Spencer family papers

Abstract

The Spencer family papers contain diplomas, certificates, printed materials and photographs of the family and descendants of Kentuckian Benjamin F. Spencer.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Spencer family papers
Date
1878-1985
Extent
0.4 Cubic feet
Subjects
African American business enterprises
African Americans--Education.
African Americans--Kentucky--History
Educators.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], Spencer family papers, 1878-1986, 87M16, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Spencer family patriarch, Benjamin F. Spencer (born in 1854) was born a slave in Kentucky. He was taught to read along with his master's son. After emancipation, Spencer became what is believed to be the first African American to be granted a teaching certificate in what had been a slave state. After teaching for six years, Spencer left that profession and opened a boot shop in Frankfort, Kentucky. This enterprise was maintained by Spencer family descendants into the 20th century. The Spencer family has continued the tradition of academic pursuits established by Benjamin Spencer.
Scope and Content
The Spencer family papers contain diplomas, certificates, printed materials and photographs of the family and descendants of Kentuckian Benjamin F. Spencer. The original certificate, signed and dated in Scott County, Kentucky in 1878 is among the Spencer family papers. There is one original albumen print photograph (circa 1880) and several other family photographs of Benjamin F. Spencer, the family boot shop, and his descendants. A clipping from the DETROIT FREE PRESS (1963) provides a history of the family.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access note Collection is open for research.
Use Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.

Contents of the Collection

Photographs, 1900s-1980s

Ben F. Spencer Jr., in the shoe shop, seated on the stool. Original and reproduction.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 1 and 9
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Sue Spencer's grandmother, Mammie. Reproduction.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 2
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Benjamin F. Spencer III in the shoe shop, on the left. Reproduction.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 3 and 10
To top

Group portrait of seven African American women and one Caucasian man, unidentified. Reproduction.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 4
To top

Four men working in the shoe shop.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 5
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Portrait of Julia Spencer.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 11
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Portrait of Benjamin F. Spencer and his wife, Sue.

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 12
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Portrait of John Carol Spencer.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 13
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Portrait of John Murphy Spencer.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 14
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Portrait of Anna Mary Wolfe.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 15
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Portrait of Robert Keith Stone.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 16
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Portrait of Michael Spencer.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 17
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Portrait of Debora Allen Million.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 18
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Portrait of William H. Stone.

  • Box 1, Folder 2, Item 19
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Papers, 1878-1985

Teacher's Certificate for Ben F. Spencer, Scott County. Colored Common School. Original and reproductions., 1878 March 16

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 6-7
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Teacher's Grade Certificate for Julia M. Spencer, Frankfort Colored Public School, Franklin County, Kentucky., 1902 July

  • Box 1, Folder 1, Item 8
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Certificates (photocopies).

  • Box 1, Folder 3, Item 20-30
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Transcript of an oral history interview with John C. Spencer of Detroit, Michigan. Spencer Family History.

  • Box 1, Folder 4, Item 31
To top

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.