Impact Report 2018

The Kentucky History Center & Museums has welcomed more than 1 million visitors since its anchor building, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, opened in 1999 in historic downtown Frankfort. In 2018 alone, we played host to 48,362 guests, including visitors from 108 Kentucky counties, 49 states (Maine, where were you?), Washington DC and 21 countries.

Our outreach activities added four more counties to that list, bringing the total number of counties we “touched” in 2018 to 112, plus adding another 12,846 students and adults served during these visits to our total “connected with” number.

But the numbers don’t stop there. In 2018, we assisted 2,164 researchers who either wrote or called our reference desk with questions. Our social media followers and subscribers reached 22,239. Add online visits to that — including our main website, Kentucky Ancestors Online, Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition, Explore KY History app and The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society — which were accessed 1,358,668 times.

This brings the total number of connections we made with people engaged in historical discovery in some way during 2018 to 1,444,279. See below for other ways that we made an impact in 2018.

Our Mission

We educate and engage the public through Kentucky history in order to confront the challenges of the future.

What We Did in 2018



We created 446 object records, cataloged 920 artifacts and loaned 81 items from our collections
to local history organizations and heritage sites in Kentucky.

50K Fans


We HOSTED 48,362 HISTORY FANS who came to the KHS history campus to learn how Kentucky helped our country evolve. They traveled from 108 Kentucky counties, 49 states including Kentucky), Washington, D.C., and 21 countries.



Among our nearly 50,000 guests were 29,219 K-12 students and their parents. We helped them USE HISTORY’S LESSONS to overcome current and future issues.

1.36 million


We provided 24/7 access to ONLINE RESEARCH TOOLS. These were accessed 1,358,668 times in 2018.

“My involvement in technology makes it vitally clear that we must encourage and nurture a sense of place across all ages, especially in our children.”



2018 was our 182nd year as STEWARD of Kentucky’s historical treasures.



  • EARNED $521,200 in program and services income
  • ATTRACTED $227,100 in federal grants
  • EMPLOYED 49 people with a payroll of $1.936 million+
  • CONTRIBUTED $551,800 in payroll taxes to the local, state and federal government

Our History Is Our Future

KHS works to empower Kentuckians by helping them become excited about history and to want to discover and understand their past, then put that awareness to work in making informed choices for the future.

More of What We Did in 2018

  • Dedicated 37 new markers, honoring everything from Odd Fellows to a Medal of Honor hero and more. To date, 2,400+ markers help illuminate Kentucky’s complex story.
  • Administered the Kentucky Oral History Commission, which records and preserves the diverse stories that are a part of Kentucky’s rich and colorful history. It also awards grants to groups to assist in this cause. In 2018, awarded grants totaled $34,240.

Museums’ economic impact


  • 850 million people visit U.S. museums each year
  • Museums directly provide jobs for 372,100 people
  • $21 billion directly contributes to the U.S. economy
  • 850 million visitors to U.S. museums each year

In Kentucky

  • 8,902 jobs supported (4,555 directly; 4,347 indirectly)
  • $510.6 million contributed to the GDP
  • $141.3 million paid in federal, state and local taxes

“Yearlong research and personal interviews have revealed an array of historical perspectives and motivations that many students are not exposed to. Every year of participation has improved my research, writing and interview skills, many of which can be applied in other settings.”

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