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Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Discover the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in Kentucky history.

In addition to research articles (and occasionally historiographic essays), each issue of The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society features an extensive book review section, typically on a wide array of U.S. history topics.

Published since 1903, the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society is available in print and electronically on Project MUSE. Archived issues (from 1903 to the present, with a five-year moving wall) are available on JSTOR.

Full Run Table of Contents (PDF) | Index vols 68-110 (1970-2012) (PDF)


Editorial Advisory Board

Dr. Karida Brown – UCLA
Dr. Anya Jabour – University of Montana
Dr. Joseph Pearson – Union College
Dr. Fay Yarbrough – Rice University

Dr. Jonathan Chu – University of Massachusetts-Boston
Dr. Joy M. Giguere – Pennsylvania State University-York
Dr. Timothy Minchin – La Trobe University (Australia)
Dr. Jessica Wilkerson – West Virginia University

Dr. Chad Montrie – University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Dr. Katherine C. Mooney – Florida State University
Dr. Aaron D. Purcell – Virginia Tech
Dr. Honor Sachs – University of Colorado Boulder

Featured Interviews with Register Contributions

Listen to podcast interviews from the WEKU radio program Eastern Standard, hosted by Tom Martin. Subscribe to download the podcast on iTunes.

  • Chad Montrie, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and former Register board member, discusses activism in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky.
  • Dr. Jonathan Coleman, director of the Faulkner-Morgan Archives, discusses the life of Lige Clarke, an LGBTQ activist in eastern Kentucky featured in a special issue of the Register on Appalachia post-1970.
  • Dr. John Davis, assistant professor, KCTCS Hopkinsville, discusses the history of pandemics, what they have in common, and what we learn as we navigate the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Dr. Anya Jabour, Regents Professor of History at the University of Montana shares the remarkable story of Kentucky-born activist Sophonisba Breckinridge.
  • Dr. Andrew Patrick, assistant professor of history at Centre College, details the work by enslaved Kentuckians in the hemp industry.
  • Dr. Amy Murrell Taylor, professor of history at the University of Kentucky, discusses material culture and partisan loyalty in Civil War Kentucky.
  • Dr. Carole Emberton, associate professor of history at the University at Buffalo on documenting and reconstructing day-to-day lives of the enslaved.
  • Dr. Stephanie Lang interviewed Kathryn Newfont about expanding the Appalachian Kentucky narrative with the aid of historical perspective.
  • Gary O’Dell on horse racing in 18th and 19th century Kentucky.
  • Dr. Anne Marshall and Dr. Joy Giguere on the removal or relocation of Confederate statues.
  • Dr. Jessica Wilkerson, author of “To Live Here You Have to Fight,” discusses the determination of women in Appalachia.
  • Dr. Caroline Peyton (part 1) and (part 2) author of “Kentucky’s Atomic Graveyard: Maxey Flats & Environmental Inequity in Rural America,” (Vol. 115, No. 2 | Spring 2017). The article won two national history awards.
  • Courtney Kisat discusses her award-winning Register article on birth control access in eastern Kentucky. Her article, “Completely Sold on Birth Control”: Rural Extension Work of the Kentucky Birth Control League, 1933–1942 (Vol. 116, Nos. 3&4 | Summer/Autumn 2018) won two national history awards.
  • Zada Komara, Lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at UK, and Kentucky Appalachian Studies colleague interviewed by Dr. Stephanie Lang on coal camps and material culture in Appalachia.
  • Thomas Weyent, Assistant professor at Black Hills State University, shares on Cold War Christmas in Appalachia.
  • Richard Bailey, Chair/Associate Professor at Canisius College and KHS Research Fellow speaks on his research on Wendell Berry.
  • Aaron Purcell, Director, Special Collections Virginia Tech and KHS Research Fellow talks about Cumberland Falls.

Watch interviews with KHS Research Fellows playlist. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications of future interviews.


Contents of Current Issue


Volume 120, Nos. 3 & 4 (Summer/Autumn 2022)

Special Issue: Loyalty, Fugitivity, and Community in Civil War-Era Kentucky - Charles R. Welsko, Guest Editor


Introduction: Loyalty, Fugitivity, and Community in Civil War-Era Kentucky by Charles R. Welsko

“In Consequence of Such Escape”: Jailbreaks, Criminality, and Unfreedom on the Eve of Civil War by Daniele Celano

Slave-Stealers and Careless Masters: A Document Analysis of Active and Passive Subversions of Slavery in the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition by Rachael Barbara Nicholas

How Emancipation Redefined White Loyalty in Civil War Kentucky by Lucas R. Somers

“I have always intended to be loyal to my State and country”: A Case Study of Enacting Loyalty in Civil War Kentucky by Kristen Bailey

“He Has Ever Been Considered, a Good and True Hearted Citizen”: Neighborhood and Community in the Wadlington Case by Kevin McPartland

Book Reviews

Annual Register Derby

For three weeks in April, articles from three recent issues of KHS’s award-winning scholarly publication, The Register, go head-to-head in a Twitter poll.
General Twitter Post Derby No 2 900x450

Round One Winner:
From “Pitifully Ignorant” to the “People’s Champion”: Shifting Perceptions of Muhammad Ali in the Louisville Defender, 1964-1971
Author: Stephen Townsend
Issue: Vol. 115, No. 4, Autumn 2017

Derby Poster Townsend E1618881023842 690x900

Round Two Winner:
Seeing Red in the Bluegrass: The Kentucky Un-American Activities Committee & Conservatism in the Late 1960s
Author: Dr. Aaron D. Purcell
Issue: Vol. 117, No. 1, Winter 2019

Derby Poster Purcell E1619443527584 689x900

Round Three Winner:
“Old Kentucky Homo”: Lige Clarke’s Gay Liberation
Author: Jonathan Coleman
Issue: Vol. 118, No. 1, Winter 2020

Derby Poster Coleman E1620047332378 693x900

Overall Winner   (announced Saturday, May 1st):
“Old Kentucky Homo”: Lige Clarke’s Gay Liberation
Author: Jonathan Coleman
Issue: Vol. 118, No. 1, Winter 2020

Derby Poster Coleman 1 E1620047599193 690x900

KHS members can access the articles for FREE on ProjectMUSE.

Print Subscription

Print edition subscriptions are $40 per year for individuals and $60 per year for institutions, plus 6% sales tax. If you are a tax-exempt organization, please include documentation. To subscribe, call 502-564-1792, or email KHS members receive an electronic subscription as a member benefit. Access the member portal here

Back Issues

Recent back issues are available in print for purchase. Regular issues are $12, double issues are $15, plus 6% sales tax. Call 502-564-1792.

Article Submissions

Although dedicated to Kentucky history, the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society strives to be historiographically relevant to scholars everywhere. We, therefore, seek article submissions that effectively engage in significant scholarly debates. We subject submitted manuscripts to a rigorous review and editing process before we publish them. We welcome submissions on all aspects and time periods of Kentucky history.

Prospective authors should watch for our posted Calls for Papers on H-Kentucky and elsewhere.

To inquire or to submit a manuscript, email Dr. Stephanie Lang, Editor.

Submission Guide

Style Guide