Welcome to the Filson’s Collections Department
The Filson has been collecting for almost 140 years, preserving the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley in order to share it with current and future generations. We welcome in-person and remote researchers to explore this website to discover our access points and to find answers to their questions!
Researching At The Filson –
- Hours — Monday through Friday, 9am – 4:30pm (materials are not pulled after 4pm). We close at 12:30 pm on the third Friday of each month. We suggest that you reserve a research appointment online or by calling the Filson (502-635-5083); seating is limited and first come, first serve.
- Fees — Research is free for members and students; non-members pay a $10 daily research fee. Patrons may take their own digital images of collections materials for research use free of charge; photocopies and microfilm print-outs are $0.25/per page.
- Most of our collections are housed on site and can be pulled on demand, but please contact us via email or phone to view museum collections on site.
- Manuscript Database – This keyword-searchable database provides access to subject level descriptions of manuscript collections, including scrapbooks and architectural records.
- Library Catalog – The library catalog is the primary search tool for all printed matter at the Filson – books, pamphlets, maps, and rare materials. Please note that none of the Filson’s materials circulate. General collection descriptions of most manuscript collections are also available in this catalog. It does not contain any digital content.
- PastPerfect Online – PastPerfect Online contains information on photograph and museum collections online. It only contains a small percentage of our overall collections, so please contact the Filson for more information on photographic and museum materials.
- Finding Aids – Finding aids to a portion of our manuscript collections are available on the website on this page. These provide an overview of the collection, along with a container list. This page also includes index listings to our vertical files, sheet music, and in-house publications.
- Digital Collections – The Filson provides digital access to our collections via several resources. Click here to view online exhibits and content.
- How to Research – learn more about conducting in-house or remote research at the Filson.
Researching from Home
Please email us at gro.l1685996660aciro1685996660tsihn1685996660oslif1685996660@hcra1685996660eser1685996660 to submit a research request or question. The research account is monitored daily on business days.
- Please use our online research tools, described above, to learn more about our holdings.
- Staff can spend about half an hour looking into your request at no charge.
- Staff can conduct up to two additional hours of research, and can also make PDF scans for remote patrons. We are charging a flat hourly rate for these services: $35/hour for members* and $50/hour for nonmembers. *e-members and Filson For All members get their first hour of research free. Learn more about becoming a member!