Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Oldham family papers

Abstract

The Oldham family papers (dated 1797-1885, 1916-1960, undated, bulk 1930-1947; 3.83 cubic feet; 12 boxes) comprises letters, family genealogies, papers, and photographs that document the lives of the members of the Oldham family of Louisville, Kentucky and their friends in the nineteenth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Oldham family papers
Date
1797-1885, 1916-1960, undated (inclusive)
1930-1947 (bulk)
Extent
3.83 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Families.
Military life.
Clergy.
Religion
World War, 1939-1945.
Education
Travel.
Marriage
Employment -- Kentucky
Man-woman relationships -- United States -- 20th century
Genealogy.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan
Education, Higher.
Women in education.
Women in church work.
Teachers.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format and into two series: Papers and Letters. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0964: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Oldham family papers, 1797-1885, 1916-1960, undated, bulk 1930-1947, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Oldham family of Louisville, Kentucky consisted of parents Robert Bruce Oldham (1889-1970), Lessie Mae Rogers (1894-1993), and their five children: Edith Georgia Oldham (1923-2007), Robert Bruce Oldham, Jr. (1924-2015), Roger Lee Oldham (1926-2002), Jeanne Elizabeth Oldham (1927-2016), and Richard P. Oldham (1930-2014). Robert Sr. and Lessie married in 1922, and Robert worked for the L&N Railroad in a multitude of positions, including brakeman, flagman, switchman, and a baggage carrier.
Edith worked as a teacher in Jefferson County, having studied at Campbellsville College and the University of Louisville. She also studied at the Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. She taught elementary education at the Roosevelt, Tingley, Englehard, Emerson, and Semple schools along with basic education for adults at Central High and Atherson.
Robert, Jr. served in the US Marine Corps during World War II, participated in the Okinawa Campaign and the occupation of Yokosuka, Japan and attained the rank of Sergeant. He also served during the Korean Conflict in the US Air Force as Assistant Base Chaplain. He attended school at Campbellsville University, Western Kentucky University, Michigan State University, and was a graduate of Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. He worked as a teacher and pastor in South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Missouri. He was on the faculty of Campbellsville University, Missouri Bible College, Moody Bible Institute, Clearkcreek Baptist Bible College, and St. Catherine College. Robert married Virginia Pruitt (1926-2007) in 1947, and together the couple had two children: John S. and Mary.
Roger married Glendora Faye Singleton (1927-1995) in 1947. He served in the US Coast Guard during World War II. He became a pastor after he returned home from service in the Coast Guard.
Jeanne moved to Oregon to teach music between 1940 and 1950, where she met her husband, Norman D. Carothers (1924-1996) and then married in 1953. Together the couple had three children, Craig, Scott, and Lori. She taught elementary music at Central Point, Forest Grove, Portland, and White City, and was a member of many local church choirs.
Richard followed the same path as his brothers and became a pastor.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Oldham family papers (dated 1797-1885, 1916-1960, undated, bulk 1930-1947; 3.83 cubic feet; 12 boxes) comprises letters, family genealogies, papers, and photographs that document the lives of the members of the Oldham family of Louisville, Kentucky and their friends in the nineteenth century. The papers document the genealogies of the Bruce and Oldham families, along with the religious involvement of the family. The majority of the letters are between the seven immediate members of the Oldham family. Many are sent from Robert Jr. and Roger while they are serving in the military during World War II. In these letters, they discuss military life, training, daily life in camps, service abroad, life in Japan, opinions on other military branches, running into friends from home, dealing with the influenza epidemic, deaths of fellow soldiers, and plans to return home. Other letters from the family discuss education, social events, religious matters, family life, moving, relationships, personal health, local gossip, marriages, births of babies, and finding employment. Many friends and classmates write to the Oldham children, discussing parties, fights with other friends, receiving gifts, making clothing and accessories, and gossip at school. The photographs show the activities of the family, farming, going on vacations, spending time with friends, and family get-togethers.
The Oldham family letters collection is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Papers, 1797-1885, 1930-1959, undated

Broadside of Pastor Clarence Walker, 1945

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Bruce family birth records, 1797-1885

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Church pamphlets, 1937-1959

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Handwritten notes, 1944, undated

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company annual honorary discipline bulletin, 1930 October 1

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Newspaper clippings, 1944, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Pamphlets and booklets, 1944-1950, undated

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Letters, 1922-1960, undated

Robert B. Oldham, Sr. letters, 1934-1948, undated

John Bruce to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1938-1945

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Will Bruce to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1943-1944

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Edith Oldham to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1938-1947

  • Box 1, folder 10
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1943-1947

  • Box 1, folder 11
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Roger L. Oldham to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1943-1945

  • Box 1, folder 12
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Family to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1934-1948, undated

  • Box 1, folder 13
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Friends to Robert B. Oldham, Sr., 1934-1947

  • Box 1, folder 14
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Lessie Mae Oldham letters, 1922-1947, undated

L. Hoag to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1934-1938

  • Box 1, folder 15
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Anna Morrissett to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1934-1947, undated

  • Box 1, folder 16
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Edith Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1943

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Edith Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1944-1947, undated

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Jeanne Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1945

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Richard P. Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1943-1947, undated

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Robert B. Oldham, Sr. to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1934-1944

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1943

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1944

  • Box 2, folder 7-8
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1945-1947

  • Box 2, folder 9
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Roger L. Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1943

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Roger L. Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1944

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Roger L. Oldham to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1945-1947, undated

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Dick Rogers to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1944

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Ethel Trewella to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1943

  • Box 3, folder 5
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Parents to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1922-1934

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Parents to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1938-1940

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Parents to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1942-1943

  • Box 3, folder 8
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Parents to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1944

