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J. Winston Coleman, Jr. Kentuckiana Collection,1799-1983

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Processed by: STAFF; machine-readable finding aid created by:Bonnie Cox


J. Winston Coleman, Jr. Kentuckiana Collection




Transylvania University Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40508 USA

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to researchers.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], J. Winston Coleman, Jr. Kentuckiana Collection, 1799-1983,Special Collections, Transylvania University, Lexington.


ca. 35 cubic ft.


J. Winston Coleman, Jr., a native of Lexington, Kentucky was educated at the University of Kentucky where he obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering. From 1924 to 1936, he engaged in the general contracting and building business in Lexington, after which he farmed for a number of years. Having developed an interest in state and local history, Coleman was a founding member of the Book Thieves Club whose members included University of Kentucky historian Thomas D. Clark, Lincoln scholar William H. Townsend, Charles R. Staples, and Samuel M. Wilson. Coleman authored over twenty books and many pamphlets and articles on historical topics, the best known of which include SLAVERY TIMES IN KENTUCKY (1940), A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF KENTUCKY HISTORY (1949), and HISTORIC KENTUCKY (1967). In researching his works, Coleman collected historic manuscripts, books on Kentucky history, and photographs. A photographer himself, Coleman took a series of photographs of historic buildings and other subjects for a weekly series called "Historic Kentucky" which appeared in the LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER (1948-1952, 1960-1965). Many of these images were later used in his publications.

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of photographs, manuscript drafts of published works, personal correspondence and papers, and miscellaneous manuscripts collected by Lexington historian J. Winston Coleman, Jr. There are approximately 2,500 photographs on a variety of subjects including agriculture, bridges, churches, courthouses, covered bridges, handicraft production, horse farms, houses, mills, people, race tracks, statuary, and trains. The photographs are labelled and dated. Personal papers of Coleman include manuscript copies of various of his articles and books; daybooks and diaries (1936-1950); bound volumes of correspondence received (1964-1973); student papers (ca. 1927); and miscellaneous financial records. Among correspondence are letters of James R. Bentley, G. Glenn Clift, Holman Hamilton, Jesse Stuart, Hambleton Tapp, and Lawrence S. Thompson, which in general are reflective of the network of Coleman's contacts within the community of Kentucky history researchers, scholars, and literary figures. Manuscript materials collected by Coleman include twenty-one letters or documents signed by Henry Clay (1801-1848); Henry Clay Monument Association minutes and financial records (1857-1861); a Kentucky Rifles (Lexington?) minute book (1857-?); a Free and Accepted Masons ledger of minutes and financial records (1843-1860); a typescript of a minute book from the Masonic University of Kentucky in LaGrange (1842-1847); a typed copy of Robert Stuart Sanders' ten volume manuscript history on Presbyterian ministers and churches of Fayette County, Kentucky (1957); and various deeds, indentures, and depositions (1799-1850s). Also included are indexed scrapbooks on Kentucky history and government which contain copies of original documents, clippings, and other materials.


  • Bentley, James R.
  • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852
  • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852 -- Monuments
  • Clift, G. Glenn (Garrett Glenn), 1909-1970.
  • Coleman, J. Winston (John Winston), 1898-1983.
  • Coleman, J. Winston (John Winston), 1898-1983 -- Daries
  • Hamilton, Holman.
  • Stuart, Jesse, 1907-1984.
  • Tapp, Hambleton.
  • Thompson, Lawrence Sidney, 1916-
  • Henry Clay Monument Association.
  • Kentucky Rifles.
  • Masonic University (LaGrange, Ky.)
  • Agriculture -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Authors, American -- Kentucky.
  • Bridges -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Churches -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Courthouses -- Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Covered bridges -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Deeds -- Kentucky
  • Dwellings -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Freemasonry -- Kentucky.
  • Handicraft -- Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Historians -- Kentucky.
  • Horse farms -- Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Mills and mill-work -- Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Monuments -- Kentucky -- Lexington
  • Presbyterian Church -- Kentucky -- Fayette County -- Clergy
  • Presbyterian Church -- Kentucky -- Fayette County -- History
  • Racetracks (Horse racing) -- Kentucky -- Photographs.
  • Railroads -- Kentucky -- Trains -- Photographs
  • Statues -- Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Universities and colleges -- Kentucky -- LaGrange.
  • Kentucky -- History
  • Kentucky -- Photographs
  • Kentucky -- Politics and government -- History
  • Correspondence
  • Daybooks
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Minutes
  • Photographs

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