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Brenna Pye guest hosts to celebrate the life of Dr. Mary E. Britton (1855-1925), a passionate advocate for civil and women’s rights. She used her time and talents to uplift Lexington’s African American community. As a teacher, a journalist, an activist, a suffragist, and a doctor, Mary Ellen Britton was a distinguished Lexingtonian who made significant contributions to the town. 
 

Meeting Rooms at the Lexington Public Library

Library meeting rooms are available for non-profit, for profit, and community organizations seeking to hold free meetings, trainings, and workshops. The meeting rooms may not be used for direct sales, solicitation, non-library fundraisers, social or celebratory events.

Meeting rooms are free of charge.  Electric... more info

J.P. Johnson guest hosts to celebrate the life of Dolly Johnson Dandridge (1852-1918), a Kentucky native who was the White House Chef for President Benjamin Harrison, and later a much sought-after chef after her return to Lexington, Kentucky in 1894. She had such clout as to be able to refuse to return to cook for President Grover Cleveland and still have a very successful career as a chef and caterer in Lexington, KY, while continually being recruited as a private chef for prominent families. She was the first African American woman to open a business on Main Street in Lexington. J.... more info
Recorded on the 100th anniversary of Geneva’s death, Mariam interviews author and attorney Peter Brackney about his latest book, The Murder of Geneva Hardman and Lexington’s Mob Riot of 1920. They discuss the trial and execution of Will Lockett, the man who confessed to her murder. The mob riot following the trial led to Lexington being placed under Martial Law for two weeks. Though questions remain on his ultimate guilt or innocence, what is not in question is how, for the first time in the south, Lexington’s local authorities were able to successfully repel a lynch mob.... more info
This episode may be difficult for some listeners to hear – history is often hard and tragic, but it’s still important to tell it. Mariam discusses the life of Margaret Garner, the real life Kentucky Woman who inspired Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Margaret, at age 22, and her family attempted to escape from slavery, only to be caught and returned under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Her harrowing decision to kill her youngest daughter rather than return her to slavery had her brought up on murder charges in Ohio. This led to a cat-and-mouse political game between her... more info

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 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 approximately 1.5 miles.

Please note: You will be walking on paths also used by cars. Please take special care to watch and listen for approaching vehicles.

The music clips used in this tour are from “Walking Barefoot on Grass” by Kai Engel, and are used with... more info

Mariam interviews First Vice President Dee Pregliasco and Board of Directors member Cindy Heine from the Kentucky Chapter of The League of Women Voters about the organization’s 100 year history. They also discuss the League’s current statewide initiatives regarding redistricting, the restoration of voting rights for people with felony convictions, and overall civic engagement.

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 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 0.4 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 African American Heritage 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 1.7 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/

