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Audubon Society of Kentucky papers, 1911-1977

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Finding aid prepared by Eli Riveire


Audubon Society of Kentucky papers




University of Kentucky Special Collections


Collection is arranged by subject. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title.

Location note

Housed with multiple collections.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

59M24: [identification of item], Audubon Society of Kentucky Papers, 1911-1977, University of Kentucky Special Collections.


0.18 Cubic feet

1 box


The Kentucky Audubon Society was formed in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1910, joining the Audubon Society movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The very first Audubon Society was formed in Massachusetts in 1896 to oppose the then common practice of killing birds to use their feathers for fashion and to educate the public about birds. Local chapters formed all around the United States, with at least 15 state chapters by 1899, and the National Audubon Society formed in 1905. Today, there are almost 500 independent nonprofit local chapters, all voluntarily associated with the national group.

In 1911, the Kentucky Audubon Society began by holding annual Spring Walks in the Lexington and Central Kentucky area to observe the local bird population. The group has also been known for its annual Christmas Bird Count, an activity created as an alternative to the then popular tradition of Christmastime hunting. As film became a common medium, the group also began screening conservation films open to the public and community. In 1926 or 1927, the group formally changed its name to the Audubon Society of Kentucky. The Audubon Society of Kentucky continues to remain active, promoting ornithology in the Central Kentucky area.

About Us. National Audubon Society, n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2011.

About Us. Audubon Society of Kentucky, n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2011.

Scope and Content

The Audubon Society of Kentucky papers contain records related to the Audubon Society of Kentucky from the years 1911-1977. The records include several yearly calendars; information guides of group field trips, events, bird walks, film screenings; membership lists; legal documents; and general ornithological pamphlets and manuals. In addition, one folder includes three pamphlets of general Lexington and Central Kentucky ephemera.


  • Records
  • Lexington (Ky.)--History--20th century.
  • Animal Culture--United States
  • Audubon societies.
  • Bird watching--Kentucky
  • Birds
  • Organizations--United States.
  • Ornithology
  • Pamphlets.
  • Public libraries--Kentucky--Lexington.
  • Societies and clubs -- Kentucky -- Lexington
  • Wildlife conservation

User Restrictions

The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Collection Inventory

Activities and Field Trips Calendars, 1959-1977
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
Audubon Society of Kentucky Records and Ephemera, 1940-1968
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Audubon Society of Kentucky Records and Ephemera, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Bird Counts, 1969-1972
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
Lexington/Central Kentucky Ephemera, 1949-1965
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]
Scope and Content Note:

This folder contains three pamphlets found in the collection seemingly unrelated to the Audubon Society of Kentucky. Included is a 1949 edition of Emily Post's "Motor Manners," a booklet of traffic etiquette provided by the Blue Grass Automobile Club; a pamplet of the 1949 Annual Report of the Lexington Public Library; and a pamphlet for the Central Kentucky Concert & Lecture Association's 1964-1965 program.

Ornithological Ephemera, 1933-1941
[Box: 1, Folder: 6]
Screen Tours/Wildlife Films Calendars and Guides, 1958-1977
[Box: 1, Folder: 7]
Spring Walks Information Guides, 1911-1938
[Box: 1, Folder: 8]
Mrs. Lister Witherspoon's membership papers and pin, 1912 February 24
[Box: 1, Folder: 9]