Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Historical Society’


KHS Ky History Educ Conference

In Spotlight on January 10, 2019 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged:

A message from Claire Gwaltney at the Kentucky Historical Society:

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has had a relaxing holiday season and is ready to jump into 2019!

And now that we’re in a new year I have a date to share with you: our annual Kentucky History Education Conference (KHEC) will be held July 17-19 and as usual, I am looking for individuals and groups interested in presenting on Thursday, July 18, our main conference day. Presenters will have their conference fee waived. Session proposals are due April 15. Additional information and session proposal forms can be found at:

KHEC also features exhibitors from various education groups, libraries and museums. If you are interested in exhibiting, please register at: Exhibitor registration is due July 5.

Not presenting or exhibiting but want to attend or help us spread the word? Registration is now open at:

If you have any questions feel free to contact me. See you at KHEC!



Claire E. Gwaltney
Teacher Programs Manager
Kentucky Historical Society
100 W. Broadway │ Frankfort, KY 40601



KY History Educ Conference

In Alerts on March 24, 2018 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged:

From Mandy Higgins at KHS:

The Kentucky History Education Conference (KHEC) is July 12-13, 2018 in Frankfort at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

KHEC is currently seeking vendors to table on July 12. If your organization would like to sign up, you can do so here:

Any questions should be directed to Claire Gwaltney at


Courage to do history

In Spotlight on October 16, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged:

Many Higgins

Mandy Higgins, KY Historical Society

Have you seen the wonderful essay on the Kentucky Historical Society’s blog by Mandy Higgins, a KATH board member? Check it out: “Community Engagement as Institutional Branding, Or Why I’m Not Brave.” It is a terrific description of what many of us in KATH do.

She writes about how historians ask tough questions and support ways in which their audiences (on paper or in person) can find answers. “It is about modeling good listening skills and providing space for disagreement.”

However, we must disagree with Mandy when she writes: “I am not brave. I am a historian, doing her job.” She is indeed an intrepid warrior on behalf of all of us here in Kentucky. Thank you, Mandy, for all that you do.


KHS job opening

In Alerts on February 1, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: ,

This news just in from Mandy Higgins on Twitter: “The is hiring an Oral History Administrator.”

Here’s more from the KHS website:

“The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) seeks an oral history administrator. The oral history administrator implements the strategic direction of the Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC), the only commission of its kind in the United States dedicated to providing financial and technical assistance to oral history repositories, oral historians and community scholars. Since 1976, KOHC has awarded more than $1 million to more than 600 grantees throughout the Commonwealth…. The administrator will oversee the KOHC grant program and serve as a technical resource for individuals and organizations across the state. The position will provide technical advice and training on developing an oral history project, conducting oral history interviews, using digital recording equipment, digitizing oral history collections, oral history collections assessment and digital preservation of oral history collections. … Application deadline is Feb. 28, 2017.”

See more details about this job opportunity at KHS here.


KY Woman Suffrage

In Spotlight on June 24, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

UPDATE 26 August 2016: The Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project Portal is up and live at – please contribute! and here’s the updated flyer too for you to share. KY-Woman-Suffrage-Project_Votes-for-Women-Trail_July2016 (.pdf file)


In partnership with H-Net programmers and several KATH members, the H-Kentucky network is getting some new bells-and-whistles! Check out the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project‘s new page describing the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Timeline and the upcoming Kentucky “Votes for Women” Trail archive database.

We hope that all the KATH members will help out by posting in H-Kentucky new contributions of items gleaned from your local areas. Or you can assign your students to be sleuths and find hidden gems in your local libraries or historical organizations. We want images, brief biographical sketches, transcriptions of speeches, whatever you think will help us in building out the Kentucky history of the fight for equal suffrage from the 1830s through the 1920s. If you have diaries and letters, buttons, banners and sashes from your family’s heirloom stash of memorabilia, let us know so we can borrow them for the traveling exhibit or for filming to include in the documentary!

