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Senator John Brown Library and Archives

Liberty Hall Historic Site announces the grand opening of the newly created Senator John Brown Library and Archives and the Kentucky Bar Foundation Reading Room. The grand opening will be November 4, 2016 from 3:30-5 pm.  The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will include Liberty Hall House Blend Tea and a timely old-fashioned treat—Election Cake.  The cake recipe is from an 1829 manuscript cookbook in the collection.

The library and archives, located on the 2nd floor of Liberty Hall, contains nearly 5,000 books, manuscripts, and photographs ranging in date from 1680 to the early 20th century.  Treasures from the library will be on display and include items illustrating Senator Brown’s political career.  Brown, who penned the moto “Let good men or good books be your constant companions,” was the patriarch of a large family, spawning generations of avid readers and authors including Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon.

A library has been preserved at Liberty Hall since the time the house was built and would have been one of the finest private assemblages of books in Frankfort at the time.  The Senator’s wife, Margaretta, wrote that the house was “furnished with a very excellent library” even prior to the home’s completion in 1804.  “Friday’s event marks an important and transformative milestone for Liberty Hall Historic Site” says LHHS Executive Director Julienne Foster.   “With the generous financial support of the Kentucky Bar Foundation, this collection will, for the first time, be accessible to the public.”  The multi-phased two-year project funded a full inventory and catalog of the library as well as equipment for on-line digitization.  Foster stated, “This collection is an untapped resource for researchers, serving as a rare representation of a prominent early Kentucky family.  To have the collection preserved inside the walls of this amazing house alongside the home’s original furnishings is truly exceptional.”

The Library and the Kentucky Bar Foundation Reading Room are accessible by special appointment. Please contact Kate Hesseldenz, curator@libertyhall.org.  Also see our online collection, http://libertyhall.pastperfectonline.com/ which will be updated frequently with new material.

Liberty Hall Historic Site serves as a learning center that engages the public in exploring the history, politics, social and cultural life in early Kentucky through the homes, gardens, documents, and artifacts of Senator John Brown and his family. To learn more visit www.libertyhall.org or call 502-227-2560.

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