Support Local History

A Tiny Mark – A Major Impact

It is this simple to support history organizations in Kentucky: On your state tax return, check the box designating a portion of your state income tax refund to Kentucky’s Local History Trust Fund, and indicate how much you want to give. That’s it.

Your donation goes into a grant pool, which the Kentucky Historical Society administers, that museums, libraries and local history organizations in your community can tap into to build organizational capacity and get support for programs and services.


You can apply for project funding from Kentucky’s Local History Trust Fund, just as these organizations did. KHS awarded their grants in February 2017 from the 2016 Local History Trust Fund pool. The next grant cycle has just closed. KHS will announce recipients in early 2018, and the next application cycle will start in early summer 2018.

2016 Recipients

Appalshop, Inc., Whitesburg
$1,000 for digital preservation of Appalshop’s archival collection

Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Ashland
$1,000 for conservation of the Highland Museum’s collection

The Friends of Audobon, Henderson
$1,000 for exhibit mount for Birds of America Double Elephant Folios

Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum, Marion
$909 for classroom technology and American Association of State and Local History StEPs enrollment

McDowell House Museum, Inc., Danville
$700 for purchase of museum-quality vacuum

American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville
$700 for installation of Birth of Braille exhibit

Bluegrass Heritage Museum, Winchester
Amount: $600 to preserve and identify historic photographs from the Winchester Sun newspaper

Boone County Public Library, Burlington
Amount: $500 for preservation of the Rabbit Hash historical society collection, now protected by the Boone County Public Library

Shelby County Historical Society, Shelbyville
Amount: $500 for strategic planning and American Association of State and Local History StEPs enrollment

Montgomery County Historical Society, Mt. Sterling
Amount: $500 for UV filtering window film and American Association of State and Local History StEPs enrollment

Erlanger Historical Society, Erlanger
Amount: $355.30 for archival collection conservation

$290 Grants for StEPs Enrollment

  • Duncan Tavern Historic Center, Paris
  • Historic Paris-Bourbon County/ Hopewell Museum, Paris
  • Hickman County Historical and Genealogical Society, Clinton
  • Riverview at Hobson Grove, Bowling Green
  • Allen County Historical Society, Scottsville
  • Kentucky Railway Museum, Inc., New Haven

StEPs is the American Association of State and Local History’s self-study program designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations. It is designed to help organizations assess their policies and practices, benchmark themselves against national museum standards and to set realistic goals. One criterion for Kentucky Local History Trust Fund eligibility is active enrollment in StEPs or another field-based standards program.

Quick Facts:

  • A tax check-off is a voluntary way to contribute part of your state income tax refund to a specific cause.
  • Any local history organization in Kentucky is eligible to apply for a Local History Trust Fund grant.
  • Grants can range from $290 to $1,500 and support activities designed to build organizational capacity or strengthen the organization. Such projects include, but are not limited to, local history education programs, collections care, cemetery preservation, publications on local history, documentaries, social media platforms and websites.
  • Grants are made based on an organization’s plan to advance in one or more areas represented in field-based standards, such as the AASLH Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations.
  • The Kentucky Historical Society oversees the Local History Trust Fund based on its state mandate to be the keeper of Kentucky’s legacy.

Help us spread the word. Encourage your friends and neighbors to make their mark for history and check the box for the Local History Trust Fund on their next tax return. Download a PDF handout.