Access to high quality education remains a headline issue in Kentucky and the nation. The KHS resources below document the history of education in Kentucky and show how Kentuckians across the centuries dealt with changes to education systems.
- J.B. Bowman et al. to Thomas E. Bramlette, June 24, 1865. Board resolutions agreeing to the college merger that produced the University of Kentucky.
- James F. Robinson to Abraham Lincoln, March 6, 1863. Governor Robinson corresponds with the president about the new law allowing state universities to be funded with money raised from public land sales.
Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
- Richard E. Day, Lindsey N. DeVries, and Amanda L. Hoover, “A Persistent Quandary: Berea College and the Rural School Improvement Project, 1953-1957” vol. 112, no. 2 (Spring 2014).
- Richard E. Day, “Bert Combs and the Council for Better Education: Catalysts for School Reform” vol. 109, no. 1 (Winter 2011).
- Kenneth H. Williams, ed., “‘I’m sure there were some that thought I was too smart for my own good’: The Ed Prichard Oral History Interviews” vol. 104, No. 3/4 (Summer/Autumn 2006).
- Marker #2005: Jacobs Hall and Marker #197: School for the Deaf (Boyle County). The marker commemorates Jacobs Hall at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD). Established in 1822, KSD was the first state-sponsored school for the deaf in the nation.
- Marker #773: For Mountain Youth (Madison County). This marker celebrates the location of Berea College. Abolitionist John G. Fee and Oberlin College graduate John A.R. Rogers established the school after the civil war as a non-sectarian, racially-integrated college. After the 1904 Day Law, Berea College only served white students and shifted its mission to focus on affordable, high quality education for men and women from southern Appalachia.
- Marker #2048: Rosenwald School (Marion County). The marker is at the site of one of the 158 Rosenwald schools built in Kentucky between 1917 and 1932. Julius Rosenwald, a Chicago merchant, endowed the Rosenwald Fund to provide quality schooling for African Americans across the South. Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), and built 5,000 schools modeled after the Tuskegee Vocational curriculum.
- History of Education in Kentucky Oral History Collection 177 interviews that document the history of Kentucky education; includes interviews on Kentucky’s primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, as well as the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act.
- African American Education in South Central Kentucky, 1920-1960 26 interviews with African Americans who were educated in and/or taught in south central Kentucky.
- Kentucky Craft History and Education Association (KCHEA) Oral History Project More than 40 interviews with craftspeople, arts administrators, art educators and craft enthusiasts who have been instrumental in the craft history of Kentucky
- School Bell used by three generations of Johnson County, Kentucky teachers from ca. 1910 to 1968.
- Education pays button. From the Patton administration.
- Thomas Burrus ciphering book, 1823-1839. Coverless book used as a copybook for Thomas Burrus’s education
- John B. Ligon textbooks, 1822-1833. Handwritten educational textbooks written by teacher John B. Ligon of Owen County, Kentucky from 1822-1832. The books contain exercises and story problems in math and arithmetic, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, proportions, simple interest, weights and measures. One volume teaches about currency exchange rates in the United States and United Kingdom. It also looks at exchange rates for individual states, particularly Maryland, Georgia and Virginia, which produced their own currency until the National Banking Act was passed in 1863.
- Dennis Doram receipt for tuition for children’s schooling, 1851
- Origin of Popular Education in Kentucky with a Sketch of its Founder 1881
- Catalogue of the Powell Academy of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, session of 1868-69, with an address delivered before the pupils of the school.
- Pine Mountain Settlement School collection, 1913-1941 Materials about the Pine Mountain Settlement School located in Pine Mountain, Harlan County, KY. It includes advertisements; brochures; photographs and images of students, buildings and activities; a typed memoir from an unidentified former student at the school; a typed memoir from an unidentified former teacher at the school; a copy "The history of the Pine mountain Settlement School", dated September 1920; and one undated copy of the "Pine Mountain Bulletin."
- The Story of Hindman Settlement School, 1928
- Mayo State Vocational School, Paintsville, 1941, booklet.
- Frenchburg Presbyterian Church School. Selected Documents: Books 1-5. The Frenchburg School was sponsored by the United Presbyterian Church in Frenchburg, the county seat of Menifee County. It began in 1909 and was the only high school in the area. It remained open as a school until 1957.
- Graduating class of Notre Dame Academy of Divine Providence, Newport, Ky., 1908.
- Pine Mountain Settlement School Photograph Collection, 1919-1921 and 1923.
- Frankfort Rosenwald School, ca. 1952, locally known as the “Model School” and used as a teacher-training school by Kentucky State University students.
- Children in front of Villa Madonna Academy, 1913
- Mayo-Underwood School graduating class of 1947
- Cora Wilson Stewart saw literacy as a way out of poverty. A Rowan County superintendent, Stewart started nighttime schools that ultimately educated more than 40,000 people, predominantly adults.
- John Henry Jackson advocated for training African American teachers. Twice he was president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University).
- Charles W. Anderson, Jr. was an African American attorney who had to be trained out-of-state. He returned to Kentucky and became a state legislator and worked to broaden educational opportunities for all Kentuckians.
- John G. Fee was a noted abolitionist. A mission school that Fee established in the 1850s eventually became Berea College.
- Edward F. Prichard, Jr. was a longtime advocate for better schools and served on the State Council of Higher Education for 13 years. His work led to the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 and the establishment of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.