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.

The Lexington Public Library has made an effort to ensure that all of our digital collections are public domain, or that we have gotten approval from the copyright holders to display their work. Most - but not all - of these collections, to the best of our knowledge, have no known US copyright restrictions. Some items in the collection are under copyright but qualify for online display by libraries under Section 108(h) of United States Copyright Law. Some of the collections provided in the Library's Digital Archives are made available under an assertion of fair use, which does not necessarily apply to an individual's use of them.

The Digital Studio provides people of all skill levels the tools for filmmaking, photography and digital art, music making, and media preservation.

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Learn more about Fayette County and our rich history with the Kentucky Room's Digital Archives. Search photo collections, historical newspapers and publications, and community collections with a simple search. New material is continually being scanned and added.
 
Digital Archives - Collection

The Cochran Chronicle appears to be a neighborhood leaflet created by two school children, Philip Borries and Laurence Kraehe, living on Cochran Road in the Chevy Chase area of Lexington, KY in 1960.

Discover unique resources in our Digital Archives that tell the story of Fayette County.  Visit cemeteries throughout Central Kentucky using our cemetery maps.  Contact our resident experts in the Central Library's Kentucky Room with questions.

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Learn by doing. Get hands-on practice with cutting edge technology at our Digital Studio, Kloiber Foundation STEAM Lab, and Makerspace on your own or learn from our expert staff during structured programs.

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Kentucky Progress magazine

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

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.

 

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All databases are available from this page.

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.

 

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Read articles from magazines and journals, learn a new language, or locate a newspaper article. These resources can't be found with a search engine but are available for free with your library card.

Thanks for your interest in joining the Lexington Public Library!  Your library card is the key to checking out books, downloading audiobooks, taking online classes, and much more.  Please check here to find out if you qualify for a library card and how to apply.

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Find out what's happening at our locations.  Browse upcoming events and discover our dedicated learning spaces.  Reserve a meeting room.  Explore our galleries and special collections.

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Download eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more – free with your library card.

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!