Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky history’


Goan featured on KWSP

In Spotlight on November 20, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

Melanie Goan photo from UK History Department webpage

Dr. Melanie Beal Goan, UK

Dr. Melanie Goan, former KATH President and currently Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Kentucky, was featured recently in the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project (KWSP) portal on the H-Kentucky network.

Dr. Goan was interviewed by the new KWSP Fellow, Dr. Joanna Lile, about her work on a manuscript on the history of Kentucky women and their role in the fight for woman suffrage  locally, nationally and internationally.

See Dr. Lile’s post “A Conversation with Melanie Goan” on the KWSP blog. You can follow future blog posts with an RSS feed from the H-Kentucky network – or subscribe to the network today and receive updates via email.


Call for New Fellow

In Spotlight on September 12, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , ,

The Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project invites applications for a part-time Fellow who supports this project’s unique digital portal with exemplary writing on Kentucky women’s history and culture for both scholars and nonacademic readers. The current Fellow, Kristen Thornsberry, has built up the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Timeline as well as starting up the blog and the project’s community page on Facebook. The project’s signature digital effort is to identify Kentucky’s suffrage sites and connect with a nation-wide Suffrage History Digital Map being developed by National Collaboration for Women’s Historical Sites (NCWHS) in collaboration with the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative led by the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum and the League of Women Voters.

If requesting compensation, the Fellow can be hired as a temporary employee at the University of Kentucky who would be trained and supervised by Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth. Pay to be negotiated. The Fellow will also collaborate with Dr. Melanie Goan (UK History Department) and Dr. Deirdre Scaggs (UK Special Collections), when needed. Most work can be done online via H-Kentucky and at a distance from UK.

Two or three Fellows can be appointed depending on availability and areas of expertise. We are looking for someone who is
– experienced in history research
– familiar with U.S. women’s history
– detail-oriented and careful with historical references
– organization and time-management skills
– communication skills
– comfortable with technical writing as well as informal social media posts
– basic Excel skills (for collecting digital map entries to be uploaded by the H-Net programmers)
– willing to track down information about records lost to history

Fellows will be working on topics related to the history of Kentucky woman suffrage and research should be published in some form on H-Kentucky: the blog, the timeline, the digital map, annotated bibliography, biographical sketches. The Fellow’s approach to a topic should be broad enough to appeal to students and scholars in several humanities and social sciences disciplines as well as an interested general public.

Applicants must have received at least a Masters degree in History by September 1, 2016. Please submit the following application materials to

  1. A curriculum vitae. Applicants are also encouraged to submit a list of links to online projects and/or social media accounts.
  2. A one-page abstract in addition to a detailed statement of the research topic the applicant would like to pursue during the term of the fellowship (not more than 750 words – this can be re-used for an introductory blog post).
  3. A brief, two-page proposal for a seminar (or webinar) series related to the applicant’s research.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from colleagues to whom candidates should send their research and webinar proposal. Letters of recommendation should include an evaluation of the candidate’s proposed research and webinar statements. Please ask referees to submit their letters directly to Letters must be submitted on or before October 1, 2016.

For further information, contact Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth at:
phone: 859-257-0047
or email Kristen Thornsberry at:


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!



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.


Earle C. Clements Award

Be sure all history and social studies teachers attend the KATH Annual Meeting this year!

Earle C. Clements

Earle C. Clements (1896 – 1985), Kentucky congressman and Governor

Charles Flanagan from the National Archives will be announcing the new Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History teachers in Kentucky. This award is the result of a partnership between the UK Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center (where the Earle C. Clements Collection resides) and the National Archives. The criteria will include the teacher’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, impact on student success, and evidence of creativity and innovation.

Deirdre A. Scaggs, Associate Dean of UK Libraries for the Special Collections Research Center and Co-Director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, is spearheading this collaborative effort. She tells us that the award will “reflect the values central to the career of Kentucky politician Earle C. Clements, including public service at all levels of community, respect for civil discourse, willingness to compromise, and dedication to improving education in Kentucky.”

KATH is proud to be invited by the UK Libraries and the National Archives to help launch this great initiative to support the best use of primary sources in Kentucky classrooms.

