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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Louisville’s Women’s City Club Helped Establish Food Safety Standards in 1920s

When I first started the “Recipes from the Archives” blog series, I really had just one goal in mind: use the monthly post as a vehicle to better understand our collections. It wasn’t long into the process that I realized (but wasn’t surprised) that the series would be a bit more random than I had first intended. That is, all […]

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Women’s History at The Filson

March is Women’s History Month, and we make women’s history available every day here at The Filson. In a past Women’s History Month blog post, I detailed links to prior blog posts for those interested in what sort of Women’s History we have available here at The Filson.  Since that time, we’ve had more useful blogs on women and women’s […]

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Ethel du Pont’s Little Red Auto Stories

Mention Ethel du Pont and those familiar* with the name will likely recount the labor journalist’s civil and women’s rights activism. Others may recall the intended socialite’s bold dismissal of her intended world and role. Most, however, wouldn’t associate du Pont with children’s literature. As it turns out, du Pont also explored various literary endeavors in addition to activism. One […]

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Planning a Vacation with Eleanor and Enid

A combination of cold days and a new year have been ideal for vacation planning, so my husband and I checked out some guidebooks from the library and started planning a trip to Great Britain.  Before we visit a new place, we also like to explore some of its history because we find that it enriches our travel experience.  With […]

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The Textiles of Geneva Howard Bell

By: Jennifer Spence – Filson Volunteer Earlier this year the Filson acquired a series of clothing pieces from the Estate of Geneva Howard Bell. Geneva and her husband, Dr. Jesse B. Bell, the first black physician to practice at Jewish Hospital, worked tirelessly to improve the health and education of children in Kentucky. She was an active member of Mount […]

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Thanksgiving Classics: Pies, Sides & Turkey Roasting How-Tos

With Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!) just nine days (!) away, I decided it’s high time to share some holiday-inspired recipes. The following recipes come from a November 1959 Courier-Journal  special section titled “Cissy Gregg’s Cookbook.” Cissy was a long-time C-J columnist whose recipes appeared daily in a column titled “Cissy Gregg’s Cookbook and Guide to Gracious Living.” This column ran from 1942-1963. Interesting to note: Cissy’s column […]

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Louise Leland: Kentucky’s First Female Architect

Born in Springfield, Illinois in 1902, Louise Leland was the daughter of Jerome and Gertrude Akin Leland. Jerome, a descendant of the Lelands connected with some of the country’s earliest examples of fine hotels (examples include: Metropolitan Hotel and Sturtevant House, New York City; Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs; Occidental Hotel, San Francisco and Leland Hotel, Springfield), was himself employed […]

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Encountering Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith’s papers came to The Filson by way of the Heyburn family; after Margaret’s death, the son and daughter in law of her employer, a Mrs. Heyburn, reviewed her personal effects, as she had no other family, and saved her six diaries, along with 18 letters, a scrapbook, various pieces of ephemera, and 22 images.  About 25 years later, […]

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