Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Newly Processed Collections at the University of Kentucky Archives

Recently two new collections have been processed at Special Collections and Digital Programs. The Frontier Nursing Service Photograph collection consists of roughly 14,000 photographs, most are gelatin silver prints. Subjects include Mary Breckinridge, Mary Marvin Breckinridge, Wendover and the work of FNS nurses making their rounds in Eastern Kentucky. The work of the FNS began in Leslie County, Kentucky in 1925 by the late Mrs. Mary Breckinridge, who remained its Director until her death in 1965. Mrs. Breckinridge decided, following the death of her two children, to devote her life to the health care of children in remote areas. In 1975, the Service completed and opened the modern, forty-bed Mary Breckinridge Hospital and Health Center. This hospital has served the health care needs of the people of Leslie County for the past 30 years and continues its operation today as a critical access hospital.

The other collection recently processed is the Frank Fitch Notebook Collection. These seven notebooks span from 1867-1873 and document the construction of an iron furnace in Estill Co., KY. At the time of its construction it was among the largest charcoal furnaces in the country and the region of northeaster Kentucky and southeastern Ohio produced a significant percentage of the countries iron supply. The collapse of the railroad boom meant that the furnace closed a mere 5 years after its construction. The Fitch Furnace to this day is considered among the most important historic sites in Kentucky.