The Filson Historical Society is mourning the loss of one of our longtime supporters and close friend, Dr. J. Blaine Hudson, who died on Saturday, January 5, 2013. Blaine was a member of The Filson’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004, prior to becoming The University of Louisville’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. During his tenure as Dean, our ties to the University of Louisville became stronger as our collaborations grew.
During his service on The Board, Blaine was Chair of the Collections Committee, which has oversight of our research collections, and forms the core of our identity as an institution. Under his guidance we explored ways to expand our 20th century African American holdings. Blaine was a contributor to The Filson History Quarterly and was a longtime member of the Editorial Board of both The Filson History Quarterly and Ohio Valley History. He was a co-author of Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History, which made significant use of The Filson’s research collections.
Blaine was always happy to help The Filson, most recently with our Spring 2012 public conference, “National Issues, Local Struggles: The Civil Rights Movement in the Ohio Valley and Beyond.” He served as an advisor and spoke as a panelist on the Civil Rights Panel Discussion, which was the culminating event of our public conference.
The history community has lost a true friend and colleague with Blaine’s death. We will all miss him, and extend our deepest sympathies to his family.