Western Kentucky University

Department of Library Special Collections

About the Department

The department serves as a time capsule of cultural and personal history of Kentucky and beyond.  Learn more about the Civil War, World War II, Kentucky authors, Mammoth Cave, Western Kentucky University, genealogy, folklore, South Union Shakers, politics and much more!  The Department of Library Special Collections is made up of three units:


 Kentucky Library Research Collections Manuscripts & Folklife Archives  WKU Archives
Kentucky Library
Research Collections
Manuscripts & Folklife
Archives
WKU Archives


Kentucky Building Hours: Mon-Fri 9-4; Sat. 10-3*
Harrison-Baird Reading Room Closed: May 17, 24, 26 & 31
Western Kentucky University Phone: 270-745-5083
Bowling Green, KY Directions / Contacts

 

History of the Department of Library Special Collections

The Department of Library Special Collections began in the late 1920s with the campaign to construct a "Kentucky Building" on WKU's campus. Dedicated on November 16, 1939, this Georgian Revival structure serves primarily as a repository for books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audio, video, and other material documenting the history, politics, culture, literature, daily life and folkways of the Commonwealth.  Following a three-year construction and renovation project that more than doubled its size, the Kentucky Building was rededicated on July 4, 1980.  Since then, its collections have continued to grow, both in volume and stature, to cover not just Kentucky but the world.

Who's Who

*All researchers are encouraged to consult with staff prior to their visit in order to maximize research time.  This is especially true of Saturday researchers to ensure that records are pulled and ready.  Bibliographic sessions, evening or weekend class or group sessions may be scheduled.  Contact spcol.wku.edu for additional information.

 Last Modified 4/17/14