Home » Kentucky governors’ executive journals now available in digital format

Kentucky governors’ executive journals now available in digital format

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2012) — The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) recently announced that an extensive collection of the executive journals of Kentucky’s governors is now available in a digital format in the e-Archives section of the KDLA website.

The Secretary of State is required to keep a register of the official acts of the governor. This register is called the executive journal and contains entries documenting appointments, pardons, proclamations, requisitions and extraditions, restorations of civil rights, and reorganizations of state agencies. Journals from the 19th century also occasionally contain transcripts of speeches given by the governor. Entries in the executive journal are made chronologically, but a subject index is included to aid in accessing specific Journal entries.

The executive journals for governors Isaac Shelby (1792-1796) through Wendell Ford (1971-1974) are currently available in the e-Archives. The journals for the more recent governors will be added soon.

“The executive journal of Shelby, Kentucky’s first chief executive, illustrates that the state was still very much a part of the frontier. Many of the entries in Shelby’s journal relate to the strength, organization and structure of the state militia, which was of vital importance as the potential threat of local Native American populations was perceived as very real,” said Tim Tingle, KDLA public records branch manager. “Succeeding journals provide invaluable primary source material for tracing the historical development of the Commonwealth, from the frontier to the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the feuds and tobacco wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through the Great Depression and into the modern era.”

The digitization of these records was completed in cooperation with the Office of the Secretary of State and partially funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

KDLA provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained, and made accessible. For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call 502-564-8300 ext. 315.