Invitation Collection, 1843-1993

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Title: Invitation Collection, 1843-1993

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department.

Size of Collection: 1.33 cubic feet

Location Number: Mss. A I62

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains invitations dating from 1843 to 1993, as well as a few announcements and event programs. The collection contains over 300 items organized by type of event into five categories: Ceremonies and Meetings, Social Events and Parties, Weddings and Anniversaries, Funerals, and Other/Unknown. Invitations are organized by date within these categories.

Most of the invitations are from the Louisville area, but some are from other cities in Kentucky, including Frankfort, Lexington, Paris, Owensboro, Anchorage, La Grange, Danville, Harrodsburg, Bardstown, Winchester, and Glasgow. Many are also from other states, including Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, and others.

Included are invitations to presidential and gubernatorial inaugurations, building openings and dedications, graduation commencement ceremonies, organization meetings, balls, banquets, holiday parties, weddings, funerals, and many other types of events.

This collection is a transfer from the Filson’s library collection. An index is available.


Historical Note

This collection represents many major events that happened in Louisville and surrounding cities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Events of national significance include the inauguration ceremonies of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, as well as the dedication of the 1893 World’s Columbian Commission. An invitation to a reception held at Bowman Field in honor of aviator Charles Lindbergh after his transatlantic flight is also included.

Local events include commencement ceremonies for the Louisville Girls High School, Male High School, Nazareth College, Kentucky State College, the Kentucky Military Institute, and others. High-society events from the 1950s and 1960s include debutante balls given by the Spinsters Cotillion Club and the Coronation Ball of the Pegasus Queen as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival.

The collection also provides a glimpse into more everyday customs and styles through private events such as dinners, weddings, picnics, club meetings, church gatherings, and funerals.


Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1871-1910

Folder 2:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1924-1936

Folder 3:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1938-1949

Folder 4:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1951-1959

Folder 5:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1960-1962

Folder 6:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1963-1968

Folder 7:    Ceremonies and Meetings, 1969-1977 and undated

Box 2

Folder 8:    Social Events and Parties, 1843-1890

Folder 9:    Social Events and Parties, 1892-1931

Folder 10:  Social Events and Parties, 1933-1954

Folder 11:  Social Events and Parties, 1956-1959

Folder 12:  Social Events and Parties, 1960-1961

Box 3

Folder 13:  Social Events and Parties, 1962-1963

Folder 14:  Social Events and Parties, 1964-1965

Folder 15:  Social Events and Parties, 1966

Folder 16:  Social Events and Parties, 1967-1968

Folder 17:  Social Events and Parties, 1969-1970

Folder 18:  Social Events and Parties, 1971-1985 and undated

Box 4

Folder 19:  Weddings and Anniversaries, 1868-1884

Folder 20:  Weddings and Anniversaries, 1886-1890

Folder 21:  Weddings and Anniversaries, 1891-1899

Folder 22:  Weddings and Anniversaries, 1902-1936

Folder 23:  Weddings and Anniversaries, 1938-1970 and undated

Folder 24:  Funerals, 1858-1927 and undated

Folder 25:  Other/Unknown Type of Event


Subject Headings


Commencement Ceremonies.

Debutante Balls – Kentucky – Louisville.

Funeral rites and ceremonies.

Holidays – Kentucky – Louisville.


Invitation cards.

Kentucky Derby.



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 is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. 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 continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1620997427aciro1620997427tsihn1620997427oslif1620997427@hcra1620997427eser1620997427.


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