Tuesday, February 6, 1883 — Mardi Gras!

If you can’t have king cake (or boudin or crawfish…) on Mardi Gras, what better way to celebrate than to post a blog about everyone else enjoying those things? Alright, so while J.W. Stewart probably wasn’t wearing beads or eating a cake adorned with neon green, yellow and purple icing, complete with a plastic baby baked inside, I do know that […]

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From the Archives: Valentine’s Day Greetings, the Victorian Way

*This post originally ran on February 10th, 2015 Valentine’s Day (or National Single’s Awareness Day, if you are so inclined) is coming. Starting on December 26, you can’t ignore it. As soon as the Christmas decorations come down, the pink and red go up, the cards and candy come out, and the blatant consumerism rages on. I admit I’m a […]

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Kentucky Music Comes Home

Wade Ward with Alan Lomax, c. 1960

On Thursday, February 16th, curator Nathan Salsburg from the Alan Lomax Archive will visit the Filson to discuss the repatriation of the many recordings of folk and vernacular music collected by Lomax and his colleagues in Kentucky between 1933 and 1942. But what does it mean to “repatriate” Kentucky’s cultural heritage? Where did it go? For at least the last […]

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Life on the Ohio: The Mercantile Pursuits of Ulysses P. Schenck

Steamboat Congo [BOS-49]

Like the towns described in Mark Twain’s memoir Life on the Mississippi, the town of Vevay, Indiana is seated strategically along the banks of a river.  Ulysses P. Schenck, merchant and entrepreneur, numbered among the town’s notable members in the 19th century.  A Swiss immigrant raised in Louisville, Schenck relocated to Vevay following the financial panic of 1837.  His name “Ulysses” […]

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Why the Lewis and Clark Bridge?

Aerial views of the recently opened Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Ohio at Louisville. Courtesy of insiderlouisville.com

Aerial views of the recently opened Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Ohio at Louisville. Courtesy of bridgehunter.com and insiderlouisville.com  Most people think of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an event in the history of the American West; up the Missouri, across the mountains, down the Columbia to the Pacific, and back again. That’s the western legacy of the epic […]

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An Aging Gallant: General Buckner’s Final Surrender

Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823-1914) and Delia H. Claiborne (1857-1932). The Buckner Family Collection and The Confederate Veteran Magazine, 1896 (The National Historical Society, 1896)

 Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823-1914) and Delia H. Claiborne (1857-1932). The Buckner Family Collection and The Confederate Veteran Magazine, 1896 (The National Historical Society, 1896) He rose to the highest ranks of the Confederate Army, but at war’s end Simon B. Buckner found himself a penniless exile from his native Kentucky. Ironically his final role in the Civil War was facilitating […]

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New Year’s Greetings from The Filson Historical Society!

In an age long before wireless speakers, CD players or turntables, friends and family gathered around a piano to welcome the New Year – and bid farewell to the old. In the place of a stack of vinyl records, late Victorians had treasured collections of sheet music. Many of the popular airs of the day were illustrated with colorful prints or […]

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Filson Finds: the Bullitt Family Papers

Unlikely Squatter: The intimate exchanges of Anne Christian, 1770 to 1787 by Melissah J. Pawlikowski Anne Christian exchanged letters with an intimate circle made up mostly of women. A Jane Austen cast of childhood acquaintances, the group persisted into adulthood as each married into a network of brothers and associates commissioned in Virginia’s military. I pulled Anne’s personal correspondence for […]

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Success Stories: Student Researchers at The Filson

Filson researchers in the making! [Filson Photograph Collection – SCH-76 GR Clark School, n.d.] Recently at The Filson we’ve undergone a tremendous amount of change, from moving not just our reading room from floor to floor (to floor, to floor…) but also rearranging our entire campus what with reception in another building entirely, as well as combining reference services (the […]

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Filson Finds: Three Letters

Hidden Historical Treasures at The Filson By Brian Craig Miller The Filson Historical Society has had a profound impact on my career as a researcher and writer for more than a decade.  When I was in graduate school at the University of Mississippi, I made the nearly six hour drive from Oxford to Louisville and spent several blissful days astonished […]

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