Century Collection Document Essay Kentucky Through

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Online Resources

  • Kentucky History, 1922, ($), index.
  • County and Town Histories
  • A Sesqui-centennial history of Kentucky : a narrative historical edition, commemorating one hundred and fifty years of statehood, ($), index.
  • History of Kentucky, ($), index.
  • Fort Boonesborough Settlers, index.

Brief History

Effective family history research requires some understanding of the historical events that affected your family and the records about them. Learning about wars, governments, laws, migrations, and religious trends may help you understand political boundaries, family movements, and settlement patterns. State, county, and town histories often include biographical sketches of local residents, including important genealogical information. This may be one of the best sources of information for some families.

The following important events in the history of Kentucky affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

  • 1772-1773: Virginia land speculation company dispatched agents to survey along the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers.
  • 1772: Fincastle County was formed from Botetourt County, Virginia. It included all of the present state of Kentucky and small portions of Virginia and West Virginia.
  • 1773-1774: Lord Dunmore War the Indians attack at Cumberland Gap.
  • 1774: Harrodsburg was established as the first permanent settlement in Kentucky. Settlements at Boonesboro, St. Asaph, and Danville soon followed. Early settlers received land warrants for their participation in the French and Indian War.
  • 1775: Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap.
  • 1775: (April 1,) Boonsboro established by Daniel Boone
  • 1776: Kentucky County was created from Fincastle County, Virginia. It included the eastern part of present-day Kentucky.
  • 1792: Virginia dropped claims to region
  • 1792: (June 1,)The Commonwealth of Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state. Many pioneers of Kentucky were Revolutionary War veterans who came to claim bounty land.
  • 1792: Battle of Fallen Timbers ends Indian resistance in the area.
  • 1803: Migration through Kentucky, as well as settlement there, increased after the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1812– 1815: The War of 1812 involved many Kentucky soldiers.
  • 1852: Kentucky law required counties to record births, marriages, and deaths.
  • 1815–1860: Kentucky settlers benefited from improvements in transportation, including river steamboats, canals, and railroads.
  • 1861–1865: Kentucky officially supported the Union in the Civil War, but its soldiers served on both sides (120,000 Union and 60,000 Confederate).
  • 1862: The Kentucky law requiring counties to record births, marriages, and deaths was repealed.
  • 1870s: Further attempts were made to record births, marriages, and deaths.
  • 1898: Over 300,000 men were involved in the Spanish-American War which was fought mainly in Cuba and the Philippines.
  • 1911: Kentucky again required the registration of births and deaths.
  • 1917–1918: More than 26 million men from the United States ages 18 through 45 registered with the Selective Service. World War I over 4.7 million American men and women served during the war. Over 75,000 Kentuckians served in World War I
  • 1920s: The coal mining industry boomed.
  • 1930's: The The Great Depression closed many factories and mills. Many coal miners lost their jobs, and small farms were abandoned as the depression hit Kentucky. Many Kentuckians moved to the cities for better jobs.
  • 1940–1945: Over 50.6 million men ages 18 to 65 registered with the Selective Service. Over 16.3 million American men and women served in the armed forces during ["http://www.worldwar-2.net/ World War II&]. Over 300,000 Kentuckians served in World War II. Coal mines and farms became productive again.
  • 1950–1953: Over 5.7 million American men and women served in the Korean War
  • 1950's–1960's The building of interstate highways made it easier for people to move long distances.
  • 1950–1970s: Tourism became a major industry as new highways were built. Coal mining and manufacturing continued to grow.
  • 1964–1972: Over 8.7 million American men and women served in the Vietnam War.

Historical Content

Histories are great sources of genealogical information. Many contain biographical information about individuals who lived in the area, including:

  • Parents' names
  • Maiden names of women
  • Place of birth, death, or marriage
  • Occupation
  • Migration
  • Military service

Local Histories

Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the [1] Family History Library public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies. An index of the pioneer histories and genealogies of Kentucky is: *Calendar of The Kentucky Papers of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts. 1925 <ref>State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Library. Calendar of The Kentucky Papers of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts. 1925 Reprint, Utica, KY: McDowell Publications, 1983. </ref> This work lists documents in date order, giving the author, an abstract of the document, and the reference to the series, with volume and page number. A name index gives the book page number where the document is abstracted. Series CC (the code used by the Draper Collection for the Kentucky Papers)

