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African American Primary Resources in the Special Collections Research Center: UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES AND RECORDS

Sources found in the University of Kentucky Libraries.





(859) 257-8611


(859) 257-6311

University Archives and Records

Alumni / Student Biographical Files

  • Example: Helen F. Frye, in 1963, was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Library Science. She and two other students had tried unsuccessfully to attend classes prior to the 1949 desegregation of UK.

Buildings and Grounds Files

  • John T. Smith Residence Hall is located on Sports Center Drive. In 2005, the dormitory was named for John T. Smith, the first vice-president of Minority Affairs. Smith was also one of the first African Americans to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky.

Faculty / Staff Biographical Files

  • Example: Chester Grundy was an administrator at the University of Kentucky for more than 30 years. He helped establish the UK 'Spotlight Jazz Series,' is a co-founder of the Lexington 'Annual Roots and Heritage Festival,' and is co-founder of the Lexington 'Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration.'

General Reference Files

  • Example: Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center is located in the Student Center. It was founded in 1987 and provides workshops, panel discussions, and programs.  Past presenters include Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Alex Haley, and Ruby Dee.

Lincoln School Records, 1965-1971

  • The Lincoln Foundation deeded Lincoln Institute, an African American school, to the state in 1948. When the Day Law was amended in 1954, the decision was made to phase out Lincoln Institute. In 1966 the campus became a boarding school designed for academically gifted, deprived students of all races. It was named Lincoln School, and was to serve as a research experiment in alternative education, guided and studied by the University of Kentucky College of Education.  The school closed in 1970.

University of Kentucky General Photographic Prints, circa 1900-2005

  • The general prints collection contains photographs and prints related to the University of Kentucky. There are more than 7,000 online images, including those of African American students, staff, and faculty.

University of Kentucky Presidential Papers

  • Papers of the University of Kentucky presidents include integration, administrative and governing regulations, policies, programs, discussions, etc. that focus on students, staff, and faculty at the University of Kentucky.

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


Phone: (859) 257-8611

Fax:  (859) 257-6311