Impact Reports

2020 Impact Report

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 2020, despite COVID-19 mandates and closures, we welcomed 6,340 guests, including visitors from 76 Kentucky counties, 39 states, and 14 countries.

In 2020, we assisted 2,382 researchers who either wrote or called our reference desk with questions and our online collections received over 340,000 views. Our social media followers and subscribers increased by 7% over 2019, and we reached over 2.4 million through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  The Explore KY History app had 155,000 users (an increase of 20% over 2020) and articles from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society were downloaded over 162,632 times (an increase of 39% over 2019)!

See below for other ways that we made an impact in 2020, or download a copy of our 2020 Impact Report.


Monthly Impact Reports During COVID-19 Closures

Although KHS was closed to onsite visitors March 18 to June 6, in many ways it was business as usual. Onsite programming was replaced with an array of virtual programs and services, and staff remained as busy as ever working to engage our audiences remotely. Please click on the links below to see a summary of our activities during this time.

March 2020 Impact Report

April 2020 Impact Report

May 2020 Impact Report


Our Mission

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

What We Did in 2020

2.4 million


Due to a huge increase in virtual programming, we reached over 2.4 million across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

6K Fans

Hosted In-person

Despite COVID-19 closures and mandates, we HOSTED nearly 6,340 HISTORY FANS who came to the KHS history campus to learn how Kentucky helped our country evolve. They traveled from 76 Kentucky counties, 39 states including Kentucky), and 14 countries.


Onsite & Virtual

2,593 K-12 students participated in KHS programming (both virtual and in-person), and 629 K-12 teachers participated in KHS professional development.

One million +


We provided 24/7 access to ONLINE RESEARCH TOOLS. These were accessed over a million times in 2020.

“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.”



2020 was our 184th year as STEWARD of Kentucky’s historical treasures.

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 2020

  • Dedicated 11 new markers in 9 counties. To date, 2,400+ markers help illuminate Kentucky’s complex story.
  • Administered 8 Kentucky oral history grants, and conducted over 12,690 minutes of oral history interviews, which record and preserve the diverse stories that are a part of Kentucky’s rich and colorful history.

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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