  • A Bibliography of American County Histories[2]
  • United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress[3][4]
  • The Irvins, Doaks, Logans, and McCampbells of Virginia and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Early 19th-Century German Settlers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Other States. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, and 4C at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Sketches of early life and times in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The mountain people of Kentucky : an account of present conditions with the attitude of the people toward improvement at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Genealogy of the Hill family, Kentucky and Virginia at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A history and genealogy of the Warder family in Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The mountain people of Kentucky : an account of present conditions with the attitude of the people toward improvement at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The anti-slavery movement in Kentucky, prior to 1850 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A description of Kentucky in North America : to which are prefixed miscellaneous observations respecting the United States at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A Web of family : letters from a Kentucky family, 1816-1865. at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Stout family of New York City and in the state of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The McChords of Kentucky and some related families at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The pioneer to the Kentucky emigrant : a brief topographical & historical description of the state of Kentucky : to which are a at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Background of genealogical research in Kentucky and Indiana at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The centenary of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky descendants of Thomas Norris of Maryland, 1630-1953 and allied families at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kelion Franklin Peddicord of Quirk's Scouts, Morgan's Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A. : biographical and autobiographical : together at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Roy family of Virginia and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Pioneer life in Kentucky : a series of reminiscential letters from Daniel Drake, M.D., of Cincinnati, to his children at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Stamm family of Ohio and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Life and times of Judge Caleb Wallace : some time a justice of the Court of Appeals of the state of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Polish pioneers of Virginia and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The glacial boundary in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky, a pioneer commonwealth at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Tipton family of Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Nativism in Kentucky to 1860 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A sketch and bibliography of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1836-1943 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The political beginnings of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Wilderness Road to Kentucky : its location and features at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The political beginnings of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Smyth Tandy, 1741-1823, Virginia gentleman & Kentucky pioneer at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A history of the Kentucky and Missouri Stiles at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky, designs for her future at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The personal narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Old Kentucky architecture : colonial, federal, Greek revival, Gothic, and other types erected prior to the War Between the Stat at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Kentucky River navigation at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky : a pioneer commonwealth at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky pioneer women : Columbian poems and prose sketches at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Mammoth Cave and the cave region of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A Kentucky pioneer at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Ante-bellum Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Report of the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission to the 1936 General Assembly of Kentucky and appendix : addresses, "Daniel B at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)

State Histories Useful to Genealogists

Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, especially older histories published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the laudatory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name. Some examples for the State of Kentucky:

  • A Bibliography of Kentucky History[6] This bibliography lists sources of Kentucky history by subject and by the repositories that contain copies.
  • A History of Kentucky, Embracing Gleanings, Reminiscences, Antiquities, Natural Curiosities, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches. 1872[7] This book includes some biographical sketches and is indexed.
  • A New History of Kentucky[11] This book contains chapters on the history of the economy, education, politics, slavery, and social changes in Kentucky. It is indexed.
  • History of Kentucky[12]Volumes 3 through 5 contain several hundred biographical sketches. An index is included with volume one of this record.
  • Kentucky History, 1922 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A Sesqui-centennial history of Kentucky : a narrative historical edition, commemorating one hundred and fifty years of statehood at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky Colonization in Texas at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Hawkins of Virginia, the Carolinas and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • A Massie family history : descendants of James R. Massie of Virginia and Kentucky and his sons William Redman Massie (born 1800 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky Brights and their kin at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • William McMurtry of Kentucky and Alabama and his descendants at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • DuVals of Kentucky from Virginia, 1794-1935 : descendants and allied families at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Eastern Kentucky papers : the founding of Harman's Station : with an account of the Indian captivity of Mrs. Jennie Wiley and at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Snatches of O'Daniel, Hamilton, and allied ancestry and history in Maryland and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The history of Kentucky : from its earliest discovery and settlement, to the present date, embracing its prehistoric and aborig at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Kentucky : a history of the state, embracing [a concise account of the origin and development of the Virginia colony, its [exp] at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Genealogies and sketches of some old families who have taken prominent part in the development of Virginia and Kentucky especia at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Origins of Clements-Spalding and allied families of Maryland and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Chronicles of a Germany family, or, Heiners of Germany, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Texas at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Annals of the Fowler family with branches in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississipp at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • History of the Gilbert family of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky et al. at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Moores of Virginia and Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The family of Rev. John Tanner, Baptist preacher : Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri. at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Governor Garrard of Kentucky at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Park of Kentucky, 1747-1929 at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Genealogy of Hollon and related families : early settlers of eastern Kentucky and their descendants at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • First explorations of Kentucky : Doctor Thomas Walker's journal of an exploration of Kentucky in 1750, being the first record at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Bowmans, a pioneering family in Virginia, Kentucky and the northwest territory at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The life and adventures of Daniel Boone, the first settler of Kentucky : interspersed with incidents in the early annals of the at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Three Kentucky pioneers at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • Our Southern family : the Greens, Malcolms, Thomas, Cooper, Williams and Magness families of Kentucky and Tennessee. at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • An early Barrickman line in the state of Kentucky. at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • John Filson, the first historian of Kentucky : an account of his life and writings, principally from original sources at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)
  • The Kentuckie country : an historical exposition of land interest in Kentucky prior to 1790, coupled with facsimile reproductio at Ancestry.com (Free[5]/$)