We developed an overview flyer for the Project that we shared yesterday with Kentucky teachers at the Kentucky Historical Society’s Kentucky History Educators Conference. Download your own flyer here and share with others. Looking forward to seeing your contributions on H-Kentucky!



Klotter wins medallion

News about Dr. Jim Klotter, featured speaker at our upcoming annual meeting, from a press release by Mack McCormick, University Press of Kentucky:

On Tuesday, May 10, James C. Klotter was recognized as the 2016 recipient of the University of Kentucky Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement at the UK Libraries Spring Gala. The Lexington native, UK alumnus, and Georgetown College scholar is the state historian of Kentucky. The UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement is one of UK’s most prestigious awards. It was created in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth. The recipient is determined by the UK Libraries National Advisory Board after receiving nominations from the public. Past recipients include: Wendell Berry, James Still, Bobbie Ann Mason, Thomas D. Clark, Laman A. Gray Jr., Guy Davenport, George C. Herring, John Egerton, Karl Raitz, and George C. Wright.

“Through his writing, his teaching, and hundreds of talks on Kentucky history across the Commonwealth over the past four decades, Dr. James C. Klotter epitomizes what the UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement honors: high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value,” UK Libraries Dean Terry Birdwhistell said.

James C. Klotter received his doctoral degree in history from UK in 1975. He is author, co-author, or editor of almost 20 books including The Breckinridges of Kentucky, William Goebel: The Politics of Wrath, Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852, and Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900-1950. He is also the author of the Kentucky history textbooks used at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels statewide. Klotter is general editor, along with UK Libraries Dean Terry Birdwhistell and Douglas Boyd of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, of the book series Kentucky Remembered: An Oral History Series. He also serves as the general editor of the Topics in Kentucky History series.

The state historian of Kentucky since 1980, Klotter worked at the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) from 1973 to 1998, with his tenure culminating in eight years of service as the KHS executive director. Since 1998, he has been a professor of history at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. He has also been chair or president of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History, the Kentucky Council on Archives, the UK Library Associates, the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, and the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable. The recipient of several other local, regional, and national honors, Klotter has previously received the Governor’s Outstanding Kentuckian Award and the Clark Award for Literary Excellence. He also has delivered the McCandless Lecture at Oxford University.

For more information, contact: Mack McCormick, Publicity Manager for the University Press of Kentucky, 859/257-5200,

Posted May 16, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth


Spotlight: Brent Taylor

In Spotlight on March 18, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor, WKCTC

Have you been wondering about this Brent E. Taylor, a history instructor at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, who is our current President-Elect?

Well, we got the scoop – straight from Brent himself. Check it out!

Current Position: History Instructor at West Kentucky Community & Technical College

Alma Mater: Murray State University

Fields of interest: Kentucky History, 20th-Century American History, Presidential History

When did you first develop an interest in history? I have always had an interest in it. I can remember my great grandmother showing me a picture, pointing to a photo and telling me that uncle so-and-so fought in the Civil War. I can also remember sitting at the foot of my grandmother’s bed listening to stories about the World War II Homefront.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? In graduate school, I never considered teaching Kentucky History. However, a frantic call from the Dean of Online Learning at WKCTC, changed all that when I was called upon to take over a class, mid-semester. It was a crash-course in the Commonwealth. Then later, I inherited a face-to-face course when a fellow professor retired. Standing in front of 30 students required a second crash course, and now Kentucky History is my pet project. Just yesterday I found myself reading about a court case called Louisville Railway Company v. Commonwealth. That would have never happened in grad school.

What projects are you working on currently? Right now I am building a collection of primary sources in Kentucky History for use in Kentucky classes (and also possibly American history classes). There’s everything in it from Daniel Boone to Freedmen’s Bureau ration documents, to a report by the Lexington Vice Commission.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? The Kentucky Historical Society has a site about Civil War era governors that is nice to check for updates.

