http://history.ky.gov/About_KHS/KHS_Hours.htm Click here for listing information of hours and admission fees.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 29, 2004) – Beginning Thursday, July 1, 2004 the museums and library of the Kentucky Historical Society will expand their operating hours to ensure that Kentuckians and out-of-state tourists have increased access to the Commonwealth’s history. The Kentucky History Center, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum will add weekend hours. The Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum have not been open on weekends in the past.
In addition to the expanded hours, the Kentucky Historical Society will initiate a modest museum admission fee to fund the personnel and operating costs necessary to offer increased hours. Tickets will be available at the History Center and the Kentucky Military History Museum and will include admission to all three museums. Tickets are not required for the genealogical research library and 1792 Store. Parking is free.
Governor Ernie Fletcher noted how much the expanded weekend hours would stimulate the economy of Frankfort’s downtown, “The Kentucky History Center is the Commonwealth’s equivalent of the Smithsonian Institution. I would love to see weekend tours that feature all of Frankfort’s great historical sights so we can ensure greater accessibility for visitors and help the economy of Frankfort.”
Governor Fletcher requested the Department of Tourism to work with the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission to promote the history rich community. This would be the first phase in an overall plan of attracting more visitors and convention goers to Frankfort and to position the capital city as a key attraction for out-of-state tourists, as well as an educational experience for Kentucky youth.
Since opening its doors in April 1999, the History Center has presented numerous temporary exhibits and educational programs on a wide variety of Kentucky subjects. Visitors exploring the Kentucky History Center’s permanent exhibit gallery, “A Kentucky Journey” can discover more than 12,000 years of Kentucky’s history from prehistoric time to the present day.
Researchers visiting the Thomas D. Clark Library, located on the Center’s second floor, can access more than 90,000 volumes, over 15,000 reels of microfilm, 20,000 family surname files and Internet-based research sources. City of Frankfort, Mayor Bill May commented, "The Kentucky History Center is a real treasure for our community. The expanded hours of operation will allow more people an opportunity to learn about Kentucky's and Frankfort’s rich heritage. We are all very happy about the decision to have the History Center open more."
Franklin County Judge Executive Teresa Barton also stated, “We are so pleased that Governor Fletcher, Secretary Host and Director Kent Whitworth understand the needs of the patrons of the Kentucky History Center and the importance of customer relations. This positive approach is also key to the vitality of downtown and our community.”
The Kentucky Military History Museum, housed in the 1850 Old State Arsenal, contains exhibits that preserve, highlight and commemorate the actions of Kentucky’s citizen soldiers in our nation’s struggle for freedom. Displays include an impressive collection of firearms, edged weapons, artillery, uniforms, flags, photographs, personal items and other equipment that illustrates the Commonwealth's martial heritage. The Military History Museum, a joint program of the Society and the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs, offers a unique and varied look into the state’s military past from the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Gulf War conflict.
The Old State Capitol once served as the center for Kentucky’s political leaders as they decided the course their state would take through the tumultuous nineteenth century. Today, the Old State Capitol historic site reflects much of its original mid-nineteenth century appearance and features unique architectural details such as the circular staircase, restored room settings like the senate and house chambers and the Commonwealth’s first state law library, as well as showcasing original portraits, chandeliers and other artifacts. Though no longer a place for political activity, the Old State Capitol continues to serve as a cultural and educational center with guided tours available.
Conveniently located in historic downtown Frankfort, the Kentucky Historical Society’s museums and research library offer Kentuckians and visitors a chance to experience history with hands-on activities, interactive displays, informative talks, museum theatre performances and other special programs for all ages.
Support for the expanded hours and admissions policy is widespread in the Frankfort and Franklin County community. Frankfort/Franklin County Tourism Commission Director, Joy Jeffries commented, “The Historical Society is the cornerstone of tourism in Franklin County. It is with great pride that the Tourism Commission sends visitors to the History Center, Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum. We are elated with the announcement of the additional hours and completely in favor of initiating an admission to the three museums. It is our premise that people value that for which they pay.”
The Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, Kentucky Military History Museum and its five-year-old headquarters, the Kentucky History Center. Since 1999, the $30 million History Center has welcomed almost one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web at http://history.ky.gov or call (502) 564-1792.