Welcome to The Filson Historical Society!
We are Kentucky’s oldest privately supported Historical Society, founded in 1884. We’ve been collecting and preserving Kentucky 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 about The First American West, 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’re out of room! Planning is underway to renovate our current home in the Ferguson Mansion and expand our campus with a new building in the heart of Old Louisville. Learn more about the exciting changes at The Filson by clicking on our Campus Expansion Plans.
Mark Wetherington, Ph.D., Director