Action in Appalachia: Revealing Public Health, Housing, and Community Development Records in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center | 2015-2017: The Council on Library and Information Researches awarded UK Libraries a Cataloging Hidden Collections grant to arrange and describe 645 cubic feet of Appalachian records comprising seven hidden collections of War on Poverty-era, social justice organizational records. These community-driven groups worked to improve public health, housing, education and economic development from the 1960s to the present by taking action in Appalachia. Accessibility to these collections will contribute to new scholarship and public understanding about the social and economic development of Appalachia. Records featured in "Action in Appalachia" are a part of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, which comprises more than 3,000 linear feet of primary source material relating to the history, culture and development of Eastern Kentucky and the Central Appalachian region. It is one of the premiere collecting areas in the center and is among the highest in demand for researchers across the United States and beyond.
Coal, Camps, and Railroads | 2013-2016: The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded UK Libraries a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to digitize 132 cubic feet (264,000 pages) of portions of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection held in UK Special Collections, focusing on 189 years of economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfield from 1788 to 1976. The ten individual collections document the search for, extraction of, and distribution of coal, oil, and natural gas resources in Breathitt, Boyd, Clark, Floyd, Harlan, Lawrence, Letcher, Perry, and Powell counties; the creation of railroads to bring these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States; and the company towns, their services, and the individual lives that grew up to sustain and make possible this economic development.
Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) | 2011: The Institution for Museum and Library Services awarded UK Libraries a National Leadership Grant to further development on OHMS, an open source web-based system that inexpensively and efficiently enhances online access to and discovery of oral histories. OHMS provides users word-level search capability and a time-correlated transcript or index connecting the textual search term to the corresponding moment in the recorded interview online. More information on OHMS can be found here.
National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) | 2005-2013: The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress partnered to form NDNP, a long-term effort to provide permanent access to a national digital resource of historic newspapers, focusing on content published between 1936 and 1922. UK was selected for the pilot run based on the strength of our microfilming efforts and has received a total of 4 award cycles. More information can be found on the Kentucky NDNP website. Digitized newspapers can be found in the NDNP database, Chronicling America.
Arranging and Describing Archives Related to Appalachian History and Culture | 2005: UK Libraries and the UK Appalachian Center was selected for a We the People Grant for the archival processing and production of machine readable finding aids for over 2,600 linear feet of significant Appalachian archival collections housed at UK. These finding aids are available on the Kentucky Digital Library and ExploreUK.
John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Preservation and Access Project | 2004: National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant to preserve and provide access to the most at-risk negatives in the Lexington Herald-Leader photographs. The collection consists of an estimated 1.5 million items spanning the years 1939-1990, with the bulk of the collection documenting 1946-1990. The collection contains photographic negatives, associated newspaper clippings, job sheets, and hand-written photographers’ notes. The LHL photographs are an unparalleled source of photographic evidence documenting Lexington's 20th century history.
(March 31, 2016) The UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center has initiated a new online requests system allowing all our faculty, students, patrons, and visiting researchers to submit requests for materials, schedule a visit, or place digital reproduction and oral history orders through a custom web-based interface.
Create an account to get started. All researchers visiting after March 31st will need to complete registration in their new account.
UK community members can login using their LinkBlue IDs while visitors can create their own login username and password. For more information, visit our FAQ.
The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.