Virtual Visitor

KHS works to educate and engage the public through Kentucky history on-site, on the road, or online. Whether you are a parent, teacher, student, researcher, or history enthusiast, click the options below to enjoy our online resources and activities, including virtual field trips, videos, media links, activities, catalogs, research tools, and much more.

Visit often. New content is added almost daily!

(click to see more content)


Download our app Explore Kentucky History to find the locations of historical markers across the Commonwealth and enjoy tours and additional history content right from your smartphone or on your home PC at




Highlighted Tours and Recent Updates:

Fairness Ordinance (added 6/2) with images from the Falkner Morgan Archives.

Portland to Louisville Turnpike (added 6/1)

Mary Florence Taney (added 6/1)

US Marine Hospital (added 5/26)

Kentucky Educational Television (KET) (added 5/22)

May is National Preservation Month. Did you know Kentucky has over 3,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places? Learn about some of those via our new ExploreKyHistory Kentucky’s National Register of Historic Places tour, or take a tour of National Historic Landmarks across the Commonwealth. (added 5/18)

Optimist International (added 5/11)

Highland Park Neighborhood in South Louisville (added 5/11)

St. Francis Church (added 5/5)

John Uri Lloyd (added 4/30)

1917 Coal Mine Explosion (added 4/17)

Scott County Jail and Jailer’s House (added 4/10)

Explore Scott County Tour (added 4/10)

The Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green (added 4/7)

Civil War Battle of Saratoga (added 4/2)

Jones Nursery/Nursery Place (added 4/2)

Austin Hubbard (Narcissa) House (added 4/2)

Charles Clinton Fleek (1947-1969)/Medal of Honor Recipient (added 4/2)

Our newest exhibit Poetry in Color: Paul Sawyier’s Two Villages is currently not open to onsite visitors. Instead, enjoy this collection of historical markers relating to Paul Sawyier available from the app, and watch this virtual tour.


VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS and TOURS: Interactive Learning Experiences

Kentucky Military History Treasures artifacts on display at the Kentucky Military History Museum. (requires Flash player)

Beyond the Log Cabin: Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln examine the life of Lincoln through images and artifacts relating to his Kentucky connections. (requires Flash player)

Torn Within and Threatened Without an interactive Civil War exhibit on display at the Kentucky History Center.

Our New Kentucky Home an online exhibit featuring stories of Kentucky Immigration history. (requires Flash player)


Virtual Experiences

Tours and interviews presented LIVE on our Facebook page. (Currently offered Tuesdays at 1 p.m.)
(videos arranged newest to oldest)

Virtual Tour – 7/7/2020
Dr. Amanda Higgins discusses a new tour entitled, “Traces: Slavery at Ashland” funded with support from the Local History Trust Fund and available now at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate. Funding support from the Local History Trust Fund.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 6/30/2020
1860 Murder Trial from Caldwell County, documented by the  Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition
A discussion with Chuck Welsko, CWGK Project Manager
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 6/16/2020
Artifacts from Kentucky’s first and only female governor, Gov. Martha Layne Collins.
Guide: Jennifer Disponette, National History Day in Kentucky State Coodinator
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 6/16/2020
The Women’s Suffrage Traveling Trunk (available to classrooms)
Guide: Claire Gwaltney, Teacher Programs Manager
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 6/9/2020
Artifacts Relating to Protests and Demonstrations
Guide: Andrew Washburn, KHS Curator
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/28/2020
Artifacts Relating to the Kentucky High School Experience
Guide: Julie Kemper, KHS Curator of Object Learning
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/21/2020
Collections Storage: Kentucky in the Civil War
Guide: Chuck Welsko, Project Manager for the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/21/2020
Collections Storage: Kentucky Musician and Instrument Maker Homer Ledford
Guides: Sarah Schmitt, Oral History Administrator – Kentucky Historical Society; Mark Brown, Folk and Traditional Arts Director – Kentucky Arts Council
(designed for a general audience)

The Kentucky Arts Council, is the state arts agency responsible for developing and promoting support for the arts in Kentucky. Listen to their podcast.

