About UsOur Story
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) was formed in 1836 by a group of prominent Kentuckians intent on preserving the history of the commonwealth. It was chartered as the state society in 1838 and began to collect books and printed materials. The Society became an agency of Kentucky state government in the early 1950s.
KHS, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, has more than 3,300 members to whom it provides support and educational services. Outreach programs collaborate with more than 430 local historical organizations. KHS is administered by an executive committee, and supported by the KHS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
KHS engages people in the exploration of the commonwealth's diverse heritage. Through comprehensive and innovative services, interpretive programs and stewardship, we provide connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future
The Kentucky Historical Society will be the recognized leader in helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's stories.
KHS collects, preserves, conserves, interprets and shares information, memories and materials from Kentucky's past to assist those interested in exploring and preserving that heritage. KHS is guided in its work by a new strategic plan, in effect July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2013. To read the plan, visit:
KHS Strategic Plan
Our mission is served through:
Our History Campus
- Museum collections, housing more than 120,000 artifacts
- Oral History collection, containing 8,000 oral history interviews
- Libraries and Special Collections housing more than 90,000 published works, 16,000 reels of microfilm, 200,000 historic photographs, 1,900 cubic feet of manuscripts and 2,000 maps.
The KHS history campus
includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. The headquarters of KHS, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, was completed in April 1999. This 167,000-square-foot, $29-million facility in downtown Frankfort has welcomed more than a million visitors and earned many awards for excellence.
The KHS Stewart Home School 1792 Store offers Kentucky books and crafts, as well as unique items inspired by the society's collections and exhibitions. The Center for Kentucky History provides rental venues
to groups and individuals.
KHS fulfills its mission by providing educational services, including:
- "A Kentucky Journey," a 20,000-square-foot permanent exhibit featuring 12,000 years of Kentucky history and changing exhibitions
- Martin F. Schmidt Library specializing in genealogical research and Kentucky history
- Statewide outreach programs that touch every county of the commonwealth
- Online database and research resources