Posted September 25, 2014 by Randolph Hollingsworth


Andrea Watkins: KATH Board Member and H-KY Book Review Editor

In Spotlight on January 17, 2014 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Andrea Watkins

Dr. Andrea Watkins

KATH-online turns the spotlight on Dr. Andrea S. Watkins of Northern Kentucky University, the 2013-14 KATH Board representative for public comprehensive universities. Dr. Watkins has also recently been accepted as the H-Net Book Review Editor for our own H-Kentucky network – best wishes and we hope her H-Net book review editor training starts soon!

Current school and alma mater/s:

Associate Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University
PhD (1999), MA (1993), and BA (1991) from University of Kentucky

Fields of interest:

Antebellum South, Kentucky History, United States Slavery, Family and Community History

When did you first develop an interest in history?

As the daughter of a historian, I grew up visiting museums, historic homes, and battlefields throughout my childhood.  I remember the 1982 miniseries on George Washington (based on James Thomas Flexner’s Washington: The Indispensible Man) as starting my lifelong interest in our first president, but history really came alive for me at my first visit to Gettysburg in 1986.

How have your interests changed since graduate school?

I still study family relationships in the antebellum south, but my interests now extend more toward the institution of slavery and its impact on families, both white and black.  I also spend a great deal more time researching Kentucky history than I ever imagined I would when in graduate school.

What projects are you working on currently?

I am working on writing a monograph on Robert Wickliffe and his family from Lexington. The Old Duke played a key role in many of the key issues of the antebellum period in Kentucky.  I am also reading and researching the lives of Kentucky women during the Civil War.  The several diaries and memoirs of these women provide an insight into the divided nature of Kentucky citizens during the war.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members?

I have read two recent books about Kentucky that I highly recommend for both the information and their new interpretations of history.  They are Matthew Salafia’s Slavery’s Borderland: Freedom and Bondage Along the Ohio River (2013) and T.R.C. Hutton’s Bloody Breathitt: Politics and Violence in the Appalachian South (2013).

I follow the Twitter feed of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (@amhistorymuseum) because they provide wonderful links to objects, photographs, etc. within their collection.  I find great items that easily capture the interest of students that I can use as a jumping off point for discussions of larger themes.

I also highly recommend the Mount Vernon website (  There are wonderful short educational pages and videos by historians that I use successfully in online courses and in the classroom when studying George Washington and the eighteenth century.  Students particularly love the six minute video on Washington’s dentures! (

Other than history, what are you passionate about?

I like to spend time with my husband, Steve, and our daughter, Rachel.  I enjoy reading mysteries and biographies, and watching television in the evening to unwind.  I enjoy movies and have especially enjoyed the recent Hobbit and Hunger Games movies with my daughter.

Any final thoughts?

I am proud to be a part of KATH and to spend time with other teachers who enjoy history as much as I do.  The humanities as a whole have taken a hit in recent years, but as history teachers we know the value of studying the past to inform and enlighten our present.  I hope I am able to pass on some of the joy and excitement I find in the profession to all those I meet in the classroom and community.


Spotlight on Megan Mummey, KATH Board Member

In Spotlight on January 6, 2014 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Megan Mummey, UK Libraries

Megan Mummey, UK Libraries, 2013-14 KATH Board member

We turn the spotlight now on Megan Mummey, our newly elected Librarian/Archivist Representative on the 2013-14 KATH Board. Ms. Mummey is a Collection Management Archivist in Special Collections at the University of Kentucky Libraries. Here are her responses to our interview questions:

What is your current school and alma mater/s?

Collections Management Archivist at the University of Kentucky; University of Texas at Austin MSIS (2009) and BA in History (2007).

What are your fields of interest?

Archival science and early state history for Kentucky and Texas.

When did you first develop an interest in history?

My interest first developed during my AP U.S. history course in high school. I loved reading our textbook, which was a springboard to other books and from there to my undergraduate degree.

How have your interests changed since graduate school?

My interests have changed significantly. While in school, I studied and wrote on Russian intellectual history, but my interests have changed through my professional archival work in Texas and Kentucky. As an archivist I work with a broad range of primary resources. Currently, I work with records and documents concerning Appalachia, early Kentucky history, military history, and Kentucky public policy. Through processing and providing reference I have gained a very deep and specific knowledge of our holdings.

What projects are you working on currently?

I currently supervise students and staff working on processing a range of material, including civil war letters, the papers of Kentucky education advocate Bob Sexton, early Kentucky broadsides, and the Andrew J. May papers. I just finished working on the W. Jefferson Harris Collection about the saddlebred horse industry in the early twentieth century. I’m also working with a group of librarians and several students on an interactive digital and physical exhibit called “Immigrants in Appalachia”, which will go up in March.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members?

