From the Archives: Valentine’s Day Greetings, the Victorian Way

*This post originally ran on February 10th, 2015 Valentine’s Day (or National Single’s Awareness Day, if you are so inclined) is coming. Starting on December 26, you can’t ignore it. As soon as the Christmas decorations come down, the pink and red go up, the cards and candy come out, and the blatant consumerism rages on. I admit I’m a […]

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Life on the Ohio: The Mercantile Pursuits of Ulysses P. Schenck

Steamboat Congo [BOS-49]

Like the towns described in Mark Twain’s memoir Life on the Mississippi, the town of Vevay, Indiana is seated strategically along the banks of a river.  Ulysses P. Schenck, merchant and entrepreneur, numbered among the town’s notable members in the 19th century.  A Swiss immigrant raised in Louisville, Schenck relocated to Vevay following the financial panic of 1837.  His name “Ulysses” […]

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Success Stories: Student Researchers at The Filson

Filson researchers in the making! [Filson Photograph Collection – SCH-76 GR Clark School, n.d.] Recently at The Filson we’ve undergone a tremendous amount of change, from moving not just our reading room from floor to floor (to floor, to floor…) but also rearranging our entire campus what with reception in another building entirely, as well as combining reference services (the […]

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Fanny Henning Speed

A portrait framed in dark wood and gilded gold adorns the Ferguson Mansion’s grand entry hall.  It depicts a bearded man, his arm encircling a dark-eyed woman.  By all accounts, Joshua and Fanny Speed were deeply in love (despite some initial doubts on Joshua’s part, overcome with the help of his friend Abraham Lincoln!).  In this portrait by George Peter […]

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“The Meal’s Not Complete Without Something Sweet”: Autumnal Dessert Recipes from The Filson

By Heather Potter. Fall is my favorite time of year: the leaves are beginning to fall around the Ferguson Mansion, Old Louisville is a sight to see, and best of all the weather has cooled down a smidge so I can begin to bake again. I kicked off my fall baking last night with two loaves of my mom’s banana […]

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Celebrating Archives Month with a New Building

It is fitting that The Filson’s $12 million Campus Expansion Project will reach its completion during the month of October, which coincides with #ArchivesMonth!  It’s an exciting (and stressful!) time at The Filson.  The construction crews are installing the finishing touches on the new Owsley Brown II History Center, while the staff plan exhibits and programs for our Grand Opening […]

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A Passion for Plants: The Working Library of Anne Bruce Haldeman

Anne Bruce Haldeman once described her entry into the profession of landscape architecture as “accidental”, but there is nothing coincidental about her legacy.  Considered one of Kentucky’s pre-eminent landscape architects of the 20th century, Haldeman is best remembered for her role in creating historically-informed gardens at important Kentucky sites.  These projects include My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown […]

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Jefferson County’s Official Song

By Pauline Ottaviano. Exploring the Filson’s collection of sheet music and selecting pieces written by women composers led me to some interesting discoveries.  There were many songs about Kentucky in general, even one claiming to be the Commonwealth’s official song, as it was published before My Old Kentucky Home was adopted.  The most unique, however, is a small, photocopied song I […]

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Additions to PastPerfect Online: Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston’s “Mountain” Collection

by Jennie Cole Thanks to volunteer Chip Arbegust and Associate Curator for Photographs and Prints Heather Potter, The Filson’s online photo offerings continue to grow in PastPerfect Online.  Chip and Heather are currently focusing on the “Mountain” photograph collection of former Filson president and major donor Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston; three counties’ worth of materials are now available for your viewing […]

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Music in Wartime: Song Composition during the First World War

by Pauline Ottaviano. World War I was a time of great change for the American people.  They lived in a time when nearly everything was unsure.  Men were being drafted and leaving home and work.  Paper and other goods had to be saved.  Money was tight.  One thing that kept families and soldiers alike going was music.  The music of […]

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