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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“Greetings” from The Filson

The greeting card industry may be older than you think. The custom of sending a colorful, thoughtful, short message on paper is as old as printing itself. Europeans began exchanging paper greetings in the 1400s, and long before that, the ancient Chinese sent each other New Year’s greetings on small pieces of paper. The man credited with bringing the greeting […]

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Upcoming Events at The Filson Historical Society

Are you looking for things to do now that summer has come and gone? Look no further than The Filson Historical Society for programs to keep you entertained. We have a busy month of programs coming up during the month of October. These programs cover a wide range of topics from Bourbon to ghost stories. More information for these programs […]

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Kentucky Archives Month: Folklore and Superstitions

    As we move into fall and the Halloween season, I wanted to let everyone know that October is also an important month here in the archives.  October is American Archives Month and we will be celebrating here in Kentucky! For a little background, Kentucky Archives Week began in 2002, following a national trend of states and localities celebrating […]

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“For the Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man” ~ Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Last week a researcher from Colonial Williamsburg came to The Filson to examine our collection of 19th century women’s clothing for a study on the history of millinery shops. Our special collections staff pulled several of those garments for her to examine. Not surprisingly, I and my co-workers excitedly shared pictures of the dresses, fashions, and textiles used by women […]

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Recollections of 9/11

I woke up this morning remembering the first September 11, as I do every year. Previously, it was a day just like any other day. I went to school that morning, riding the bus. I went to my 1st period English class. I don’t even remember what we were studying. I was trying to be invisible. I remember that I […]

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Elizabeth Hansbrough: Shelbyville Native in the Philippines

One of the fascinating parts of working with Ohio Valley History collections at the Filson is how extensively people from that part of the country traveled, and how they brought their experiences back to the area. One such individual was Elizabeth Kathleen Hansbrough (1892-1971), who travelled extensively in Asia as part of her career with the United States Army, and […]

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Back to School in Kentucky: Fun Facts for Students and Educators

After many years as a student, my younger sister is beginning her first year as a teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools.  I thought it would be fun to share some stories and images from the Filson’s collections about the early history of education in Kentucky.  The following stories will illustrate how Kentucky’s educational system has changed dramatically over the […]

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Sergeant Charles Floyd Day in Kentucky and Louisville

Written by Jim Holmberg “I am going away.  I want you to write me a letter.” So requested Sergeant Charles Floyd of his captain, William Clark, shortly before his death 209 years ago today.  The two men and the rest of the members of the Corps of Discovery were some 950 miles up the Missouri River on their way to […]

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