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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