Other than history, what are you passionate about? I like songwriting and fantasy football.

Any final thoughts? Encourage your colleagues to join KATH. There is strength in numbers.


Spotlight: Kate Hesseldenz

In Spotlight on March 14, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Kate Hesseldenz 2016

Kate Hesseldenz

Next up in our series of Spotlight posts is the KATH Board representative for Public Historians: Kate Hesseldenz, Curator & Development Assistant at the Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. Here’s her answers to our questions:

Current school and alma mater/s: I am a public historian, a curator, at Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. I received my BA in Art History (1991) from Indiana University, Bloomington and my MA in Anthropology/Museum Studies (2001) from the University of Denver.

Fields of interest: Kentucky history and Early American history

When did you first develop an interest in history? In college, in my first semester at IU, I took an art appreciation class which I loved. This experience began my lifelong interest in both art and history.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? My degree is in Anthropology so I didn’t study history in grad school, but I began working at the Kentucky Historical Society after graduate school. I began learning Kentucky history then, although I grew up in Kentucky and had previously worked at the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology at UK, so I already had a base knowledge of prehistoric and historic Kentucky.

What projects are you working on currently? In addition to a wonderful decorative arts collection at Liberty Hall, we also have a library and archives. In an effort to raise awareness and scholarship about the Brown family, who lived at Liberty Hall, we are currently (through a grant-funded project) working to catalog and digitize this collection. Very little scholarship has been done on John Brown, who was one of Kentucky’s first U.S. Senators. Brown also worked for many years for Kentucky statehood. Working behind-the-scenes in Washington prior to 1792, he helped to establish Kentucky as a state. By digitizing our archival collection and creating an online catalog, we are hoping to entice Kentucky history scholars to choose Brown as a research topic. We will begin making the collection accessible online in the summer of 2016.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? I just read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I thought it was such an amazing book. Having read Seabiscuit, I knew Hillenbrand was a good writer and with this book she did not disappoint. The story of Louis Zamperini’s survival amidst major adversity was truly riveting—a real page-turner!

Other than history, what are you passionate about? Art, reading, cooking, yoga, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Any final thoughts? With falling attendance at historic sites, there is much discussion amongst historic house professionals about how to stay relevant. Many of us don’t visit or support the local treasures in our own backyards. If you don’t already, please visit/support Kentucky’s historic house museums—many are doing interesting programs, re-inventing the tour experience, and creating new exhibits or interpretative spaces.


Call for NHD judges

In Alerts on April 15, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

Judge for National History Day in KentuckyThe Kentucky Junior Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society Needs You to be a Judge at the National History Day in Kentucky state contest.
April 25 at the University of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) offers an annual program with students around the state called National History Day in Kentucky. It’s basically a history “convention” for 4th-12th grade students. It revolves around an overall theme (this year is “Leadership and Legacy”) but can  range in a variety of topics.An unprecedented number of students have participated in regional National History Day contests this year.

There are five categories to be judged – papers, exhibit boards, websites, documentaries, and performances. As a judge, your responsibilities are to review projects, talk to enthusiastic students, and rank the projects based on established criteria. Judging volunteers can indicate their preferred category. Specific category instructions can be found on the KHS website under the heading, “Volunteer to be a NHD Judge.”

The day for judges begins at 8:00 with orientation (breakfast is provided), judging begins at 9:00 and lasts until 12 or so, with lunch (also provided) following so judges can finish up their scoring. Judges should be finished around 1 pm.

More information about the NHD topic can be downloaded (.pdf file) here. The Judges Evaluation Guidelines can be downloaded (.docx file) here.

This year, the state’s National History Day competition is held at the University of Kentucky in the White Hall Classroom Building and Barker Hall on Saturday 25 April.

Here’s the online registration link ( for volunteers. If you have any questions, please contact Ashlee Chilton, Museum Educator at KHS, through her work email at

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