Donate Your Treasures

Donate Your Treasures

Share Your History!

The Filson Historical Society actively acquires personal, family, corporate, and institutional items that relate to Kentucky and the Ohio Valley.

History is more than just famous people or significant events. The Filson collects materials that represent the varied experiences and communities of the Ohio Valley. The Filson is also interested in preserving recent history for future generations. Click here to read about our work to document our communities’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Items of interest include but are not limited to:

  • diaries, letters, family papers, scrapbooks
  • speeches, maps, legal records
  • photographs and prints
  • books and pamphlets
  • broadsides, sheet music, theater programs
  • institutional minutes, reports, documents
  • architectural plans and records
  • films, videos, audio tapes
  • clothing and textiles
  • drawings, paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts
  • historical artifacts

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I donate items to the Filson?

If you have an item(s) you believe might be of interest to the Filson, please contact us! We request that you call or email before mailing, shipping, or bringing items on site. We are happy to answer questions and look forward to talking with you.  You can email gro.l1635431201aciro1635431201tsihn1635431201oslif1635431201@hcra1635431201eser1635431201 or call 502-635-5083 to be connected with the appropriate staff member.

Can I receive a tax deduction for my donation?

Donations accepted by the Filson might be tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor. The Filson will work with you to provide appropriate documentation of your gift.

Can the Filson appraise my items?

By law, Filson staff cannot provide appraisals of donated material to avoid a possible conflict of interest.  However, the staff can provide the donor with resources to help you find an appraiser.

What happens to my donated materials?

Items accepted for the collection are maintained in our state-of-the-art facility in accordance with professional standards. The Filson’s collections are preserved and made accessible for research, publications, and exhibitions.

Documenting your COVID-19 Experiences

History is being made! Please help the Filson Historical Society document COVID-19 experiences in Louisville and the Ohio River Valley.

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has become a global pandemic altering our daily lives. We are actively collecting journals, reflections, letters, photographs, and other ephemera in digital and physical formats to document the experience of Louisvillians and folks from the Ohio River Valley impacted by the ongoing situation surrounding COVD-19. Your story will contribute to the broader history of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley during this turbulent time, preserving our experiences for generations to come.

How you can help us document:

WRITE: Keep a record of your daily life during this unprecedented time. Possible formats include: journaling, letter writing, poetry, and short stories. Don’t forget to date your entries as this will hep future researchers better understand our experiences. Need help writing? Here are a few things to consider:

  • What has been shocking, unexpected, unpredictable, unknown, and new in the past weeks?
  • What is it like to live today knowing that we do not know what tomorrow will bring?
  • What have you been doing while at home? Working remotely, reading, gardening, watching popular television or movies? When documenting your story even the mundane of daily life is valuable!

PHOTOGRAPH: Keep a photographic record of what you see around you during this time. This can include closed business signs, messages of hope written in chalk, signs on homes, or snap shots of individuals wearing mask and gloves while grocery shopping.

COLLECT: Keep a file of different communications you receive from organizations to which you belong, including hard copies or digital files. Clip out newspaper or journal articles that you find important in helping us better understand what is happening in local community. Please only collect accessible materials that are related to your experience without risking contact.

ONLINE SURVEY: Help us capture a snapshot of your story by completing a short online survey telling us how you, your family, or community have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Click here to take the survey.

If you would like further information or are interested in donating physical or digital materials to add to the Filson’s Covid-19 Community Collection, please contact Jennie Cole, gro.1635431201lacir1635431201otsih1635431201nosli1635431201f@elo1635431201cj1635431201

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2022

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson will reopen to the public on September 1st, 2021 – Read More! All events are currently being held virtually; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We are resuming in person research, and suggest reserving a seat – learn more here.  The research library is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm.  Please note: For the remainder of 2021 the Filson’s Research Library will be closing at 12:30 pm on the third Friday of each month.

We also continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1635431201aciro1635431201tsihn1635431201oslif1635431201@hcra1635431201eser1635431201.


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