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Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Research Materials on Louisville before 1877: Microfilm Collections

Microfilm Collections

Louisville Anzeiger
173 reels
Microfilmed issues of the Louisville Anzeiger (Advertiser), a German-language newspaper founded in 1848 by George Doern and Otto Scheeffer. It ceased publication in 1938. The German-states experienced a series of revolutions against ecclesiastical and princely authority in the 1840s. Refugees from those conflicts immigrated to the United States, many settling in Louisville, Kentucky. Several of the Anzeiger's early staff, including Ludwig Stierlin, editor in 1851 and author of a history of Louisville's Germans in 1873, were in the group of failed revolutionaries. There had been German language newspapers in Louisville since 1841, but the Anzeiger soon became a daily newspaper and outlasted all its rivals. In the beginning, the paper appeared semi-weekly, but on May 8, 1849, it changed to a daily. By 1855, the Anzeiger had daily, semi-weekly, and weekly editions to accommodate readers from across the state. The closing years brought it back to a weekly publication and the final issue was on March 4, 1938. The Anzeiger was Democratic in politics and frequently benefited from local government's legal advertising. This microfilm represents the holdings from multiple repositories. There are relatively few missing issues, and most of these are in the early years. Except for 1851, there are a few issues from each year starting in 1849 and ending in 1938.

Butler, John Russell
1 reel microfilm
Butler, a native of Shelby County, studied medicine at the University of Louisville. He served in the Mexican-American War as a private and later as an officer on the staff of his uncle, Major General William Orlando Butler. His diaries describe his management of Redwood, his estate near the Forks of the Elkhorn in Franklin County. Details on planting and harvesting crops, livestock management, horse breeding, and farm workers are included. Information on the weather and family and social life is also present. Butler married Jane Short, daughter of prominent botanist Charles Wilkins Short. Butler practiced medicine briefly in Louisville before moving to Franklin County. Following service in the Confederate Army in the Civil War, Butler returned to Franklin County but sold his estate in 1870 and moved to Louisville again. He died there in 1884.

First Presbyterian Church of Louisville, 1874-1875
1 reel microfilm
Volume II of the minutes of the church. Location of Volume I is unknown.

Guthrie, James letters, 1857-1862
1 reel microfilm, 53 items
Guthrie was president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad; secretary of the U.S. Treasury, 1853-1857; member of the Peace Convention of 1861; and U.S. senator from Kentucky, 1865-1868; from Louisville, KY. The collection contains letters from Guthrie to Paul G. Washington, who had been assistant secretary of the treasury, concerning local and national politics during the Lincoln-Douglas campaigns, the election of 1860, the secession crisis, and the early part of the Civil War. The originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#1540)

Harlan, John Marshall Papers, 1835-1930
11 out of 14 reels of microfilm
Born in Boyle County, Kentucky in 1833, John Marshall Harlan graduated from Centre College (Danville, Kentucky) in 1850, then studied law and was admitted to the state Bar in 1853. After serving as City Attorney and County Judge in Frankfort (Franklin County), he moved to Louisville in 1861. From 1863 to 1867 he served as Kentucky’s Attorney General. He ran for governor as a Republican in 1871 and 1875, but was defeated each time. He was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1877 and served until his death in 1911.

Judge Advocate General – Records of the Court Martial of Joseph Benson, 1864-1865
Records of the court-martial of Joseph W. Benson of Louisville for fraud and negligence for supplying bad feed for military animals during the Civil War. Benson served as dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine from 1859 to 1863 and from 1866 to 1867. Originals at the National Archives (NARA).

Louisville, Kentucky: Legislative Records, 1781-1929
33 out of 58 reels of microfilm
This collections contains records of the city of Louisville dating from February 1781 to 1929, and include Minutes of the Trustees & Commissioners of the town of Louisville (1781-1779); Minutes of the Common Council (1828-1851); Minutes of the Board of Aldermen (1851-1929); Minutes of the Common Council (1851-1929); Ordinances and Resolutions, 1824-1828; 1844-1929); and other city records (1781-1909). A great deal of this material dates from the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods.

