Lexington Public Library

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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.

The Undesign the Redline project unearths the deep and systemic history of structural racism and inequality in the United States. This interactive exhibit explores policies like Redlining, their implications for today, and what we can do to undesign them. 

The exhibit was created by social impact design studio designing the WE and has been invited to dozens of cities across the country. A local advisory group has helped to produce local history and stories about Redlining in Lexington. 

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This is your gateway to our most popular resources.  Search for books and eBooks, access tools for research and learning, and discover our unique collection of genealogy and local history materials.

The William Stamps Farish, III Theater at the Central Library is available to the community for lectures, live music, community forums, film festivals, small theatrical productions, dance performances, literary readings, debates, and other creative uses.

The William Stamps Farish Fund Theater is a state-of-the-art facility in one of Main Street’s busiest places.

Fully renovated and updated, the theater on the Central Library’s first floor is home to theater, dance, live music, film, community events, and meetings. The Lexington Public Library makes the facility available at some of the city’s best prices, with affordable business, nonprofit, and government rates.

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

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.

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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All databases are available from this page.

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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.

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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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.

Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Kentucky Progress magazine

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

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

Starting your own business or nonprofit is hard work, but we can help you locate the tools you need to get your ideas off the ground.

Meet with a librarian for one-on-one consultation.  Please submit the Book a Librarian Appointment Request Form or call 859-231-5500 during business hours to schedule an appointment.  Appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday during Library business hours and typically last 30 to 45 minutes.

Walking Tour

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 individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops. You can pause the track while you walk between stops.

This tour covers a walking distance of 1 mile.

The music clips used in this tour are from “Walking Barefoot on Grass” by Kai Engel, and are used with a CCBY license. It is available here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/

This tour has been updated to include the new mural at Stop #5, "In-Finito".

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 individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops.

Walking Tour

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 individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops. You can pause the track while you walk between stops.

This tour covers a walking distance of 1.1 miles.

The music clips used in this tour are from “Walking Barefoot on Grass” by Kai Engel, and are used with a CCBY license. It is available here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/

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 individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops.