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.

Digital Archives - Collection

Illustrated Lexington Kentucky contains photographs, demographics, commerce and financial information about Lexington up to 1919. This work appears to have been commissioned by the Lexington Board of Commerce, and features an introduction including information about Lexington’s businesses, schools, parks, climate, infrastructure, and other amenities. There is a feature on Lexington and Fayette County’s financial health, written by Board of Commerce member J. Will Stoll. Photographs in this work include street scenes, agriculture, infrastructure, horses, prominent homes, and the interiors of many Lexington businesses.

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Join us for Kentucky Legends: a series of programs exploring Kentucky culture, history, and lore. Programs include author visits, Chautauqua performances, live music, activities and crafts, and more.

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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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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Wonderful podcasts and walking tours have been created by our staff. Please enjoy!

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

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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.
 
In the summer of 2019, the Lexington History Museum exhibited a 20th anniversary timeline and historical materials exhibit titled, Our Fair City: the 1999 Lexington Fairness Ordinance. The ordinance, Local Ordinance 201-99, passed on July 8th, 1999, and added sexual orientation and gender identity as explicitly protected classes against discrimination in Fayette County employment, housing and public accommodations.
 
From June 17 - July 19, 2019, the Lexington Public Library hosted the exhibit and several community events surrounding the anniversary. The exhibit also featured a community response section titled, "What Does Fairness Mean To You?" with an opportunity for attendees to give their own response. After the exhibit, the notes were collected and digitized, and are now available for viewing.
 
To view the 3D interactive exhibit, click here.
 
Digital Archives - Collection

The Around the Town in Lexington, Kentucky magazine pamphlet contains advertisements for local attractions, apartment homes, restaurants, and hotels. It includes a small section with details about travelling in Lexington, such as the time zone, post office location, and the hours of alcohol sales. There is a schedule of events for Lexington, and a Television Guide highlighting popular programs. The last half of the guide contains an in depth article about the local historic home museum, Waveland.

Around the Town in Lexington, Kentucky was owned and published by Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, professional basketball player and politician until 1967. He was appointed as Malt Beverage Administrator in 1967 (Lexington Herald, 1967-10-12) by Governor Louis B. Nunn, and in 1969 resigned due to his involvement with the publication (Lexington Herald, 1969-08-12). Around the Town in Lexington, Kentucky contains numerous alcohol advertisements, and it was seen as a conflict of interest, though Mr. Jones claimed to have sold the publication prior to his appointment to the Alcohol Beverage Control board.

 

 

New facility will remain at previous location with a larger footprint and expanded offerings

Lexington, Kentucky (August 18, 2022) – The Lexington Public Library broke ground on a new, significantly larger facility in the former Village Branch location on Versailles Road to better provide for the needs of the neighborhoods it serves. The new branch will reflect the community’s vision for a state-of-the-art community hub, one that offers robust resources and a myriad of program and service offerings. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday at a media event featuring Library and City officials.

New Versailles Road Library Branch to be named Marksbury Family Branch

Lexington, Kentucky (March 9, 2022) – Lexington Public Library and Lexington Public Library Foundation are honored to announce that the Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the library branch at the corner of Versailles Road and Village Drive.  In recognition of their generosity, the new facility will be named the Marksbury Family Branch when it opens in 2024.

741.5 is written and designed by Lexington Public Library staff member Bill Widener. The inaugural issue came out in January 2017. Sub-titled The Comics & Graphic Novel Bulletin of the Lexington Public Library, its intent is to promote new arrivals to the Library's comics collections. 741.5 takes its name from the numeral designation within the Dewey Decimal System that covers comics and cartooning.

Lexington, Kentucky (April 12, 2023) – The Lexington Public Library will be Fine Free for all materials, effective immediately, following a vote at today’s regularly scheduled monthly board meeting. Lexington Public Library customers will no longer incur fines for late, damaged, or lost library materials. Additionally, the Library has forgiven all current, outstanding fines

Grand Opening set for Saturday, March 9

Lexington, Kentucky (January 17, 2024) – Lexington Public Library is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Marksbury Family Branch of the Lexington Public Library.

Festivities include a Media Day event on Friday, March 8 from 8:30-10am and a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 9 (more details coming soon). The current Village Branch will remain open through 6pm on Friday, February 23.