Lexington Public Library History
The Lexington Public Library opened in its Carnegie building location in Gratz Park in June of 1905, after having received a grant of $50,000 in January, 1902. Materials in this collection contain items that were sealed in the cornerstone of the Carnegie Library on June 8, 1903. The contents were removed April 17, 1989 after the library had moved to its new location at 140 E. Main Street.
"The Lexington Library" Pamphlet
The pamphlet contains information tracing the history of the Lexington Library from its beginning to roughly 1902.
The pamphlet itself is not dated, but it is believed to have been written in response to the request of a library board member in November, 1901; Lexington was one of the considered sites for a Carnegie library at the time, and did receive a $50,000 grant in 1902 for the construction of the eventual Gratz Park library building location. The article was published in an issue of the library’s bulletin, date unknown, and then reproduced in the Lexington Herald on January 19, 1902. A copy of the pamphlet was also included in the Carnegie building’s cornerstone, which was buried on June 8, 1903 and opened April 17, 1989.
Mary Katherine Bullitt was appointed the librarian for the Lexington Library from 1898 until her death in 1911. During her time, she oversaw the transition of Lexington from a subscription library to a public library in 1899, and then from the old Methodist Church building to 1905, when the Carnegie building opened.
Other Archive Collections:
Lexington Business Directories
The Lexington Business Directories contain local directories with information about local businesses, horse farms, and professionals.
The Kentucky almanac collection contains old regional almanacs.
The Dunbar Echo
The Dunbar Echo was the magazine created by the students of Dunbar High School. Yearbook issues include students, alumni, faculty, sports, classes, photos, and clubs.
Council of Defense Records
The Council of Defense records contain information about the soldiers, sailors, marines, and nurses who served during World War I.
Illustrated Lexington Kentucky
Illustrated Lexington Kentucky contains photographs, demographics, commerce and financial information about Lexington up to 1919.
Old Homes of the Blue Grass
A photographic collection highlighting historic homes of the Bluegrass Region.
Kentucky Progress Magazine
The “Kentucky Progress Magazine” was used by the Kentucky Progress Commission to promote Kentucky, and features local interest stories, photographs of people, places, and activities.
The Kentucky Rally Songs pamphlet, published circa 1914 by the WCTU, contains 42 songs advocating women’s suffrage and prohibition.
Knowles Postcard Collection
Images of notable Kentucky locations, such as Ashland, Keeneland, and Mammoth Cave
Fayette County Directories
The Fayette County directories contain local information regarding resident addresses, government and officials, schools, land ownership, businesses, and other local organizations.
The Town Branch
The Town Branch was presented as a brief history of Lexington and the Town Branch, given as a speech by Maude Ward Lafferty in 1917.
Fayette County Postcards
The Fayette County Postcard collection contains 55 images of sites in central Kentucky.
The brochure for the Kentucky Chautauqua includes information and pictures of presenters and events.
Elmer L. Foote Lantern Slide Collection
The Elmer L. Foote Collection is a group of 190 lantern slides. They were created by Elmer L. Foote, a Cincinnati photographer and library staff member whose pictures appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.
Mountain Ballads for Social Singing
The Mountain Ballads pamphlet is 15 songs originally compiled for English Folk Songs in the Mountains of the Southern Appalachians.
Hamilton Female College Collection
The Hamilton Female College catalogs list the school’s Board of Trustees, faculty, alumnae, graduates, directory of students, courses of study, and the members of each department.