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Genealogy & Local History

 

The Kentucky Room, located on the third floor of the Central Library, contains a wealth of information about Kentucky and Fayette County. The collection features books on all aspects of Kentucky, subject files on Kentucky and Lexington, local newspapers, city directories, maps, and state and local government documents, including select census and vital records.

You can contact the Kentucky Room at (859) 231-5500, ext. 1008, or by email with questions and specific information requests.

Want to learn about new Kentucky Room collections and services?  Subscribe to our Genealogy & Local History newsletter.

Digital Archives

The Lexington Public Library’s Digital Archives are intended to give open access to researchers and students to learn more about Fayette County and our rich history. This is not an exhaustive collection, though new material is continually being scanned and added.

Enter the Digital Archives

Tales from the Kentucky Room

Tales from the Kentucky Room is a podcast produced by Library staff highlighting stories of Lexington, Kentucky’s history and people.

Listen to Episodes

Library Walking Tours

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic sites. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download...

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s public art. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download...

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic LGBTQ+ places. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can...

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s African American Heritage Sites. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you...

Join us for a walking tour Lexington's Gratz Park Historic District. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download...

Join us for a walking tour of Lexington's Historic Lexington Cemetery. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download...

Genealogy

America's Obituaries & Death Notices
Obituaries and death notices from newspapers around the country.

Ancestry Library Edition
Search billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.  Available only to customers inside Lexington Public Library locations.  Provided by the Kentucky Virtual Library.

Central Kentucky Cemeteries Maps
Created by the Lexington Public Library's Kentucky Room staff and powered by Google Maps.  Maps are available for Fayette and several surrounding counties.

Find A Grave
Find A Grave is a resource for anyone in finding the final disposition of family, friends, and "famous" individuals.

Genealogy Club
Are you just starting your family tree, or have you run into a brick wall tracing a distant ancestor? Join us to share tips and learn new research strategies. All levels of experience are welcome! The group meets the last Wednesday of every other month at 2 pm.  Click here for the current schedule and registration details.

Local History

Kentucky News Sources
Content from over 80 Kentucky newspapers and news sources, including the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Lexington Herald-Leader
Full-text articles from April 25, 1983 to present.  The Kentucky Room owns copies of earlier editions of the Herald-Leader and its predecessors, the Lexington Herald and the Lexington Leader, on microfilm.

Lexington Herald-Leader Digital Issues
Digital issues from September 6, 2017, to present.  Read the Herald-Leader in its original printed format, including pictures.

Local History Index
The selective citations included in the Lexington Public Library’s Local History index appeared in various Lexington newspapers, beginning with the Kentucky Gazette in 1787 through the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2007.