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African American Primary Resources in the Special Collections Research Center: MANUSCRIPTS COLLECTIONS

Sources found in the University of Kentucky Libraries.





(859) 257-8611


(859) 257-6311

Manuscripts Collections

Fouse Family Papers, 1854, 1897-1952

  • The papers of William Henry Fouse and his wife, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beatrice Fouse. The collection includes account books, correspondence,  notebooks related to educational activities, pamphlets, broadsides and various financial records. The Dunbar High School portion of the collection in folder 3 includes information about athletic activities, and the cafeteria. A radio script prepared by Professor Fouse for a broadcast (30 April 1939) over station WLAP focused on the history of education of the black community in Lexington; it is included in folder 16. More information and collection guide at the Kentucky Digital Library.

 Gordon Family Papers, 1771-1924

  • This collection includes many letters relating to Neal Gordon and his interests in the education of ministers, and the colonization of African Americans in Liberia, an enterprise which included educating men for the "African Mission. Twenty-five letters, most written to Gordon, relate directly to the colonization process. Two letters of particular interest are dated 1848 and 1857. they are from a former slave, Jacob Harris, who wrote to Gordon from Monrovia, Liberia and Kentucky in Liberia, Montasado County. 

Spencer Family Papers, 1878-1971 (including online photographs)

  • Benjamin F. Spencer (b. 1853) was probably the first African American (former slave) to receive accreditation as a teacher in Kentucky. The Spencer Papers include his teaching certificate, signed and dated in Scott County, Kentucky on March 16, 1878. After teaching for six years Spencer opened a boot shop in Frankfort, Kentucky. This business was continued by Spencer's descendants into the Twentieth Century. In addition to photographs of the family business, there are copies of diplomas, printed materials and certificates related to various members of the Spencer family.

 Victor Howard Collection: Civil Rights and Church State Materials, 1944-1976

  • Materials from major U.S. cities, a majority of the states [including Kentucky], the federal government, social and political organizations, and various individuals. Areas of concentration: discrimination, desegregation, education, employment, housing, human rights, human/community relations, laws and litigation, political influence and comments, religion, and segregation. Weekly, monthly and quarterly issues of journals, bulletins, newspapers and ephemera from Civil Rights organizations and public agencies, are also part of the collection. More information and collection guide at the Kentucky Digital Library.

Contact the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center for more information about the many other Manuscripts Collections.


Phone: (859) 257-8611

Fax:  (859) 257-6311


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