Additional Sources For Historical Information

Much historical information about early settlers in Indiana is found in the following collection:

The Draper Manuscript Collection

The Draper Manuscript Collection is a significant regional source that includes records of Kentucky.

  • Draper Manuscript Collection[13] The collection consists of nearly 500 volumes of manuscripts, papers, and books collected by Lyman Copeland Draper about the history of the trans-Allegheny West, a region including the western areas of the Carolinas and Virginia, all the Ohio River Valley, and part of the upper Mississippi Valley from the 1740s to 1830. The collection is divided into 50 series. Some series are titled by geographic area, some by the names of prominent frontier leaders, and some by topic. The bulk of the collection consists of notes from interviews, questionnaires, and letters gathered during Draper’s extensive travels and research to learn about frontier history. Personal papers are much more rare than government or military records.

The collection includes many items of a genealogical or biographical nature. For an inventory and partial indexes, see:

  • Guide to the Draper Manuscripts[14]This guide gives series and volume descriptions for some of the Draper manuscripts. There are several indexes at the end of the book, including a name and subject index, an additional personal data index, and a list of references to Illinois.
  • Index to Lyman C. Draper Manuscripts.[15] The name index gives the series and volume numbers, but is not complete.

Beginger made extensive abstracts of Kentucky material in the Draper Collection:

  • The George M. Bedinger papers volume 1A of the Draper Manuscript Collection.[16]

United States History

The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:

  • The Almanac of American History, [17] This provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
  • Dictionary of American History, Revised ed[18] This includes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations. A snippet view is available at [19].
  • Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium[20][21]This includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.

To find more books and articles about Kentucky 's history use the Internet Google search for phases like "Kentucky history." FamilySearch Catalog Surname Search lists many more histories under topics like:




  1. ↑Family History Library
  2. ↑Filby, P. William. A Bibliography of American County Histories Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1985.
  3. ↑Kaminkow, Marion J.United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress. 5 vols. Baltimore: Magna Charta Book, 1975-76.
  4. ↑" Worldcat
  5. be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  6. ↑John Winston Coleman. A Bibliography of Kentucky History . Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1949.
  7. ↑Allen, William B. A History of Kentucky, Embracing Gleanings, Reminiscences, Antiquities, Natural Curiosities, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches. 1872 Reprint, [N.p.]: Green County Historical Society, 1967.
  8. ↑A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians Vol. I
  9. ↑A_history_of_Kentucky_and_Kentuckians Vol. II
  10. ↑http://books.google.com/books/about/A_history_of_Kentucky_and_Kentuckians.html?id=E2m43HWFcrMC A_history_of_Kentucky_and_KentuckiansVol. III]
  11. ↑Harrison, Lowell H. A New History of Kentucky . Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.
  12. ↑Kerr, Charles. History of Kentucky 5 vols. Chicago, Illinois: American Historical Society, 1922.
  13. ↑ Draper, Lyman Copeland. Draper Manuscript Collection Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Library, 197–?.
  14. ↑Harper, Josephine L. Guide to the Draper Manuscripts . Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1983.
  15. ↑Wolfe, Barbara Schull. Index to Lyman C. Draper Manuscripts. Logansport, Indiana: B.S. Wolfe, 197–?.
  16. ↑Craig L. Heath and George Michael Bedinger, The George M. Bedinger papers volume 1A of the Draper Manuscript Collection (Bowie, Maryland Heritage Books, 2002).
  17. ↑Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Almanac of American History. Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983.
  18. ↑ Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.
  19. ↑Google books
  20. ↑Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium. Springfield, Mass.: G and C Merriam, 1971.
  21. ↑Google Books
  22. ↑ Writings on American History By American Historical Association, Library of Congress, United States National Historical Publications Commission, Published by KTO Press, 1921
  23. ↑Google Books

