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Kentucky State Guide

American Memory Historical Collections

Examples of materials related to Kentucky are provided for most of the collections listed below. Search on the term Kentucky to locate additional resources within these American Memory collections.

Postcard Lincoln cabin, birth place of Abraham Lincoln.
Postcard Lincoln cabin, birth place of Abraham Lincoln. In this log cabin in Hardin County Kentucky, on Feb. 12, 1809, this great man was born.
14 x 9 cm.
The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
Call Number:
Misc. Stern

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 20,000 documents which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material.

The African-American Experience in Ohio: Selections from the Ohio Historical Society

This selection of manuscript and printed text and images illuminates the history of black Ohio from 1850 to 1920, a story of slavery and freedom, segregation and integration, religion and politics, migrations and restrictions, harmony and discord, and struggles and successes.

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907

This collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost 100 years from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900.

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Brown University

This collection consists of 1,307 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850-1920. It includes many songs from the heyday of antebellum black face minstrelsy in the 1850s and from the abolitionist movement of the same period. Browse the collection by subject to locate three titles pertaining to Kentucky.

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

This collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. Browse the collection by subject to locate thirty-one items pertaining to Kentucky.

America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA and OWI, ca. 1935-1945

The images in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection are among the most famous documentary photographs ever produced. Created by a group of U.S. government photographers, the images show Americans in every part of the nation. The collection contains more than 1,200 black-and-white and 136 color photographs of Kentucky.

America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets

This collection spans the period from the turn of the nineteenth century to the 1880s, although a majority of the song sheets were published during the height of the craze, from the 1850s to the 1870s.

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864

The Library's daguerreotype collection consists of approximately 600 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection.

An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490-1920

A collection of over 200 hundred social dance manuals at the Library of Congress published from about 1490 to 1929. Many of the manuals also provide historical information on theatrical dance.

American English Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

This collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. Browse the collection by place to locate forty-eight recordings from Kentucky.

American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936: Images from the University of Chicago Library

This collection consists of 4,500 photographs documenting natural environments, ecologies, and plant communities in the United States at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Browse the collection by state to locate nine images of Kentucky.

American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920: a Study Collection from the Harvard Graduate School of Design

This collection offers views of cities, specific buildings, parks, estates and gardens. In addition to photographs, views of locations around the country include plans, maps, and models. Browse the collection by place to locate eleven images of Kentucky.

American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920

This collection comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

This collection comprises 28,000 primary source items dating from the 17th century to the present and encompassing key events and eras in American history. Browse the geographic location of printing to locate more than 150 items printed in Kentucky.

The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920

This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings, 143 photographs, and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini. Included in the collection are two items pertaining to Kentucky.

Baseball Cards, 1887-1914

This collection presents 2,100 early baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914. Browse the collection by city to locate baseball players in Louisville.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938

The collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. Browse by states to locate slave narratives from Kentucky.

Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. Browse the collection by place to locate items for Kentucky.

By Popular Demand: "Votes for Women" Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920

A selection of thirty eight pictures including portraits of many individuals, photographs of suffrage parades, picketing suffragists, and an anti-suffrage display, as well as cartoons commenting on the movement.

The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925

This collection comprises 139 books on Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay region including first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs that capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925

This compilation of printed texts traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.

A Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment : selections from the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers

This collection documents the Civil War experience of Captain Tilton C. Reynolds, a member of the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The letters feature details of the regiment's movements, accounts of military engagements, and descriptions of the daily life of soldiers and their views of the war. Forty-six of the letters are also made available in transcription. It includes one letter from Louisville, Kentucky.

Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society

The images in this collection are drawn from the New-York Historical Society's rich archival collections that document the Civil War. They include recruiting posters for New York City regiments of volunteers; stereographic views documenting the mustering of soldiers and of popular support for the Union in New York City, photography showing the war's impact, both in the North and South, and drawings and writings by ordinary soldiers on both sides.

Early Virginia Religious Petitions

This collection presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. The petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries.

The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920

This collection includes cookbooks, photographs of billboards, print advertisements, trade cards, calendars, almanacs, and leaflets for a multitude of products. Browse the subject index to locate more than twenty items pertaining to advertisement in Kentucky.

