Podcast – Keynote Lecture by Dr. Altina Waller, The Filson Historical Society’s Spring 2013 Conference “The Roots of Feuding”

The Filson Institute Public Conference for Spring, 2013 was presented last week May 16-17.  As the title suggests, “The Roots of Feuding: How Economics, Culture, Political Power and Media Created an Atmosphere of Feuding in Appalachia” explored the roots of feud violence, the origins of questionable stereotypes associated with the region, and considers how outside sources contributed to the atmosphere of […]

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Upcoming Filson Programming

Are you looking for things to do during the summer? Come down to The Filson Historical Society and join us for our tours and programs. For those of you interested in tours, we have docents from the Speed Art Museum at The Filson. Your guide will lead you through the Ferguson Mansion while giving you the history and story behind […]

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Clara Gibson Through the Eyes of Others

Archival collections are funny things, sometimes.  Some people collect papers about themselves, such as diaries, business records, and news clippings about their accomplishments. Others collect documents about the people and events around them, documenting their own lives largely indirectly, through the words and actions of others. One of the latter types of collections is that of Clara Gibson, a Louisville, […]

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The Kentucky Derby: “Run for the Roses”

  As many of you may know this Saturday, May 4, 2013 marks the 139th “Run for the Roses” also known as the Kentucky Derby! Having only lived in the Commonwealth for 1 ½ years, I have become extremely fascinated by Kentucky cultural traditions and have spent many of my weekends exploring the states rich cultural history. The Kentucky Derby […]

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Website Update helps researchers plan visit to Filson Library

Planning your research trip to the Filson has never been easier. The Filson library recently added some new content to the website that will help you plan your visit. Are you just beginning your research? Take a look through our Vertical File guides to find out if we have any files relevant to your research topic. Our family files contain […]

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Spring is here!

Spring has finally made it to Louisville, and you won’t find a happier person than me (maybe). I adore warm weather, flowers, and even mowing the grass. Springtime means new life and fresh starts for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In honor of the warm weather, here are a few postcards  from our collection showcasing Churchill Downs. […]

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Sketches of War and Peace: The James William Abert Collection

The most common mental images of the American Civil War may be that of dramatic cavalry charges, roaring cannon, and soldiers charging across broken grounds with bayonets fixed. Quieter thoughts of the war might include stern faced generals contemplating intricate maps and drawings of fortifications with their subordinates.  Enthusiasts still study these maps and drawings today, yet we rarely pause […]

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The whimsical side of The Filson’s collections

I’m always delighted when my research for events takes me into The Filson’s collections, and I love a good piece of Louisville history. This week, I’ve been researching the Louisville clock, designed by Barney Bright in the 1970’s. The clock, which is the topic of The Craziest Thing You Ever Saw, a documentary by Alfred Shands, has fascinated me ever since we […]

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Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage

The history of the United States is reflected in the history of the distilling industry. One of the first constitutional crises for the new government was the “Whiskey Rebellion” in 1791-1792. As the new nation struggled to pay the debts from its war of independence the government turned to an excise tax on distilled spirits to raise the money to […]

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Health Care for African Americans in the Falls City: The Creation of a Second Louisville

I have recently been reading about health care in Louisville at the turn of the twentieth century, especially as it concerned the city’s African American population.  In honor of Black History Month, I will share some of what I have learned. In the decades following the Civil War, African Americans explored new avenues of opportunity and advancement, including the field […]

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