets (2012); and, Scattered to the Four Winds (2013); Kate King: In Fact and Fiction (2014) [replaced by A Life After Quantrill: Kate King, A Biography (2017)]; and, Born a Slave: Rediscovering Arthur Jackson’s African American Heritage (2015). A fifth book is underway.
Jackson is a member of the Kansas City Area Archivists (since 1989); Heritage League of Greater Kansas City (since 2000); and, he supports through membership several local and state historical and genealogical societies.
Recognition includes the Southeast Missouri State University Historic Preservation Association’s Arthur Mattingly Award in Historic Preservation (May 2003); the City of Independence, Missouri, Heritage Commission’s Hickman Award (May 2010); and, Kansas City Area Archivists' Fellow Award (June 2010).
Through The Orderly Pack Rat imprint, Jackson continues to research, write and/or edit, design and publish several local history titles.