Lexington Public Library

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The Lexington Public Library’s Digital Archives provide open access to researchers and students to learn more about the rich history of Lexington and Fayette County. It contains a fraction of the Library’s physical holdings, which are housed and available for reference in the Kentucky Room at the Central Library. New material is being digitized and added constantly, so there's always something new to find.

The archives have a simple keyword search, and it is possible to browse the collections by subject, area, or decade. The Lexington Public Library actively reviews and labels materials in our archives with statements that indicate how you may reuse the images, and what sort of permission, if any, you need to do so. Please check the information for each image to determine its legal status.

Location
Central Library Exterior
Location Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9:30am-7:00pm
Friday: 9:30am-6:00pm
Saturday: 9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm-5:00pm

Location Mailing Address

140 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
historic frankfort kentucky

The Kentucky History collection contains Kentucky-related documents not specifically related to Fayette County.

 

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Fayette County History

Fayette County, Kentucky, has changed enormously since it was created in 1792. This collection contains government documents for the city of Lexington, for Fayette County, and for the merged Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, as well as funeral notices, club directories, scrapbooks, image collections and a history of Lexington Public Library.

 

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Sample directory page

The library has a variety of directories and yearbooks with local information. In the library's current digital collection, there is a selection of residential and street directories, yearbooks, school directories, and organizational directories. These are all fully word-searchable.

 

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Kentucky Images

The Kentucky Images collection contains postcards, photographs and slides of people, architecture, and locations in Kentucky and Appalachia.

 

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
group of children in Grade 5B at Constitution School
The Community Collections consist of objects shared from local community residents and organizations. Individuals have lent items of local significance to the library to give the larger community awareness and access. The original objects are not owned by the Lexington Public Library. 
 
Submissions for the Community Collections are open. If you are an individual or organization interested in possibly lending items to be digitized by the library, please contact elibrarian@lexpublib.org. We consider item age, location, content, relevance, privacy considerations, and item condition when determining items to add. Content donors must be the legal copyright holders if the item is not in the public domain.
 
Kentucky History Awards Icon noting this collection received the award in 2019.

 

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Kentucky Progress magazine

The Publications Collection contains runs of historical Kentucky newspapers, almanacs, and magazines. 

Highlight

Everyone deserves a place to discover something new. The Lexington Public Library stands for free and open access to information. We’re a safe, welcoming space for neighbors to come together — opening the door so all Lexingtonians can find what they’re looking for.

Digital Archives - Collection

Elmer L. Foote served as official photographer of the Cincinnati Public Library for many years, and produced photographs that appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune during the early years of the twentieth century.

Digital Archives - Collection

The Fayette County Postcard collection contains images of well-known sites in Central Kentucky, such as Keeneland, Transylvania University, Ashland, and many others.

Digital Archives - Collection

In 1917, the Woman’s Club of Central Kentucky hosted a series of speakers giving historical sketches on people and places of local interest.

Digital Archives - Collection

The Knowles Postcard Collection contains images of notable Kentucky locations, such as Ashland, Keeneland, and Mammoth Cave, as well as county courthouses, farms, schools, and many others.