  • Box 3, folder 9
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Parents to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1945-1947, undated

  • Box 3, folder 10
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Friends to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1934-1942

  • Box 4, folder 1
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Friends to Lessie Mae Oldham, 1943-1947, undated

  • Box 4, folder 2
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Letters from Lessie Mae Oldham, 1940-1947, undated

  • Box 7, folder 15
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Edith Oldham letters, 1938-1947, undated

Luanna Anderson to Edith Oldham, 1943-1945, undated

  • Box 4, folder 3
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Ernestine Hall to Edith Oldham, 1943-1944

  • Box 4, folder 4
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Edith Oldham, 1943-1945

  • Box 4, folder 5
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Roger L. Oldham to Edith Oldham, 1943-1944

  • Box 4, folder 6
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Marian Sitzer to Edith Oldham, 1943-1944

  • Box 4, folder 7
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Family to Edith Oldham, 1942-1947, undated

  • Box 4, folder 8
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Friends to Edith Oldham, 1938-1943

  • Box 4, folder 9
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Friends to Edith Oldham, 1944-1945, undated

  • Box 4, folder 10
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Letters from Edith Oldham, 1945, undated

  • Box 7, folder 13
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Jeanne Oldham letters, 1942-1947, undated

Katherine Baker to Jeanne Oldham, 1943-1944

  • Box 4, folder 11
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Myrtle Hessey to Jeanne Oldham, 1946-1947, undated

  • Box 4, folder 12
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Joyce Miller to Jeanne Oldham, 1946-1947

  • Box 4, folder 13
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Edith Oldham to Jeanne Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 5, folder 1
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Lessie Mae Oldham to Jeanne Oldham, 1946-1947, undated

  • Box 5, folder 2
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Richard P. Oldham to Jeanne Oldham, 1944-1947

  • Box 5, folder 3
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Jeanne Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 5, folder 4
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Roger L. Oldham to Jeanne Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 5, folder 5
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Janet Lee Stanger to Jeanne Oldham, 1947

  • Box 5, folder 6
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Family to Jeanne Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 5, folder 7
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Friends to Jeanne Oldham, 1944-1945

  • Box 5, folder 8
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Friends to Jeanne Oldham, 1946-1947

  • Box 5, folder 9
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Friends to Jeanne Oldham, undated

  • Box 5, folder 10
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Jean Ward Wade to Jeanne Oldham, 1945

  • Box 5, folder 11
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Jean Ward Wade to Jeanne Oldham, 1946

  • Box 5, folder 12-13
  • Box 6, folder 1-2
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Jean Ward Wade to Jeanne Oldham, 1947

  • Box 6, folder 3-4
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Jean Ward Wade to Jeanne Oldham, undated

  • Box 6, folder 5
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Letters from Jeanne Oldham, 1942, undated

  • Box 7, folder 14
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Letters to Robert and Lessie Mae Oldham, 1933-1947, undated

Nathaniel Baker to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1942-1944, undated

  • Box 7, folder 1
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Ethel Morrissett to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1938-1945

  • Box 7, folder 2
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Edith Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1942-1943

  • Box 7, folder 3
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Edith Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1944

  • Box 7, folder 4
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Edith Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1945-1947, undated

  • Box 7, folder 5
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Hallie B. Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1933-1934

  • Box 7, folder 6
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Jeanne Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1945, undated

  • Box 7, folder 7
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Richard P. Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1944-1947

  • Box 7, folder 8
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Robert B. Oldham, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 7, folder 9
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Roger L. Oldham to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1943-1947

  • Box 7, folder 10
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Albert C. Zell to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1943-1944

  • Box 7, folder 11
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Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, 1934-1947, undated

  • Box 7, folder 12
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Finley F. Gibson letters, 1939-1960, undated

John A. Abernathy to Finley F. Gibson, 1949-1954

  • Box 8, folder 1
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Lewis and Kate Collie to Finley F. Gibson, 1950-1952

  • Box 8, folder 2
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Sophie Muller to Finley F. Gibson, 1949-1953, undated

  • Box 8, folder 3
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Richard P. Oldham to Finley F. Gibson, 1944-1945

  • Box 8, folder 4
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James O. Peach to Finley F. Gibson, 1954

  • Box 8, folder 5
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Nell Theis to Finley F. Gibson, 1950-1951

  • Box 8, folder 6
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Virginia Wells to Finley F. Gibson, 1953-1955, undated

  • Box 8, folder 7
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Letters to Finley F. Gibson, 1939-1948

  • Box 8, folder 8
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Letters to Finley F. Gibson, 1951-1953

  • Box 8, folder 9
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Letters to Finley F. Gibson, 1954

  • Box 8, folder 10
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Letters to Finley F. Gibson, 1955-1960, undated

  • Box 8, folder 11
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Lessie Mae Oldham to Richard P. Oldham, 1944-1949

  • Box 6, folder 6
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Family to Richard P. Oldham, 1944-1949

  • Box 6, folder 7
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Friends to Richard P. Oldham, 1938-1950, undated

  • Box 6, folder 8
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Letters to Robert B. Oldham, Jr., 1940-1945, undated

  • Box 6, folder 9
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Letters to Roger L. Oldham, 1940-1945

  • Box 6, folder 10
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V-mail to Roger L. Oldham, 1944, undated

  • Box 6, folder 11
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Letters from Richard P. Oldham, 1944-1945

  • Box 7, folder 16
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General Oldham family letters, 1944-1951, undated

  • Box 7, folder 17
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Envelopes, 1944-1945, undated

  • Box 7, folder 18
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Photographs, 1916-1940, undated

  • Box 9, item 1-64
  • Box 10, item 65-115
  • Box 11, item 116-167
  • Box 12, item 168-235
  • Box WH-75, item 236-244
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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

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.