I contribute to the University of Kentucky Special Collections blog Curiosities and Wonders. We post highlights from our collections; announcements about acquisitions and fully processed collections; and different events and exhibits Special Collections puts on.

Other than history, what are you passionate about?

Running after my 18 month old son, cooking, and reading everything I can get my hands on.


Nancy Baird on importance of history

In Spotlight on November 12, 2013 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , ,

Nancy Baird

Nancy Baird

Our KATH Spotlight turns to Nancy Disher Baird, retired librarian at the Kentucky Library (now Special Collections Library) at Western Kentucky University.  Ms. Baird joined the faculty of the Department of Library Special Collections in 1975 and is a professor and specialist in Kentucky history.

Josie Underwood's Civil War DiaryHer most recent work is to edit a Bowling Green woman’s Civil War diary – a wonderful publication that helps us see the Civil War from a Kentuckian sympathetic to the Union:  Josie Underwood’s Civil War Diary.

Ms. Baird, Professor Emerita at WKU, has been interviewed several times – see the full array at the KHS “Pass the Word” database. Click here to listen to Lisa Karen Miller’s interview with Nancy D. Baird, June 17, 2013where she talks about the history of the WKU campus, key WKU historians such as Lowell Harrison, and her 35 year career in the WKU library system.


We Have a Winner!

In Alerts,KATH Awards on August 22, 2013 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , ,

excited crowd sceneWith the roars of an excited crowd in the background, we are proud to announce that we have a winner of the 2013 Thomas D. Clark Undergraduate Writing Award!

Joseph B. Brown, an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, wrote “‘Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?’:  Politics of the Antebellum Baptist Schism in Kentucky” for his HIS499 project for Dr. Joanne Melish in the spring semester of 2013.

The paper was selected in a blind review by two judges who volunteered for the KATH Clark Award Committee.  Here are some of their comments on Mr. Brown’s work.

“The author offers a keen assessment of the relationship between religion and politics in the early 19th century, and postulates that two distinct denominations of the Baptist faith, Antimissionary and Missionary, were diametrically opposed both religiously and politically.  The assertion here is that the way these faithful adherents interpreted the Bible was also reflected in the way they interpreted the Constitution. For example, the case is presented that Antimissionary Baptists preferred a strict constructionists approach to the New Testament and the Constitution, nurturing grave concern for strong institutions within the church and the U.S. government.  Kentucky is given special consideration, and evidence is presented that in certain counties where Antimissionary Baptists dominated, Democrats were voted into office, and by the same token, Missionary  Baptists predominately voted Whig. Adding to the relevance of this discussion was the consideration of modern religious movements and their relationship to constitutional interpretation, the author noted that today’s fundamentalist Christians are also committed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, thus indicating that religious beliefs continue to influence policy positions and attitudes toward government, just as they did in the 19th century.  Well done!”
“The paper is an excellent effort by an undergraduate, it shows hard work, originality, and it handled a complex problem very well. Although it sheds light on an important aspect of Kentucky and the nation’s past, the paper brings forward the questions of the past and demonstrates how they are still relevant in the present. The data contained within the Appendixes are welcomed and add much to the paper. The list of works cited show both secondary and primary sources.  There is a good opening to the paper, it presents the problem, while the rest of the paper relates the final disposition of the problem (the schism in the Baptist Church). The Epilogue brings the story to the present. The author writes in an interesting and engaging style, which will hold most readers attention. … It is interesting, well written, shows originality of thought, and the ability handle a difficult topic. The errors found are for the most part minor, showing lack of experience and typical of ones made by undergraduates. I have no reservations of recommending this paper for highest honors.”

When informed yesterday of his award and invitation to attend the upcoming KATH Annual Meeting on September 28th, Mr. Brown replied, “I am honored to receive this award and I am ecstatic about the wonderfully positive feedback my work has received from the judges.” He agreed that KATH could publish his paper on our website for future competitors to see the quality of work done.  He went on to say, “It is sincerely an honor for my paper to be recognized by such an esteemed and venerable body of scholars.”

With such gracious civility as well as excellent writing and research skills, Mr. Brown’s prospects loom large.  We are sure that all of Kentucky’s history educators are cheering for this young scholar!

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