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.

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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

K-12 Virtual Field Trips dynamic and engaging virtual field trips that meet the Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies

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). Videos with embedded comments and links can also be viewed on our Virtual Experiences Facebook playlist.

Virtual Tour – 10/13/2020
Deana Thomas talked with Fran and David Salyers about the immense scrapbook collection that they donated to KHS, and some of the historical perspective and stories that it contains.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 10/13/2020
Sarah Schmitt and Rebecca Wishnevski share artifacts related to mourning and memorializing the dead.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 10/06/2020
Dr. Stephanie Lang interviews Dr. Anya Jabour, a contributor to the Register, on two Kentucky siblings (Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge and Mary Curry Desha Breckinridge) and the suffrage movement.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 9/29/2020
Julie Kemper shares safe storage and preservation techniques for textiles and leather.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 9/22/2020
Claire Gwaltney leads a tour of the educational resources including our new virtual field trips as well as info on how favorite tried and true programs like National History Day in Kentucky have adapted to accommodate the “new normal.”
(designed for school and home educators)

Virtual Tour – 9/15/2020
Chuck Welsko and Carl Creason share the intersection of famous bourbon pioneers and their Civil War experiences, by exploring where they appear in the documents of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 9/8/2020
Julie Kemper examines artifacts that traveled to Kentucky during the Frontier era and shares information about the people who settled here.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 9/1/2020
Andrew Washburn and Bill Burchfield provide a tour of the Kentucky Military History Museum with a focus on the exhibit of Col. George M. Chinn.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 8/25/2020
Carol Easterly discusses the history of the woman suffrage movement in Kentucky.
(NOTE: Audio for this tour dropped out at 11:15, and was restored at 17:00.)

Virtual Tour – 8/18/2020
Examine the many layers required for mid-19th century fashion with Dana Zinger and Jessica Stavros.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 8/11/2020
Museum Programs Coordinator, Carol Easterly, shows off distilling industry artifacts and memorabilia throughout Kentucky history.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 8/4/2020
Cheri Daniels, the Head of Library and Archives, lead us through the Martin F. Schmidt Research Libary and pulled family files at the request of live viewers.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 7/28/2020
Dr. Stephanie Lang, the editor of our scholarly journal The Register, interviews the host and producer of WEKU’s Eastern Standard about our shared goals of sharing historical research and relevant interpretation.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 7/21/2020
KHS archivist Deana Thomas, leads a behind-the-scenes journey of archival acquisition. Learn the stories behind three unique collections and how they became a permanent part of the Kentucky story.
(designed for a general audience)

Virtual Tour – 7/14/2020
KHS curator Andrew Washburn, shares artifacts and the story of the Goldbergs of Falmouth, an early 20th-century family that settled in Pendleton County after fleeing anti-semitic persecution in the Russian Empire.
(designed for a general audience)

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)


More virtual tours and interviews are available on archived and available for viewing here. 


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.

Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, Lexington/Central Kentucky
The Blue Grass Trust’s deTours is a group for young professionals (and the young at heart!) that provides the opportunity to tour historic buildings, places, and sites you might not ordinarily get to see or experience. Held once per month, these tours are currently virtual and can be accessed through BGT deTours Facebook page, or on YouTube.

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!

Meade County History Museum, Brandenburg
Watch a video virtual tour of their museum, produced by the Meade County Messenger. Visit their website or Facebook page for more content and information.

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.