The Filson Historical Society Collections & Exhibits
The Filson maintains three collection departments: The Filson Library, Museum, and Special Collections.
The Library holds over 50,000 titles; the Museum approximately 10,000 items; and Special Collections some 1.5 million manuscripts and 50,000 photographs and prints.
More specifically, The Filson collection contains items such as books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, genealogical files, portraits, landscapes, letters, diaries, business records, photographs, prints, sheet music, theater programs, and other material dating from the 18th century to the present.
Altogether they form a collection of national – even international – significance, recognized as a vital source for the study of the history of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley, and the Upper South. Researchers come from across the country and abroad to conduct research at The Filson. Drawing upon these outstanding collections, The Filson mounts exhibits that allow visitors to see original items not normally on public display.
Clicking on the Collections link provides information and samples specific to each of The Filson’s collection departments. Primary access to searching The Filson’s collection is through our research tools. Click on Research Tools for a listing of electronic resources. In addition to our online catalog and other finding aids, resources such as “Lincoln’s Kentucky,” “Lewis and Clark in Kentucky,” “First American West,” “Kentucky Online Arts Resource,” and full-text articles from the Filson Club History Quarterly can be accessed.
Exhibits provides an overview of The Filson’s permanent and current exhibits on site and online. Clicking on the tabs beside the images below will take you to the department in which those items are housed.
The Filson Historical Society 1310 S. Third Street Louisville, KY 40208 (502) 635-5083