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Traveling Trunks

Traveling Trunks

Traveling Trunks give middle and high school students tactile experience with the past. The program consists of three portable trunks filled with artifacts related to significant historical events, including the Civil War in Kentucky, Kentuckians in World War II, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Trunks are available to schools, churches, home school groups, and other organizations for educational purposes. Each trunk comes with a booklet outlining lesson plans and can be kept for three weeks. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Traveling Trunks, please contact


The Civil War in Kentucky

What was the role of Kentucky and its citizens during the Civil War? This classroom supplement for elementary through high school students explores this question and many others as students develop analytical, communication and critical thinking skills through eight different lessons using:

  • More than two dozen reproduction Civil War artifacts
  • Primary source letters, diaries, photographs, drawings and musical compositions
  • Five secondary source books
  • Engaging activities such as debating and voting on Kentucky’s neutrality; reading letters from Civil War soldiers and writing letters to current service members; and creating their own skits and songs
  • View the Supporting Information (PDF) for this trunk

Kentuckians in World War II: On the Home Front and in the War Zone

A classroom supplement that places Kentucky into the larger context of U.S. and world history. Your middle and high school students will develop analytical, communications and critical thinking skills through five different hour-long activities using:

  • Primary source letters and journals from a Kentuckian held prisoner in Japan and a German held prisoner in Kentucky
  • Posters that promoted the war effort on the home front
  • Wartime booklet of recipes using sugar substitutes
  • Authentic WWII era military equipment
  • Three articles from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society and five books, including Committed to Victory: The Kentucky Homefront during WWII
  • View the Supporting Information (PDF) for this trunk

Standing on a Soapbox: The Women's Suffrage Movement in Kentucky

Learn why Kentucky women fought for the cause of suffrage in the early 20th century and how their fight for women’s rights continue to impact all Kentuckians today. With this trunk, high school students will develop analytical, communications and critical thinking skills through six different lessons as they:

  • Create a timeline of suffrage events and prominent figures at the state and national level
  • Analyze women’s rights legislation
  • Debate the use of protest marches and their effectiveness
  • Understand how oral histories teach about the past and conduct their own with the women in their lives
  • Use dozens of historical artifacts and primary source documents as well as multiple secondary sources and audio-visual resources
  • View the Supporting Information (PDF) for this trunk