The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects


The Filson Historical Society's digital collections consist of unique digital materials that support the Filson’s mission of collecting, preserving, and sharing the history and culture of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley Region. Materials are digitized from the Filson’s special collections, photographs, library, art, and artifacts. To learn more about the Filson more broadly, see our website at

Content Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that our digital collections can be a site of trauma, especially for groups that the Filson Historical Society and Ohio Valley region more broadly have historically excluded and marginalized. Working with historical and contemporary materials that document experiences of discrimination, colonization, abuse, and other violence, and witnessing harmful language and depictions can create feelings of distress, grief, and pain. As we select materials for inclusion in our digital collections, we consider the ethics of publishing harmful materials and the impact those materials can have on users.

Inclusion of content in our digital collections is not an endorsement of its language, images, or ideology. The Filson Historical Society openly rejects oppressive views reflected in our collections, and we believe in the importance of fostering access to our collections in a responsible and transparent way that preserves historical evidence of social conditions and attitudes. We strive to contextualize harmful content through our cataloging of items. We commit to revisions of our digital collections metadata to reflect inclusive description practices and changes in the terminology that communities use to describe themselves.


The Filson welcomes correction suggestions for omissions and errors in cataloging, such as the identification of people or places. Email the Collections Department at with your correction suggestion and the URL for the item.

Copyright and Privacy

The Filson Historical Society makes the best effort to adhere to all known copyright, rights of privacy, and rights of publicity that apply to its collections. The Filson Historical Society does not own the copyright for most of the resources we make available and does not claim copyright on digital reproductions that we create. By using our digital collections, visitors agree to abide by copyright law, the terms and conditions of each item, and be solely responsible for any unauthorized or unlawful use of items.

Twentieth and twenty-first century collections may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal, state, and/or global privacy laws. Filson Collections staff have taken care to identify, temporarily restrict, remove, and/or redact protected personally identifiable information found during archival processing. However, this information may be revealed during use of the collections.

If you are a rights holder and have concerns related to copyright, privacy, or other legal or ethical issues regarding content made available on our website, you are welcome to submit a takedown request by contacting the Collections Department at Please include the URL of the content that you would like taken down and the reason for your request (copyright, privacy, etc.). Requests will be reviewed by Filson staff and you may be asked for additional information to better understand the issue.


We strive to make our digital collections available to all users, but especially users for whom access to the Filson’s in-person reading room is difficult. When possible, textual materials are uploaded as PDFs with optical character recognition (OCR) to make them accessible using screen readers. Auditory materials are published with transcriptions when available. Metadata for visual materials includes basic descriptions of their content. If you would like to request the transcription of a particular item or if there are additional ways we can support your access to materials, please email the Collections Department at

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