In time for the 100th anniversary of Kentucky ratifying the 19th Amendment granting women in the United States the right to vote, Mariam interviews Shea Simanek Magnuson about the history of women’s suffrage in Kentucky. They discuss the earliest attempts to get votes for women, and the women in Kentucky who fought for the right to vote. This episode features two suffrage songs: “Daughters of Freedom” performed by the “Music for the Nation” Singers and can be found here and a 1916 recording of “She’s Good Enough To Be Your Baby’s... more info
Mariam interviews Tom Eblen, former editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, about the history and personalities surrounding Lexington’s Newspapers. They discuss the Kentucky Gazette, The True American, The Lexington Standard, The Bluegrass Blade and more. These newspapers are available on microfilm in the Kentucky Room. 
Mariam interviews Susan Griffith and Vikki Franklin about the history of the Eastern Kentucky Lunatic Asylum, now called Eastern State Hospital, what historical records are available, the creation of the cemetery, and what services are offered by the hospital today. She also explores the history of the hospital as reported in the Lexington newspapers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The newspapers referenced are available to view on microfilm in the Kentucky Room at Central Library.
Mariam interviews Kentucky native actor, author, and playwright Kevin Lane Dearinger about his forthcoming memoir, Bad Sex in Kentucky, his Broadway career, and his second career in education. Kevin’s first books, The Bard and the Bluegrass and Marie Prescott, a Star of Some Brilliancy are available to view in the Kentucky Room. 
Mariam and Denise discuss the history of the Joyland Amusement Park. The park operated from 1923-1963, and the land is now the site of several subdivisions. 
Jennifer and Erin discuss three new vegetarian cookbook titles and some of the issues that can come up with vegetarian cooking. The books discussed this episode are Almonds, Anchovies & Pancetta by Cal Peternell, Plant-based Meats by Robin Asbell, and The New Vegetarian South by Jennifer Brulé. 
Mariam interviews Wayne Johnson about the colorful life of Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903), as he fought slavery, served as Ambassador to Russia during the Civil War, and made life difficult for the Madison County Sheriff. This episode contains descriptions of violent events, but is not overly graphic (our apologies to Mr. Potato Head.) Listener Discretion is advised.
In this episode, join Alexa, Brian, and Bri as they do a deep dive into the world of Young Adult novels.
Mariam interviews Arwen Donahue, visual artist and oral historian, about her 2009 work This Is Home Now: Kentucky’s Holocaust Survivors Speak. They discuss the experience of interviewing survivors, and their lives in Kentucky. Arwen and Mariam also discuss Arwen’s upcoming projects depicting rural life in Kentucky. This Is Home Now: Kentucky's Holocaust Survivors Speak is available to view in the Kentucky Room and for check out here: https://catalog.lexpublib.org/?section=resource&... more info
Mariam interviews Foster Ockerman, Jr., author of Hidden History of Horse Racing in Kentucky, and President and Chief Historian of the Lexington History Museum about his book and horse racing in Kentucky. They discuss horse racing in early Kentucky, the earliest established racetracks for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing, the founding of Churchill Downs in Louisville, and the Civil War’s effect on horse racing in Kentucky. You can find Hidden History of Horse Racing in Kentucky in the library's catalog for checkout here:... more info
Mariam interviews Trevor Claiborn, co-founder of Black Soil: Our Better Nature, about the organization and the history of African American farmers in Kentucky. Trevor also performs as “Farmer Brown tha MC” to attract young people to farming. You can visit Black Soil’s website to find out more about their upcoming events: www.blacksoil.life. “Grow Harder” and “Chicken Leg Shuffle” by Farmer Brown tha MC are used with permission. 
Mariam interviews Lucy Jones, founder of the Harry Dean Stanton Festival in time for this year’s festival. They discuss Harry’s early life in Lexington and in Hollywood, his rise to fame, and what movies will be screened at this year’s festival.  Visit harrydeanstantonfest.org for more information about screenings and locations. 
Listener favorite Wayne Johnson returns to tell the incredible story of how Lucille Caudill Little, Lexington's best known arts and culture philanthropist, was kidnapped in 1979. They discuss the motives of the kidnapper, and how Mrs. Little called on her experience as an actress to survive the experience. Photos of the aftermath of the police shootout that followed can be found in the Kentucky Room's microfilm archive, or by request through our Ask-A-Librarian service: https://www.lexpublib.org/genealogy-local-... more info
Mariam interviews Peter Brackney, author of the 2014 book Lost Lexington, and creator of the blog "The Kaintuckeean." They discuss a few of the lost landmarks in the book, buildings that have been lost since 2014, and buildings that have been saved and renovated. Peter’s blog is https://www.kaintuckeean.com/. Mariam and Peter mention an earlier episode of the podcast, which you can listen to here: https://www.lexpublib.org/podcasts/cholera-... more info
Denise Shanks tells the story of Smiley Pete, Lexington’s “town dog” who first appeared around 1944. He took up residence in downtown Lexington, and was cared for by multiple people and businesses. His favorite spot was the corner of E Main Street and N Limestone, and a bronze plaque memorializes him there. 

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 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 1.6 miles.

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