Western Kentucky University

WKU Archives - Online Resources

The Kentucky Museum, on WKU's campus, houses history, arts & culture, with an outstanding quilt and textile collection, extensive archeological and ethnic holdings, also fine and decorative arts.

Library Special Collections (DLSC) is dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of Kentucky's cultural heritage. It also strives to conserve other rare materials which may enrich original scholarly research efforts. The unit is made up of Kentucky Library, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives and WKU Archives.

Changing galleries display a variety of themes, with community exhibitions, university-class designed and installed exhibitions. Companion online exhibits are created in order to capture and share those exhibition experiences.

The complementary resources and services of all areas provide researchers, scholars, and visitors with broad-based overview of Kentucky's history, culture, and people.


Building Histories - brief histories of campus buildings and biographical sketches of the namesake.  Each page includes a bibliography of resources relevant to the history of the building and links to primary source documents and photographs.

Collection Inventories - as the archives for a living institution, WKU Archives receives records nearly every day.  Records are classified according to the creating unit.  Here you will find a list of offices for which WKU Archives has records.

Faculty/Staff List - WKU Archives maintains employee records of faculty and some staff.  This alphabetical list gives the unit and dates a person worked when known.  Researchers may access these records through the Harrison-Baird Reading Room.

Finding Our Way: Maps & Mapmaking - Our cultural and physical geography is showcased by mapmakers through county land ownership, large-scale topographic and thematic maps, and other maps that portray a geographic area at a particular point in time. Mapmaking is the story of heroes and everyday routines. They are tools and yet many are works of art.

Get on the Bus: 40 Years of Political Activism 1968-2008 - a special traveling exhibit built into a school bus to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.  A great collaborative effort of the Kentucky Museum in conjunction with the Art Department, Master Plan and Kaleidoscope.

Photograph Collection - there are over 50,000 images in WKU Archives of students, faculty, staff, alumni, events, athletic teams and athletes and buildings dating to the late 1800's. 

Playing Our Song: Southern Kentucky Notes - Southern Kentuckians love music! From the amateur playing his Hawaiian steel guitar to the singers and bands that have put WKU on the map, this region's Musical heritage is rich. Whether you like Country, Classical, Rap or Rock, you will find that Southern Kentuckians are indeed playing your song.

P.S. I Love You: Hilltoppers Quartet - large exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hilltoppers recording of Trying in Van Meter. Hall.

Training School / College High Exhibit - small exhibit currently housed in the College High building commemorating the history of the training school.

WKU Centennial - a behind the scenes look at the creation of WKU's centennial exhibit.

WKU Hilltopper Heritage - a set of links organized into ten categories reflecting various aspects of WKU history.

WKU Timeline - timeline of significant events in the history of WKU and its founding institutions. 

Yearbooks - WKU Archives maintains a digitized collection of Talisman, Towers, The Cardinal and Vista yearbooks.

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 Last Modified 5/5/14