Special Collections Research Center

 HOURS for July 25, 2021:  Closed

Special Collections Research Center History & Chronology

1909:    Carnegie Foundation funded construction of first library building; term "university library" first used

1931:    New University Library building opened

1937:    Bureau of Source Materials established by Ezra Gillis under aegis of President's Office

1946:    Department of Special Collections established with donation of Samuel L. Wilson library of books and papers

1948:    University Library named Margaret I. King Library in honor of first librarian

1955:    King Library Press established by Carolyn Hammer

1956:    Alben W. Barkley papers acquired; Modern Political Papers collecting area established

1956:    Bureau of Source Materials renamed University and Educational Archives; Mary Hester Cooper named University Archivist

1962:    Addition to King Library building erected

1963-1965:    University and Educational Archives renamed University Archives; moved from President's Office and consolidated with Special Collections

1965:    Department of Special Collections and Archives established

1973:    Oral History program established

1974:    King Library North addition opened, purpose built for Special Collections and Archives

1974-1978:   Audiovisual Archives established and initially funded with NEH grant

1977:   Campus records management program established under aegis of President's Office

1978:   Appalachian collection established

1981:   W. Hugh Peal collection donated (12,000 books and 7.000 manuscripts)

1987:   Department of Special Collections and Archives assumes responsibility for records management; University Archives renamed University Archives and Records Program

1989:   Breckinridge-Kentuckiana Research Room opened

1990:   Library began contract with Kentucky Underground Storage, Inc., for off-site storage

1990:   Appalachian collection renamed Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection

1997:   Kentuckiana Digital Library (KDL) established

1998:   Electronic Information and Access Management Center established (EIAMC, managed the Kentuckiana Digital Library)

1998:   William T. Young library building dedicated

1999:   Special Collection and Archives moved to what was then King Library South

1999:   Conservation lab opened in Young Library; conservation librarian hired

1999:   Wendell H. Ford Research Center and Public Policy Archives established (formerly Modern Political Papers)

1999-2000:  Kentuckiana Digital Library (KDL) startup year

2000:   King Library North building, originally housing Special Collections, renovated to become the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library

2004:   Oral History program renamed Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

2005:   Special Collections and Archives renamed Special Collections and Digital Programs

2005:  National Digital Newspaper program began

2006-2007:  Daily Racing Form digitization program began

2007-2008:  Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) development begun

2009-2010:  Kentucky Digital Newspaper program began

2010:   Special Collections and Digital Programs renamed Special Collections. Digital Programs became a separate unit, consolidated with other information technology functions in the library.

2011:  ExploreUK digital library established

2014:   Digital Programs again consolidated with Special Collections and renamed Special Collections Research Center

2016:  John G. Heyburn II Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary ("Heyburn Initiative") established 


Greider, Antoinette Paris. "University of Kentucky Library." Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2003. 2928-2939.

"Kentuckiana Digital Library 1999-2019:  an historical overview."  Jan. 1, 2010.  Accessed 1/11/2019.

Stanger, Frank. "History of University Archives and Records Program." University of Kentucky Libraries: Special Collections Library. Published 2011. Accessed 12/2/2014.

Chronology prepared by Ruth E. Bryan, 12/2014; 1/2019

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Breckinridge Research Room
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