Kentucky Maps Collection

Historic Maps | About the Collection | Conditions of Use | Acknowledgments

Historic Maps

by Tom Owen

Historic maps attract inquiry on several levels. For some, they are works of art with color coding and linear preciseness. Early maps also reveal the limits of the known that the cartographer faced and the terrible limits on the information gathering techniques that were available to them. Indeed, maps are always a study in "looking through a glass darkly."

Historic maps are a delightful testimony to the archetypal human need to know. As we look upon this collection of Kentucky maps we marvel at the intense curiosity about a single place - sometimes the tiniest place - that the map maker chose to record. That knowledge of place is sometimes blandly utilitarian as the map was indeed a servant of the real estate appraiser, utility contractor, or land use planner.

Peoples throughout time have asked "How Did the Leopard Get Its Spots?" In that sense, this map collection is an unrivaled source for etiology explaining why the old Jefferson County country lane - today's heavily traveled thoroughfare - turned eastwardly rather than to the west or how the street or road got its name. These maps show us inter-city and commuter rail lines, river wharfs, waterway crossings, school and church locations, and where to find a blacksmith shop. A list of property owners designated on the maps reads like a community "Who's Who" reminding us of the claim that the past continues to have on our own time.

These maps also provide a window into the geography that has shaped Louisville, and that Louisvillians have, in their turn, shaped. The high lands explain where the big houses with vistas are to be found, while the creek banks point to land where residents are vulnerable to flood. Louisville is a place where waterways define our history and our maps explain how they have been dammed, rerouted, and recast as concrete channels.

These rich sources of information are enhanced through digitization, which makes it possible to view precise map features without having to resort to a magnifying glass. In addition, digitization makes it possible for researchers of all kinds to use these maps - many of which are very fragile - at their own leisure and in any location around the globe.

About the Collection

This digital collection features four atlases of Louisville and environs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; 74 maps from the Lafon Allen Kentucky Maps Collection (excluding two duplicates within the collection); and maps of Louisville, Jefferson County, and Kentucky from the University Archives and Records Center; Rare Books; and Photographic Archives. It will eventually include other historic maps of and including this region. The digitization of the atlases began with preservation in mind, using digital technology to create a surrogate of the atlases for patrons to use rather than touching the brittle pages of the originals.

The larger collections included are:

Beers & Lanagan. Atlas of Jefferson and Oldham Counties, Kentucky from new and actual surveys. Philadelphia, Pa., 1879.

Call Number G 1333 .J4 B4 1879A in Photographic Archives.
Title Page, Indices, Business Notices, and 28 maps.

Hopkins, Griffith Morgan, C.E. Atlas of the City of Louisville Ky. and Environs. Philadelphia, Pa., 1884.

Item Number LouAtlas1884 in University Archives and Records Center.
Title Page, Index, and 30 plates.

Hunter, William B. Atlas of Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: Louisville Title Company, 1913.

Item Number LouAtlas1913 in University Archives and Records Center. UARC owns two copies of this atlas; the more complete and legible pages from either atlas were selected for scanning.
Title Page, Legend, 113 plates, and information about the Louisville Title Company.

Louisville Abstract & Loan Association. Atlas of the City of Louisville Ky. Louisville, Ky., 1876.

Call Number G 1334 .L6 L68 1876 in Photographic Archives.
Cover, Title Page, Preface with Index, and 6 maps of what should have been 18.

Scowden, T. R. Map of the Falls of the Ohio and proposed enlargement of Louisville and Portland Canal. Cincinnati, Oh.: Gazette Company Steam Printing House, 1859.