Louisville, Kentucky: Municipal Reports, 1866-1916
6 of 17 reels of microfilm
The annual reports of the city departments submitted to the mayor's office, with reports from the following years: 1868, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1877-1885, 1887-1889, 1892-1896.

Louisville newspapers, 1840-1932
1 reel of microfilm, 20 items
This collection is a collection of sporadic issues of various local newspapers, many dating from 1840 to 1885. It includes issues from the Louisville Weekly Journal, Louisville Daily Journal, Louisville Gazette, Louisville Weekly Gazette, Louisville City Gazette, and Louisville Public Advertiser, all from between 1840 and 1844.

Short, Charles Wilkins Papers, 1784-1897
1 reel microfilm, 488 items
Charles Wilkins Short was a physician, noted botanist, and professor of medicine at Transylvania University and the Medical College of Louisville. Collection includes letters from Short to members of his family including his brother, John Cleves Short, of Shorthill, Hamilton County, Ohio; his daughters, Mary Churchill (Short) Richardson, Jane Short, and Sarah Elizabeth Short, together with a typescript of “A Chronological Record of the Families of Charles William Short and Mary Henry Churchill,” compiled by Short and continued by his daughter, Mary Churchill Richardson, containing information on Short, Churchill, Henry, Skipwith, Symmes, Edmunds, Ridgely, Dudley, Breathitt, Green, Richardson, Butler, Kinkead, and Harrison families. (Originals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). There are also letters from other botanists, among them John Torrey (1850-1860) and Asa Gray (1849-1879) and a few botanical drawings. Originals at Harvard University.

St. John’s Evangelical Church Records, 1865-1949
2 reels microfilm
Records of the church include those of baptisms (1865-1892), confirmations (1876-?), marriages (1869-1907), and deaths (1867-1949).

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Records, 1834-1978
1 reel of 4 reels of microfilm
St. Paul Episcopal Church is the second oldest church in the Kentucky Diocese. Its first building, consecrated in 1839, was located on Sixth St., just north of Walnut (now Muhammad Ali Blvd.) When a fire destroyed this building in 1894, the church moved to Fourth and Victoria Place (now Magnolia) near St. James Court. In 1957 it relocated again to Lowe Rd. between Hikes Point and Jeffersontown.

United States Census Schedules, 1810-1910
21 out of 32 reels microfilm (1810-1880)
Population schedules for Louisville and counties throughout Kentucky.

University of Louisville School of Medicine, Faculty minutes, 1857-1892
1 reel microfilm
The Medical Department of the University of Louisville originated in 1837 as the Louisville Medical Institute. The faculty apparently kept minutes beginning in 1837, but on December 31, 1856, fire destroyed the medical school building and along with it many of the school records. These faculty minutes begin immediately following the fire and continue until 1892. Faculty minutes of the Medical Department from 1857 until 1892. They include annual lists of graduates, school policies, information on the medical school during the Civil War, and material on medical school competition in Louisville during the later nineteenth century.

Watterson, Henry Papers, 1857-1983 (bulk 1882-1921)
1 reel of 7 reels of microfilm
Journalist, politician, and author Henry Watterson was born in 1840. From 1861 to 1865 he served intermittently in the Confederate Army and edited the Confederate newspaper, Rebel. After becoming editor of the Louisville Journal in 1868, that same year he and Walter N. Haldeman established the Louisville Courier-Journal. For the next 50 years Watterson continued to edit the paper, while in addition serving as chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 1876 and as a member of the United States Congress, 1876-1877. His papers are preserved on microfilm and include letters, telegrams, editorials, speeches, newspaper clippings, family history, photographs and Watterson's autobiography, documenting his career and his opinions on politics, journalism and reconstruction. Originals at The Filson Historical Society.

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