An Early Louisville Grocer, Illuminated

By James Prichard At first glance, the old volume seems to be devoid of any historical value. Yet like all original documents available for research in the Filson’s Special Collections Department, the worn ledger book of local grocer John L. Johnston (c. 1821-1878) reflects the man and his times. A native of Ireland, Johnston initially formed a partnership with fellow […]

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

The Filson Historical Society would like to wish you a safe and Happy New Year! We will be closed Tuesday, December 31st and Wednesday, January 1st.  We will re-open on January 2nd, we hope to see you in 2014!

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Cards at Christmas: 150+ years of tradition

I’m not always the best at sending Christmas cards, but I managed to mail a few to friends and family this year.  My parents have always sent out a Christmas letter to their friends—a tradition that I would like to some day adopt.  We also often receive family photographs from others during the holiday season, especially from families with young […]

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How-To Guide: Researching Home History at The Filson

By Jordan Sangmeister Frequently I hear members of our community curious about the history of their old home.  The Filson is a fantastic resource for doing such research.  With so many historic homes and buildings in Louisville I embarked on a crash course to writing a how-to guide for all home history hunters. My first step was choosing what property […]

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A Long Way from Home: My Italian Adventure & Travel Narratives in the Filson’s Collections

I recently visited Italy for the first time.  My husband and I spent two weeks sightseeing in Italy’s great cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice, as well as the small town of Ravenna.  During our time in Italy, we saw some of the greatest art and architecture of the Western world.  We were amazed by the Colosseum and the Pantheon […]

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Gift Membership Special!

In honor of the Holiday season, The Filson Historical Society is offering a 10% discount on gift memberships. Filson Membership makes the perfect gift for the history buff on your list or for the person who has everything else! A Filson membership lasts for a whole year and gives the recipient online access to our publications and resources, a yearlong […]

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Then and Now: Fourth Street and Walnut/Muhammad Ali Blvd.

By Jennie Cole While meandering through Louisville, I often find myself musing on the history of its buildings and intersections, given my near-daily interactions with Louisville’s photographic past here at The Filson.  Likewise, when I see images of former Louisville street scenes hanging as decor in restaurants, businesses, etc., I always pause and attempt to pick out the location – […]

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From Kindergarten to Columbia Teachers College: Patty Smith Hill Departs for New York

Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946) is likely best known for, along with her sister Mildred Jane Hill, writing the song “Good Morning to All,” featuring the tune that eventually became “Happy Birthday To You,” which we have all sung or been sung, with greater or lesser happiness depending on what age we happen to be turning. But Hill was most prominently […]

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The Secret Art of Fore-edge Painting

I have been on a quest recently to locate hidden artwork in the Filson’s rare book collection.  It all started when I read an article on io9 about fore-edge paintings.  Fore-edge paintings are beautiful works of art created on the edges of book pages; often they are only visible when the pages are fanned in a particular way.  One of […]

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