Before Kentucky achieved statehood in 1792, the Kentucky press was established in 1787. Kentucky's founding fathers recruited in 1785 a young surveyor from northern Virginia, John Bradford. Bradford possessed no credentials as a printer, but he readily embraced the goal to establish the first newspaper to serve the citizens of the then western Virginia counties. In the thrumming metropolis of Lexington, on Aug. 11, 1787, the first issue of the Kentucke Gazette pronounced its mission to publish in support of Kentucky's statehood, to feature news of the national and state governments, to keep citizens apprised of foreign affairs, and to promote editorial discourse on scholarly subjects of socio-political value.
The Kentuckiana Digital Library is currently digitizing a lengthy run of the Kentucke Gazette. The issues were loaned from the Lexington Public Library and will be available in digital versions in the late Spring of 2010.
AFRICAN AMERICAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
The African American Oral History Project is housed at Eastern Kentucky University and is comprised of 59 interviews.
THE TRUE AMERICAN
The True American was Cassius Marcellus Clay's "Emancipation" newspaper, though the masthead makes it sound much broader than that. Printed in Lexington and Cincinatti (though it always carried the Lexington dateline) from June 3, 1845 - September 21, 1846, The True American was published by William L. Neale with Cassius M. Clay as editor. The Kentuckiana Digital Library is digitizing a complete run of this title with source copies from the University of Kentucky, Lexington Public Library, and the Wisconsin Historical Society.
HISTORIC ISSUES OF THE LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL
The Kentuckiana Digital Library is underway with digitization of the state's daily newspaper of record. Initially, issues from 1890-1920 are being digitized from source documents located at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Digital versions will be available in the Fall of 2010.