Kentucky Historical Society
Collection Documents Everyday Life in 1930s Eastern Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 24, 2015  
Contact Information:  Louise Jones
502-564-1792, ext. 4407

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) has recently cataloged an extensive collection of images and text that document the everyday lives of people in eastern Kentucky and local missionaries’ efforts to evangelize in the region.


Robert Burns Stone was a telephone engineer for Southern Bell who lived in Fayette County. A member of the Missionary Baptist Church, he founded the Faith Mission Band and made mission trips to eastern Kentucky.


The Robert Burns Stone Collection contains the photographs, 35mm slides, glass and film transparencies and lantern slide presentations that Stone used to recruit missionaries and raise money for the Faith Mission Band. It also has two diaries of mission trips, illustrated essays and scrapbooks. Some images are of Stone’s telephone work.


Materials in the collection date from the 1920s to the 1950s, with the primary focus being the 1930s. Photographic images show people who normally might not have been photographed in intimate and ordinary activities – mourners at a child’s funeral, neighbors carrying a man home from the hospital on a stretcher, men making sorghum, and a woman spinning wool. They also document various church-related activities. While many images are black and white or colorized, some are from color film.


The subject matter and the color film images from the 1930s make the collection “unique,” said Louise Jones, KHS director of research experience.


Counties represented in the collection include, but are not limited to, Pulaski, McCreary, McCracken, Bell, Knox, Jackson, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Breathitt, Leslie, Lawrence, Morgan, Knott, Magoffin, Owsley, Wolfe, Rowan, Clay, Madison, Whitley and Ballard.


Researchers can search “Robert Burns Stone” at to access the diaries and other printed materials and browse through several hundred images. A finding aid with lists of images and other items in the collection also can be accessed at that website.



The Kentucky Historical Society, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, was established in 1836 and is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky’s history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about KHS and its programs, visit