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Kentucky Historical Society


The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) was formed in 1836 by a group of prominent Kentuckians intent on preserving the history of the Commonwealth. We are a membership organization with members from Kentucky and around the world. We are part of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; have full American Alliance of Museums accreditation; are a Smithsonian affiliate; and endorse the History Relevance statement.

Our Mission

We educate and engage the public through Kentucky’s history in order to meet the challenges of the future.

Our Vision

The Kentucky Historical Society is becoming the recognized leader in helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky’s stories.

Our Values


We value our role in serving the public and work to ensure those services are exemplary.


We value dialogue, discussion, education and scholarship. We value an organizational culture of discovery that inspires, engages and motivates learners of all ages.


We value continuous improvement with the goal of excellence. To that end, we place high value on adhering to and shaping professional standards.


We value integrity, legitimacy and the power of the authentic. We therefore value research, collections and programs backed by fact.


We understand that stewardship is all about what you do with your resources and how you do it. As a result we value the proper stewardship of Kentucky’s historical assets, of KHS’s financial and human resources and of the KHS mission.

Kentucky Historical Society's collections


Our Stories Our Service: Kentucky's Women Veterans

<p>Women's place and role in the military have continued to evolve since the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. They traveled across the world healing soldiers, worked at U.S. bases, served as Marines, learned how to fly with the Air Force, and so much more. Their experiences and lives are often overshadowed by men in the military, but it's time that we tell their stories. This learning lab will take you back in time to just before WWI and guide you into the present day through Kentuckian women's stories. These unique stories of individual women and all-women units will help users learn about the evolution of women's role in the military and help reshape perceptions and biases. Join us on this powerful journey and meet incredible women of the past and present. This is Our Stories, Our Service. </p> <p>This learning lab was created by Jenna Grace Piehl, an intern working with the Smithsonian in partnership with Emerson Collective. #SAIntern #WomensHistory</p>
Kentucky Historical Society

LGBTQ+ History in Kentucky

<p>This Learning Lab collection was created by Daniel Ren in the summer 2021 Smithsonian Affiliate Digital Learning and Engagement Internship, in partnership with Emerson Collective and <em>the</em> Kentucky Historical Society<em>, a Smithsonian Affiliate</em>. #SAintern #RaceAndSocialJustice #ChangingAmericanNarrative</p>
Kentucky Historical Society

Berea College

<p>This Learning Lab was created by Gabi Dinkin in the summer 2021 Smithsonian Affiliate Digital Learning and Engagement internship, in partnership with Emerson Collective and Kentucky Historical Society, a Smithsonian Affiliate. #SAintern#RaceAndSocialJustice <br></p> <p>This learning lab will explore the tension that exists within Berea College's commitment to "education for all" starting in the mid 19th century. The Learning lab will further examine  Berea College pre and post the passage of the Day Law (1904), a law that made integrated education illegal. The resources presented in this learning lab are sourced from both Kentucky Historical Society Archives and Berea College Archives. </p>
Kentucky Historical Society