Resources

A quick history of Lexington, KY (PDF)

Looking for something specific?  Ask our Chief Historian for insights on specific Lexington history topics.

WIKILEX: A History Hub is currently offline and being updated.  Check back soon!

LexHistory is dedicated to making historic and cultural resources available to all who are interested. To collect, maintain and showcase them, it takes the diligent work of many organizations, donors, professionals and volunteers. Here is a small but growing directory for your perusal.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Lexington Public Library Kentucky Room
The Kentucky Room collection is strongest in Fayette County materials, though it does contain a limited amount of materials pertaining to many other counties in Kentucky.

Kentucky Digital Library
Kentucky Digital Library collections relate to Kentucky history and culture and have a broad appeal on geographic, content and study levels. Featured materials are not widely available and are often unique.

Transylvania University Special Collections
The Special Collections department contains rare books, pamphlets, photographs, and manuscripts, including the J. Winston Coleman Jr. Kentuckiana Reading Room. These unique collections of primary source materials allow students and scholars to study the history of Kentucky, the United States.

University of Kentucky Special Collections
Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries’ collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn II Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary, and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Blue Grass Trust
The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, Inc. is an advocate for historic preservation that strives to protect, revitalize and promote the special historic places in our community in order to enhance the quality of life for future generations.

GENEALOGICAL RESOURCES

The Lexington Cemetery
Chartered in 1848, “The Lexington Cemetery opens into a significant community of the town’s and state’s past,” Thomas D. Clark wrote.  The cemetery’s Genealogy and Records Search facilitates finding those interred there. Website includes a downloadable map and mobile app.

HOUSE MUSEUMS

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate
Dedicated to preserving the legacy of statesman U.S. Senator Henry Clay, know as the Great Compromiser, the house and grounds have been open to the public since 1950. At its core is the five-part Federal floor plan designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol.

Hopewell Museum
Housed in the 1909-1911 Beaux-Arts former Post Office and city building in Paris, Kentucky, the museum specializes in the history of Paris and Bourbon County and also features changing art and history exhibits.

Mary Todd Lincoln House
Discover one of America’s most fascinating first ladies, wife of 16th president Abraham Lincoln. When restored and opened to the public in 1977, the girlhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln became the first house museum in the country to honor a First Lady.

Waveland State Historic Site
This antebellum house in Lexington, also known as the Joseph Bryan estate, also includes three original outbuildings: slave quarters, smokehouse and ice house. Guided tours focus on the everyday lives of the family and the enslaved people who lived and worked at Waveland in the 1850s.

OTHER

The Arboretum and Kentucky Children’s Garden
Established in 1991, The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, is a 100-acre public garden located on the campus of the University of Kentucky in the heart of Lexington with the mission “to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research and conservation.”

WikiLex: A History Hub
Currently down for maintenace, WikiLex will return soon. WikiLex is your go-to resource for contributing and learning historic information about Lexington. All entires are vetted and verified by Lexington History Museum staff and local area experts for accuracy.