Virtual Tour – 5/19/2020
Kentucky Military History Museum: Memorial Day
Guide: Claire Gwaltney, Teacher Programs Administrator
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/14/2020
The Hall of Governors
Guide: Rebecca Wishnevski, Museum Programs Specialist
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/12/2020
A Kentucky Journey: Depression Era
(designed for teachers, students, and a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/7/2020
A Kentucky Journey: World War II
(designed for teachers, students, and a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 5/5/2020
Archival Storage – Scrapbooks
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/30/2020
A Kentucky Journey – Coal Mining
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/28/2020
A Kentucky Journey – Industry and Inventiveness of the Industrial Age
(designed for a family audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/23/2020
A Kentucky Journey – The Victorian Era
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/21/2020
Collections Storage – Women Behaving Badly (and Changing History)
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/16/2020
Kentucky History Center – Poetry in Color: Paul Sawyier’s Two Villages
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/14/2020
Kentucky History Center – The Civil War
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/09/2020
Kentucky History Center – Antebellum Era
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/07/2020
Kentucky Military History Museum – Civil War
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 4/02/2020
Kentucky History Center – Frontier Kentucky
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 3/31/2020
Old State Capitol – Architecture and Design
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 3/26/2020
Kentucky History Center – First Kentuckians: Native Americans
(designed for a student audience)

The Kentucky Heritage Council, the state historic preservation agency, offers several educational resources for teachers.
Teaching About Native Americans” includes resource packets, teachers’ guides, activity sheets, lesson plans, content sheets and more.

Virtual Tour – 3/24/2020
Old State Capitol – Dueling Grounds
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 3/19/2020
Old State Capitol – Government at Work Tour
(designed for a student audience)

Virtual Tour – 3/17/2020
Old State Capitol – Architectural and History Tour
(designed for a general audience)

Enjoy a Google 360 Tour of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History Center.


STREAMING MEDIA: Watch, Listen, and Learn

Watch our Kentucky History Treasures series produced by WTVQ.


Listen to short podcast stories This Week in Kentucky History 2020 on SoundCloud.


Listen to last year’s podcast stories This Week in Kentucky History 2019 on SoundCloud.

Watch a collection of videos produced by our Communications team featuring History in the News also on our YouTube channel.


Stuart Sanders History Advocate Interviews are also available here or on YouTube.


CATALOGS and RESEARCH TOOLS: Online Collections and Resources

KHS maintains online catalogs of artifacts, books, manuscripts, rare books and other types of collections. Our catalogs are always being updated with new materials.

Catalogs and Resource Tools available in the Martin F. Schmidt Research Library

FREE access to the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society is now available on Project Muse through June. Click here to view the articles.



Tools to help students, families and K-12 teachers in the teaching of these new standards, especially those specifically focused on Kentucky.

KHS contributed to the Arts and Culture at Home Booklet, filled with activities provided by 28 different venues. View the booklet online and follow the Greater Louisville Arts & Culture Alliance on Facebook.

The Smithsonian Institution designed a 40-page summer activity guide packed with puzzles, games and at-home fun for an imaginary road trip through the Smithsonian.

Download, print and enjoy!


Virtual Museum Offerings Across Kentucky

As students, teachers and families remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, museums, libraries and local history organizations across Kentucky are offering additional online resources and programs.

At the Kentucky Historical Society, for example, our Virtual Visitor page includes a menu of digital services, including virtual field trips, videos, media links, activities, research catalogs and more.

Other sites in Kentucky are also offering great online tours, programs and services! These include:

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, Lexington
“Making History Today: Our Kentucky Families” is a new addition to Ashland’s blog. Share an artifact in your house that tells a story about your family, and Ashland’s curator will respond by sharing a similar object from their collection. Ashland is also offering “Wake Up With Ashland,” a virtual tour offered every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Each tour will explore a different room of the mansion, the outbuildings, and the grounds.

Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Lexington
The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is offering “Featured Aircraft Briefings” that highlight airplanes in their collection. They include photographs, specifications, and descriptive text of the airplanes. You can find them on the museum’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and website.

Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center, Covington
The Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center offers free classes on social media (@bakerhuntart) and on their website. Classes include art projects, virtual storytime, yoga and more. Join them live on Facebook on weekdays at 12:30 p.m. for Art with Mr. Chad.

Behringer-Crawford Museum, Covington
BCM offers online tours, including a 3D virtual tour of their museum, on their website. They also have educational videos, including “Curator’s Chats” that focus on artifacts and stories related to Northern Kentucky history. Find those on their YouTube channel.

Berea College, Berea
The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College has online resources that relate to the Appalachia region of Kentucky. The college also has the Berea College Online Sound Archives that explores traditional music and oral histories.

Cave Hill Cemetery & Cave Hill Heritage Foundation, Louisville
Cave Hill Cemetery is open 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. for people and families utilizing social distancing. The cemetery has a cemetery map and an app on their website that can be used for navigating the expansive cemetery that includes bourbon industry leaders, Civil Rights leaders, and other people from Kentucky’s past. Visitors are also encouraged to leave a digital memory via the app.

City of Bardstown, Bardstown
The City of Bardstown has created digital walking tours for their community for smartphones or tablets. These include “A Walk Through Time,” which focuses on historic structures and how the community has evolved over time. “Whiskey Walks and Bourbon Talks” takes visitors past the homes and hangouts of distillery owners, distillers, and characters from Bardstown’s bourbon past.

Ephraim McDowell House, Danville
The Ephraim McDowell House offers a virtual tour of their historic house museum. They continue to expand their digital offerings and provide updates via their Facebook page.

The Filson Historical Society, Louisville
The Filson Historical Society is currently offering free access to their publications The Filson and The Filson Club History Quarterly, audio recordings of lectures from 2013-2020, and digital exhibits on their web page. Free access to their scholarly publication, Ohio Valley History, is available on Project MUSE. For a complete list of what they currently offer, please visit their website.

Frazier History Museum, Louisville
The Frazier History Museum’s Virtual Museum offers activities, tours, artifacts and other ways to explore the region’s history. You can also sign up for their daily Virtual Museum email updates here.

Highlands Museum & Discovery Center, Ashland
The Highlands Museum & Discovery Center’s website includes a detailed slideshow about their exhibits. This includes information that teachers and parents can print off and share with students. The museum also has a video of their “Handcrafted: Quilts, Needlework and More” exhibit that includes the history of quilts, sewing, weaving and knitting.

Historic Locust Grove, Louisville
Families and students of all ages are invited to explore and discover the world of 18th and 19th century Kentucky through “Lessons from Locust Grove.” Weekly lessons and activities, blog posts, a virtual tour of the house, and an audio tour of the grounds are included on the site. Additional materials can also be found on Locust Grove’s Facebook page.

Hopewell Museum, Paris
The Hopewell Museum has created online virtual galleries from exhibit content and is introducing a blog series that will explore people, events and other topics through the lens of their collections. They are also creating digital primary source sets for teachers.

John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
John James Audubon State Park offers weekly videos, activities, and posts about art, history, and nature on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and on the Friends of Audubon blog. Learn about the life and art of John James Audubon with our museum curator, discover fun art lessons for kids with our art educator, and explore the woods, trails, and wetlands with our park naturalist. Every Friday afternoon, catch up on our digital offerings with our “Weekly Roundup” posts on our blog.

Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville
KDM is offering a virtual museum via its website. It includes virtual tours, featured artifacts and images from our collection, stories from our oral history collection and educational activities. The site is updated daily.

Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort
The Kentucky Heritage Council, the state historic preservation agency, offers several educational resources for teachers. “Teaching About Native Americans” includes resource packets, teachers’ guides, activity sheets, lesson plans, content sheets and more. For more information about the agency, see their website.

Kentucky Humanities Council
The KHC produces a podcast, “Think Humanities,” that dives into history, philosophy, culture, literature, civic dialogue and the arts. They also air “Think History” on WEKU Radio, which are 90-second summaries of moments from Kentucky history.

Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green
The Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University has created a webpage for all of their virtual resources. Staff continues to add to this resource on a regular basis!

Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project
The KWSP is a collaboration of volunteers from around the state who are supporting the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. For information and videos, see their website. For a digital timeline, map, annotated bibliography, teaching resources, and biographies of Kentucky suffragists, see here.

Lexington History Museum, Lexington
The Lexington History Museum offers 3D virtual reality tours of five of their exhibits. Use arrow keys or Google goggles to explore!

Lexington Public Library, Lexington
The Lexington Public Library offers a variety of podcasts, tours, ebooks and digital archives. Their “Tales from the Kentucky Room” podcast includes episodes about Lexington history. You can also download six thematic walking tours that take you to some of Lexington’s historic landmarks and public art. The library’s Digital Archives allows researchers and students to learn more about the history of Fayette County. See their website for other offerings, including virtual book clubs, additional podcasts, their online learning collection and eLibrary.

Little Loomhouse, Louisville
The Little Loomhouse continues their mission by providing programs on Facebook and Instagram. Their weekly programs include: Tuesdays, all ages education videos; Wednesdays, Loomhouse Storytime; Thursdays, NeedleFelting video; and Fridays, Intermediate level weaving lessons.

Mary Todd Lincoln House, Lexington
The “History at Home” section of the Mary Todd Lincoln House website offers resources for families and individuals. Resources include downloadable walking tours, educational worksheets and suggested links. Updated on a regular basis!

Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County, Hopkinsville
The Museums of Hopkinsville is offering activities for students through Facebook Live videos and take-home kits that are available on scheduled days on the steps of the Pennyroyal Area Museum. Visit their Facebook page for more information about their videos, which include behind-the-scenes peeks at their new exhibit and artifact collection.

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art has expanded its online programming, and their emails, Facebook, and Instagram posts feature a variety of offerings, including mini-exhibitions from the Permanent Collection and educational projects for children and adults. Virtual tours of the museum’s galleries are currently in production. For additional information, see their website.

Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, Louisville
Need to get outdoors? Families can visit Riverside’s grounds and complete their “History Quest” for a chance to win a one-year membership to Riverside. Information about the Quest can be found here. Riverside also has a six-part virtual tour of the site’s detached kitchen on their Facebook page and Instagram.

Simpson County Historical Society, Franklin
The Simpson County Historical Society operates the Simpson County History Center and the Old Jail Museum and Archives. Photos and videos are available on their Facebook page. For questions, see their website or email

Sons of the American Revolution, Louisville
The SAR offers educational videos on genealogy, early American history, the American Revolution, and civics on their website and YouTube channel. For history and civics, see here. For genealogy resources, visit here.

WaterWorks Museum at Louisville Water Tower Park, Louisville
Louisville Water Works! combines history, science, technology and art, with maybe some math thrown in for good measure. Each time we meet, we’ll share a short water-related video lesson and an “at home” challenge with the opportunity to share your creations online with others. Weekly segments focus on exploring objects and themes in the Water Works Museum and Louisville Water Tower Park. Content can be found here.

Want to do your social distancing outside? Don’t forget to visit the commonwealth’s great state historic sites, managed by the Kentucky Department of Parks. Many of these sites offer interpretive trails and other outdoor activities that allow you to discover Kentucky’s past while exploring the great outdoors.



Join in online dialogue through KHS social media.