Attention Designers! Southern Exposition material at The Filson

Street car to the Exposition

Street car to the Exposition

I was very excited to read about the South Fourth Street Association’ s Fountain Court Design Competition on Broken Sidewalk.  Not only will this new design be a fabulous addition to the Old Louisville neighborhood, but the request for ties to the area’s past through an incorporation of the Louisville Southern Exposition satisfy the historical side of me as well.

The Filson holds an array of materials on the Southern Expositionin our Special Collections and Library departments.  For example, the rare pamphlet collection includes “Souvenir of the Southern Exposition and the City of Louisville,” “The Great Southern Exposition of Art, Industry, and Agriculture,” and “Illustrated Catalogue of the Art Gallery of the Southern Exposition,” while the map collection includes “A General Plan of the Southern Exposition Grounds, 1883.”  Manuscripts include mentions of the Southern Expo in various collections: the Haldeman Family Papers, the Bodley Family Papers, the John Bryce Baskin Scrapbook, the Musical Club Records, and the Luther Thayer Thustin Papers, as well as a small collection of specific Southern Expo material, including an advertising fragment, a season ticket for the 1884 Expo, bond and stock certificates.

First Electric Generator in Louisville, 1883, for the Southern Exposition

First Electric Generator in Louisville, 1883, for the Southern Exposition

I found “My Visit to the Exposition” an undated composition written by Mabel Hackett for a school assignment, to be particularly charming (Hacket Family Papers).  Mabel writes about the great variety of machines, merchandise and arts on display at the Expo, and mentions a ride on the “electric railroad” to get to the Art Gallery.

The photos and prints collection in Special Collections also holds many illustrations of the Southern Exposition, including lithographs from Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine, as well as drawings, watercolors, and other prints of bird’s eye views and buildings, and photographs.

Please visit The Filson to learn more about our Southern Exposition holdings and to view these interesting items!

Southern Exposition, Main Building and Art Gallery

Southern Exposition, Main Building and Art Gallery

Jennie Cole

Jennie Cole is the Manager of Collection Access at The Filson. She has a MLIS with a specialization in Archives from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in History from the University of Louisville. Jennie’s research interests in the Filson’s collections include women’s history, Camp Zachary Taylor, and Speed family of Louisville.

Leave Comment