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Transylvania University records, 1780-1839, 1780-1826 (bulk dates)

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Transylvania University records


1780-1839, 1780-1826 (bulk dates)


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Transylvania University records, 1780-1839, 1780-1826 (bulk dates), 1VF55W47, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


11 pieces.


Chartered as a public school by the Virginia Assembly in 1780 as Transylvania Seminary, the institution, renamed Transylvania University in 1799, was the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains. Located in Lexington, Ky, Transylvania ranks among the elite small colleges as a distinguished liberal arts institution. As an early educational pioneer, Transylvania played a significant role in developing the trans-Allegheny West and was the first college west of the Alleghenies to have a medical school (1817). Among its founding trustees were noted leaders such as Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, George Rogers Clark, the Revolutionary War hero who won the Northwest from the British and Henry Clay. National leaders such as George Washington and John Adams were included in the list of initial contributors.

Scope and Content

Comprised of legal documents, legislative materials, and resolutions, these documents relate to the founding and administration of Transylvania Seminary (University) in Lexington, Ky. Many of the legal documents and lawsuits concern the acquisition of land for the school's campus, done mainly through the receipt of escheated lands from the state of Virginia. Copies of legislative acts of both the Virginia General Assembly and the Kentucky General Assembly are present and concern the founding of the school, its maintenance and provisions for revenue.


  • Transylvania University.
  • Transylvania University.--Board of Trustees.
  • Virginia.--General Assembly.
  • Kentucky.--General Assembly.
  • Education--Kentucky--Finance.
  • Pioneers--Education--Kentucky.
  • Education, Higher--History.
  • Land titles--Registration and transfer.
  • Legislation--Virginia.
  • Legislation--Kentucky.
  • Universities and colleges--Kentucky.
  • Indentures.
  • Resolutions

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