When an Irish Rebel Had His Portrait Drawn in Louisville

By Mark Holan, guest contributor Irish leader Éamon de Valera arrived in Louisville on Oct. 10, 1919, during a U.S. tour to raise money and political support for his country’s war of independence from Britain. Caricaturist Wyncie King sketched the rebel politician at the Seelbach Hotel.[1] One of the pencil drawings appeared in the next day’s Louisville Herald, where King […]

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The Louisville Equal Rights Association: Women’s Suffrage in Louisville Kentucky

The Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky holds the only known organizational record of the Louisville Woman Suffrage Movement – a minute book. This volume details the first sixteen years of the Louisville Equal Rights Association (LERA), from 1889 to 1895. Meeting initially in the home of Susan Look Avery in March 1889, this small group of men and women […]

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A Family History Sent by Mail

By Elizabeth Standridge, Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society Intern Since the advent of quicker and more convenient forms of communication like e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, postcards and letters have fallen by the wayside. While I love the immediacy of being able to talk to loved ones near and far, there is something special about receiving a nice […]

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Through a Soldier’s Lens, Part 4: Images from the Front

Through a Soldier’s Lens: Jack Speed’s WWI Photography is currently on exhibit in the Filson’s Nash gallery. The exhibit is open through July 27, 2018 and showcases the photographs of Jack Speed, a young soldier from Louisville, Kentucky who served in World War I. In this final installment of a four-part series, we look at photographs Jack took near the front […]

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Now Available! Recently Cataloged Architectural Collections

The following architectural collections are now available for research: Kolbrook, Joseph H., 1891-1976. Architectural drawings, 1923-1976. 1,676 sheets; 22 folders and 2 rolls. (opening image taken from the Kolbrook collection; image depicts summer cottage of Dr. and Mrs. WR Pettigrew) Hutchings, E. T., 1886-1958. Julius Ellis residential architecture drawings, 1923. 5 sheets. Bradford Mills. Architecture drawings, ca. 1898-1924 (bulk: 1924). […]

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Early Conflicts in the Ohio River Valley

By William Schuhmann The Filson Historical Society has a large and well maintained collection of manuscripts and artifacts, but one of the lesser known resources that the Filson has to offer is its historical files. The historical files (or vertical files) are a collection of general information files on various topics. So, before diving into primary resources, like letters and […]

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Edison’s Home Phonograph

Written by Kate Breitenstein: While going through the Special Collections Storage at the Filson, I came across this odd looking box. It had the name “Edison” written on the outside. On the inside, there was a plate, saying that this was an Edison home phonograph. For clarity, a phonograph refers to a machine that plays sounds using wax cylinders. A […]

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Through a Soldier’s Lens Part 3: Vest Pocket Kodak

Through a Soldier’s Lens: Jack Speed’s WWI Photography is currently on exhibit in the Filson’s Nash gallery. The exhibit is open through July 27, 2018 and showcases the photographs of Jack Speed, a young soldier from Louisville, Kentucky who served in World War I. In this third installment of a four-part series, we take a look at the camera Jack most […]

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Fifty Years On, the Stories of May 1968 Are Still Being Told

The spring of 1968 was a tumultuous time in the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, in Memphis, Tennessee. While the nation at large was stunned, Black communities in particular were struck by the loss of a central spokesperson and leader of the civil rights movement. Tension and unrest followed the assassination, with both peaceful […]

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Out of the Pencils of Babes: Children’s Letters to Mayor Armstrong

Last week we brought you writing and illustration for children and this week we follow up with writing and illustration by children. At some point your grade school education, perhaps you were obliged to write a letter to a Very Important Person. This modest assignment simultaneously cultivates many skills and competencies such as penmanship, conventions of correspondence, and civic involvement. In the […]

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