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry

This collection comprises correspondence, articles, lectures, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, catalogs, clippings, experiment notes, and rare sound recordings.

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920

This collection documents the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage, through books, pamphlets, government documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and motion picture footage drawn from the collections of the Library of Congress.

First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820

This collection assembles rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, prints, and manuscripts collected by Reuben T. Durrett and by the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky. Browse the subject index to locate more than 300 items pertaining to Kentucky.

First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920

This collection includes diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives of prominent individuals, as well as of relatively inaccessible populations: women, African Americans, enlisted men, laborers, and Native Americans.

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. It includes "Colored Citizens of Kentucky."

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

This collection consists of 397 pamphlets, published from 1824 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics. The materials range from personal accounts and public orations to organizational reports and legislative speeches.

. George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799

This collection consists of approximately 65,000 items (176,000 pages). Correspondence, letterbooks, commonplace books, diaries and journals, reports, notes, financial account books, and military papers accumulated by George Washington from 1741 through 1799 are organized into nine series.

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920

This collection includes 3,042 pieces of sheet music published in America between 1850 and 1920. It presents a wide variety of types of vocal music: bel canto, minstrel songs, protest songs, sentimental songs, patriotic and political songs, plantation songs, Civil War songs, spirituals, dance music, songs from vaudeville and musicals, Tin Pan Alley and World War I.

The James Madison Papers, 1723-1836

The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress document the life of the man who came to be known as the "Father of the Constitution" through correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous manuscripts.

Map Collections

The Geography & Map Division of the Library of Congress holds more than 4.5 million items, of which Map Collections represents only a small fraction, those that have been converted to digital form. The collection is organized according to seven major categories: Cities and Towns, Conservation and Environment, Cultural Landscapes, Discovery and Exploration, General Maps, Military Battles and Campaigns, and Transportation and Communication. Browse the geographic location index to locate more than sixty maps of Kentucky.

Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911

These scrapbooks document the activities of the Geneva Political Equality Club, which the Millers founded in 1897, as well as efforts at the state, national, and international levels to win the vote for women. Browse the subject index to locate two items pertaining to Lexington, Kentucky.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860 & 1870-1885

This collection consists of over 62,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the nineteenth century.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Books

This collection is particularly strong in poetry and in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals

This collection comprises periodicals published in the United States during the nineteenth century, primarily during the second half of the century. The materials selected illuminate the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.

Photographs from the Chicago Daily News

This collection comprises approximately 54,000 images of urban life captured on glass plate negatives between 1902 and 1933 by photographers employed by the Chicago Daily News, one of Chicago's leading newspapers.

Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910

This collection portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories, ethnographic, antiquarian, and colonial archival documents, and other texts drawn from the Library of Congress' General Collections and the Rare Books & Special Collections Division.

Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978-1996

This collection represents a wide range of quiltmaking techniques, from highly traditional to innovative. The quilts pictured exhibit excellent design and technical skill in a variety of styles and materials.

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860

This collection contains just over 100 pamphlets and books published between 1772 and 1889 concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States.

The South Texas Border, 1900-1920: Photographs from the Robert Runyon Collection

This collection includes glass negatives, lantern slides, nitrate negatives, prints, and postcards, representing the life's work of commercial photographer Robert Runyon (1881-1968), a longtime resident of South Texas. Browse the collection by subject to locate three items for Kentucky.

Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991

This collection contains approximately 4,000 images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. Browse the collection by place to locate more than thirty images of Kentucky.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents ranging in date from 1606 to 1827. Correspondence, memoranda, notes, and drafts of documents make up two-thirds of the Papers.

Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. Browse the collection by place to locate more than ninety images of Kentucky.

Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century

This digital collection presents 7,949 publicity brochures, promotional advertisements and talent circulars for some 4,546 performers who were part of the Chautauqua circuit.

Voices from the Dust Bowl: the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941

This collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.

Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921

This collection consists of 167 books, pamphlets, and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign.

Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959

This collection documents the architecture and social life of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including exteriors and interiors of commercial, residential, and government buildings, as well as street scenes and views of neighborhoods.

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  December 5, 2013
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