Bringing History Home

Bringing History Home

There is no better time than now to explore history at the Filson – bringing history home to you!

The Filson Historical Society is pleased to bring history to you – in the comfort of your own home. Please check back regularly for more downloadable activities, virtual programs, and digital exhibits to keep people of all ages entertained, educated, and connected to our past! Click on one of the titles below to be directed to our family-friendly content, and be sure to watch our one minute video to experience what the Filson has to offer!

Activities for All Ages

Virtual Programs

Digital Exhibits

Activities for All Ages

The Filson is pleased to share these fun activities related to our collections with history fans of all ages!

At Home Scavenger Hunt

Let’s collect some artifacts!! You’re going on a Scavenger Hunt around your house to see if you can find similar items to what the Filson collects.

Can you find…
· a photograph or painting of a family member
· a map
an article of clothing that belonged to an ancestor
· a handwritten letter or postcard
· sheet music or record album
· a watch or clock that must be wound by hand (no batteries)
· a book about Kentucky
· items related to a horse, a steamboat, basketball, and Abraham Lincoln
· a hand-made blanket, quilt or article of clothing

Some of these items might be extremely hard to find in your home. Be creative and find alternatives but try to get as close to the quest item as possible!

Can you tell a story about a family artifact or one of the items that you found during the scavenger hunt? Here are some suggestions to get you started.
· Describe the item
· Do you know where it came from?
· Why is it important to your family?
· How do you take care of it?
· What is it used for?
· Can you look online to find out any more information about it, such as how it was made, or its original function?

Share your artifacts and stories with us! You can tag us on Facebook or Instagram, or email us at info@filsonhistorical.org!

Digital Scavenger Hunt

A Spanish Beauty Fashion Plate ca. 1930, from Mary Cummings [1986.11.12]

Seek and find answers to the following questions about the Women at Work: Venturing into the Public Sphere digital exhibit located here. You can navigate through the online exhibit by using the right-hand table of contents menu and, once in the exhibit, you can advance using link at the bottom of each page.

  1. What is Viola Stow holding in her photograph?
  2. What kind of lab did Julia Tevis institute at Science Hill Female Academy?
  3. What was the name of the Central High School yearbook?
  4. What toy is named after Louisvillian Patty Smith Hill?
  5. How old was Lucie DuValle when she began teaching?
  6. What color is Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston’s jacket in his portrait by Magladen Harvey McDowell?
  7. How many sewing girls were in Louisville in 1874? What food did Jennie Benedict create that is still enjoyed today?
  8. What food did Jennie Benedict create that is still enjoyed today?
  9. Where did Bessie Meyer wear the gown that Madame Grunder created for her?
  10. What color are the flowers on the Madame Mulvaney dress in the exhibit?
  11. Is there a fashion plate for any of the dresses in the collection? Who was the creator?
  12. What item is Dinnie Thompson carrying in her picture that is also in the exhibit?
  13. What did the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society want their money to purchase for Jewish Hospital?
  14. Who founded the Woman’s Club of Louisville?
  15. What material did Irene Mudd use in her artworks for the Filson’s Women at Work exhibit?

Answer key located here.

Filson Activity Sheets

Filson Activity Sheet – Challenge yourself or a family member to solve some of these challenges of historical proportions!

Virtual Programs

Recorded Programs

Nationally recognized author and host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Steve Inskeep, discusses his latest book, Imperfect Union the riveting story of John and Jessie Frémont, America’s first great political couple. Recorded on January 30, 2020 at the Brown Theater.

Filson staff have selected audio recordings and video lectures from recent years to be featured for their relevancy to current events, historical anniversaries, and themed content. Please click the button above to listen!

Attend a Virtual Event!

Associate Curator of Collections Jana Meyer presented”Envisioning a Healthier Louisville: Dorothy Joseph’s Mental Health Activism” on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. If you missed the lecture or would like to view it again, you can see it on our YouTube channel here!

Digital Exhibits

Online Exhibits

Women at Work: Venturing into the Public Sphere

Slated to open on March 13, 2020, just as concerns about the spread of COVID-19 had public gatherings closing, the Filson’s Women at Work exhibit was mounted and curators were prepared to share stories from the Filson’s Collections about women stepping outside their homes to seek new roles as professionals and advocates in business, art, education, and the club movement during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Now you can view a digital version of this exhibit online.

Pop Up Exhibits

The Ferguson Mansion – If you can’t visit the Filson in person, take a look at how a portion of our campus looked in the past by taking this trip back in time to view the Edwin Hite Ferguson Mansion in 1912.

Digital Collections

Discher Family Papers – Papers are primarily composed of family letters to Louis Discher, a soldier serving in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The letters relate life in Louisville during the war, discussing family news and activities, Catholicism, Camp Zachary Taylor, and the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic.

1890 Tornado Views – The W. Stuber & Brothers “Tornado Views” is a series of mounted photographs that is a compilation of 28 views of Louisville, Kentucky after the 1890 Tornado. This collection includes 21 out of the 28 views from this series.

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent

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.

Visit the Filson

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

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All May events are postponed or virtual; for information on virtual programming and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email research@filsonhistorical.org.

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