Welcome to The Filson Historical Society!

We are Kentucky’s oldest privately supported Historical Society, founded in 1884. We’ve been collecting and preserving FHSPhotoCraigButhodKentucky and the Ohio Valley region’s significant stories for 131 years.

You can search many of our collections, or visit to access our extensive archives and museum artifacts. The Filson has:

  • 1.8 million documents
  • 50,000 books
  • 10,000 museum items
  • 75 years of digitized, searchable issues of The Filson History Quarterly
  • 15,000 digitized historical manuscripts, books, and prints, including John Filson’s 1784 mythmaking biography of Daniel Boone
  • 400+ portraits
  • 1,000s of historic photographs and prints of Louisville and Kentucky
  • 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 the last two two years remedying that problem, and this past October 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
How We are Run
Board of Directors, Leadership Team & Staff
Tax Information, Charitable Accountability & Governance
Career & Volunteer Opportunities

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