Welcome to The Filson Historical Society!

The Filson Historical Society, founded in 1884, is a privately-supported historical society dedicated to preserving the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley Region.

You can use our website to search various guides to many of our collections, or visit to access our extensive archival, library, and museum collection. The Filson has:

  • 2.1 million documents
  • 50,000 books
  • 10,000 museum items
  • 75 years of digitized, searchable issues of The Filson Club History Quarterly
  • 400+ portraits
  • 1,000s of historic photographs and prints of Louisville, Kentucky, and the Ohio Valley
  • Almost 100 public programs, scholarly conferences, and lectures a year

Learn about our programs, research our collections, donate, and become a member today!

What's new at The Filson?

After 130 years of collecting documents, artifacts, and art . . . we ran out of room! We've spent several years remedying that problem, and in October 2016 the dust finally cleared and we opened the newly built Owsley Brown II History Center and newly renovated Ferguson Mansion. We have three new rotating public exhibits, two new event spaces, and five floors of additional archive space. We hope you'll stop by, explore the period rooms of the historic Ferguson Mansion, attend a program in the History Center, get a glimpse of the past in our new exhibits, or dig into your family's history with our updated library and research areas.

Our History
Our Mission & Strategic Objectives
Board of Directors, Leadership Team & Staff
Career & Volunteer Opportunities

Please click here to see a list of accommodations close to The Filson