Friday, August 19, 2016

Mortuary of Lexington, Kentucky Scrapbook

The John M. McCalla Mortuary of Lexington Kentucky Scrapbook has been digitized and is now available on ExploreUK.

This scrapbook contains funeral notices and newspaper obituaries collected by General John M. McCalla (1793-1873). McCalla began to collect funeral notices when he was a child and eventually amassed a collection of over 400 notices. The notices and obituaries in this scrapbook are primarily for the funerals of citizens of Lexington, Kentucky. The collection covers a period of over 40 years (1802-1846) and includes notices for prominent Kentuckians like Henry Clay, Eliza Todd (mother of Mary Todd Lincoln), and Charles Wilkins (then-owner of Mammoth Cave).

 Funeral notice for Mrs. Jane Luckie, killed by lightning at the Presbyterian Church, funeral held July 21, 1817
Funeral notice for Mr. John Boswell, killed in a duel, funeral held April 19, 1818

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

“Trickles” Sixty Years on the Same Campus

A typed draft of “Trickles” Sixty Years on the Same Campus, an autobiography by H.H. Downing, has been digitized and is now available on ExploreUK.

Dr. H. H. Downing was an alumni of the University of Kentucky and later worked there as a mathematics professor and men’s tennis coach. His autobiography “Trickles” details his early childhood, his student experience at the University of Kentucky, his service during World War I, and reminiscences on his time employed at the University.

Page 1 of the Preface of “Trickles”, circa 1950s

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Montgomery County Historical Society, Anderson Chenault papers

The Montgomery County Historical Society, Anderson Chenault papers have been digitized and are now available on ExploreUK.

Anderson Chenault (1826-1878) was a farmer in Madison and Montgomery Counties, Kentucky. These papers primarily relate to Chenault as a slaveholder and include bills of sale for slaves, letters, receipts, contracts, and powers of attorney.

Receipt for Anderson Chenault’s purchase of a coffin for the wife of Jim from Chenault’s farm, December 28, 1868

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Special Visitors at UK Libraries today!

The Archivist of the United States will join President Capilouto, Provost Tracy, and the University of Kentucky Libraries for the presentation of the 2nd Annual Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award. The award is sponsored by Tyler and Bess Abell who also created the Earle C. Clements Graduate Assistantship in UK Libraries. Please join us today at 4pm in the Great Hall at the Margaret I. King Library for the presentation and reception.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Coal, Camps, and Railroads Digitization Project

The University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) successfully completed work on its National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) digitization grant, resulting in online access to 140 cubic feet of materials from the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection. The materials from the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project are available to the public through the digital library ExploreUK.

 The newly digitized materials at UK focus on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The 10 individual collections document:
  •  the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd, Harlan, Lawrence, Letcher, Perry and Powell counties;
  • the creation of railroads to bring these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States; and
  • the company towns, their services and the individuals who grew up and made possible this economic development.
 These collections include the Benham Coal Company records, Wheelwright collection, Sherrill Martin papers, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company and Lexington and Eastern Railway Company records, and the Kentucky Union Land Company records. Additional details on the collections can be found at
Above: From the Means family papers

UK SCRC was originally awarded the NEH’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRC) grant for the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project in 2013. The HCRC program supports projects that provide an essential underpinning for scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities. Thousands of libraries, archives, museums and historical organizations across the country maintain important collections of books and manuscripts; photographs, sound recordings and moving images; archaeological and ethnographic artifacts; art and material culture; and digital objects. Funding from this NEH program strengthens efforts to extend the life of such materials and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.

 UK 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 Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Combs Appalachian collection and ExploreUK. The mission of the center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 Below: From the Kentucky Union Land Company records

Monday, July 25, 2016

Seaton family papers

The Seaton family papers have been digitized and are now available on ExploreUK.
This collection primarily relates to the Means family of Ashland, Kentucky, who played a dominant role in the development of the iron industry in the Hanging Fork region of southern Ohio and in eastern Kentucky. They also played a prominent part in the development of both river and rail transportation in the area and in the formation of Ashland, Kentucky as an industrial city. These papers include both personal and business-related correspondence, financial records, legal documents, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, journals, scrapbooks, and photographs.    
This collection was digitized as part of the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Calvert McCann photographs

The wonderful collection of Calvert McCann photographs has been digitized and are now available on ExploreUK.

Above: Dunbar High School student, Deloris McDowel, at a lunch counter sit-in at the Lexington F.W. Woolworth’s lunch counter

The Calvert McCann photographs (dated 1961-1964; 3.7 cubic feet; 7 boxes) consist of 20 black and white photographic prints depicting the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky. The photographs show sit-ins at lunch counters, demonstrations in downtown lexington, Louis Armstrong refusing to cross a picket line at the Phoenix Hotel, and the March on Frankfort led by Martin Luther King, Jr, Ralphy Abernathy, Wyatt Tee Walker, and Jackie Robinson.
Above: March on Frankfort led by (from left) Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ralph Abernathy; Wyatt Tee Walker; and Jackie Robinson
Calvert McCann (1942-2014) was a teenager when he began participating in marches and demonstrations as part of the civil rights movement in Lexington in the 1960s. While a part time employee at Michael’s Photography Store in downtown Lexington, McCann began to document these experiences on a Pentax 35mm camera that he carried everywhere. He photographed demonstrations in downtown Lexington, sit-ins at lunch counters, protests at the Phoenix Hotel, and the March on Frankfort led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Much of the footage he took remained undeveloped until the early 2000s when McCann gave the film to Gerald Smith. Smith used the images in his book Black America Series: Lexington, Kentucky.
Above: Henry Jones and his younger brother leading a demonstration on Lexington’s Main Street, circa 1960s