Folded in pocket of Report of Committee on the best mode of improving navigation at the Falls of the Ohio in Rare Books.

Wharton, R. F. City of Louisville Kentucky The Gateway to the South. Louisville, Ky.: Pease & Norgard, 1925.

In Rare Books.

Works Progress Administration. Real property survey and low income housing area survey of Louisville, Kentucky. Volume II (Maps). Louisville, Ky.: 1939.

Item Number WPA1939 in University Archives and Records Center. UARC owns three copies of this publication; the more complete and legible pages from each were selected for scanning.
Front and back covers and 15 plates.

Lafon Allen Kentucky Maps Collection, University of Louisville Rare Books

Lafon Allen, Esq. (1871-1952), a graduate of Yale College and University of Louisville Law School, was a prominent attorney, Circuit Court Judge (1922-1934), and active supporter of art and historical organizations in his home state of Kentucky. He also collected maps and, in 1950, Allen donated his personal "Collection of Maps of North America with Special Reference to Kentucky" to the University of Louisville's Rare Books department.

Fifty-seven of seventy-six maps in Allen's album feature Kentucky, either alone or with Tennessee, or cities in Kentucky. The Kentucky Geological Survey team called these drawings, created between 1785 and 1933, the most extensive group of Kentucky maps known. Highlights include Carte de Kentucke d'apres les Observations Actuelles (1785) by John Filson (ca. 1747-1788), A Geographical, Statistical and Historical Map of Kentucky (1822) by Lucas Fielding (1781-1854), and a small tourist map with steam boat routes and stage coach schedules published in 1839.

Allen's collection also contains 17th and 18th century French, English, and Dutch maps of the Western Hemisphere plus illustrations of all or part of North America by noted colonial cartographers, such as John Russell (fl. 1733-1795). In an introductory note, Allen acknowledged the only link some of the early maps have to Kentucky is "territory which later included . . . Kentucky is, of course, found within the larger area depicted on these maps," and said the older maps were placed at the head of his collection because of their "antiquity and beauty." The oldest, and perhaps most decorative, is Americae Nova Tableau (1635) by Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571-1638).

Pre-1900 Maps, University of Louisville Archives and Records Center

Conditions of Use

The University of Louisville welcomes fair use of this website and its contents. If you wish to publish, broadcast, or publicly display these materials, please notify Archives and Special Collections. In addition, it is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions, which may include paying fees for commercial use. For further information about permissions, use, and ordering reproductions, see Order Reproductions, or contact Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.

Please cite the pre-1900 maps, the 1939 WPA maps, and the atlases and the maps within them using the following format:

[Image Number], [Digital Publisher], University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

Please cite the Lafon Allen Maps as:
[Image Number], Lafon Allen Maps Collection, Rare Books, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).


Many people, including students, staff, and faculty at the University of Louisville Libraires, have contributed to this digital collection since its inception in 2007.

Typically, each map or plate was scanned as a 600 ppi, 24-bit RGB TIFF file, using a BetterLight overhead scanning setup including a Linhof Kardan M camera with 135mm Rodenstock lens or 120mm Rodenstock lens (providing a wider angle for larger maps).

The 1913 atlas included wide page margins around each map, so the scans were cropped to the borders of the maps. The 1831, 1859, and 1925 maps of Louisville were each scanned in multiple parts and merged into a single file using the Photomerge feature in Photoshop version CS4.

The following people assisted with the scanning of one or more maps in this collection:
Bill Carner
Alexandra Clifton
Rachael Elrod
Rachel I. Howard
Ann Merkle
Laure Miolo
Amy Hanaford Purcell
Rachael Ritter
Susannah Starks
Marcy Werner

Susan Finley or Rachel I. Howard cataloged, converted, and uploaded the images as lossy JPEG2000 files of Maximum quality using CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software. Metadata for each map was created in accordance with our data dictionary (PDF). Most of the maps have titles printed on them, but those supplied by the cataloger(s) have been noted in the Description field.

Jennifer Hambley assisted with the identification of neighborhoods represented by each page in the atlases.

Terri L. Holtze designed the HTML pages, including the application of Google Maps to relate the historic maps' boundaries to present-day Louisville.

Tom Owen, Associate Archivist-Local History, wrote the "Historic Maps" essay.

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