Harrodsburg Historical Society

Librarian, Peggy Edgington

Historic Morgan Row, home of the Harrodsburg Historical Society, Mercer County Research Library

Here is the perfect way to ensure that your work on your Low Dutch genealogy is not lost! Donate your research materials and documents (published or unpublished) to the Harrodsburg Historical Society (HHS) Research Library, NEW Low Dutch Repository.

NEW! Save your research for posterity!


HHS — Organized in 1907 in beautiful downtown Harrodsburg, Kentucky

ANNOUNCEMENT: Peggy Edgington, Librarian at HHS Library, and Jerry Sampson, President of HHS, announced today they have a volunteer whose time will be dedicated to a new special collection of Low Dutch history at the Harrodsburg Historical Society Library. Docent CAROLYN WORLEY will be available every Friday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 pm by phone, e-mail or in person. Phone: 859-734-5985; E-mail – library@harrodsburghistorical.org

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Your genealogy and historical research on your Low Dutch family will have value to others besides you and your own descendants. Perhaps there is no one else in your family interested in history, and you want your research to be passed on to someone who will appreciate it. What a shame if your years of work and research were wasted and lost. It may be years (if ever) before some descendant is ready to dig through those files to find the vital info they need – and if you place it in the HHS repository it will be available when they are ready. What better way to share what you have learned and possibly help others to find those missing links in their own family trees.

SPECIAL COLLECTION: The collection will be kept separate from other Library holdings. The historical archive will be filed in acid-free containers and housed in a climate-controlled area. The collection will be publicized and showcased, as it becomes possible to do so. As a beginning, the Library is dedicating (2) two-drawer lateral files to this special interest area. (We hope it will grow to fill a designated room in the Morgan Row location, and in time to a special location such as in the restored Old Mud Meetinghouse.)

RECOGNITION: The donations will be filed by Dutch surname in separate collection containers i.e. COMINGORE (The Georgia Napier Collection). If there is more than one collection of the same surname, each person’s donation will be kept in a separate acid-free folder or container, provided by the library.

BE KIND: The HHS librarian/docents are volunteers, so be kind to them. Docents are educators, trained to further the public’s understanding of the cultural and historical collections of the institution.

WHAT TO DONATE: They want old photos, newspaper clippings, maps, vital records, and other reference material. Think of it like a time capsule. The collection will not have space for a million copies of papers. Your collection should be cataloged or indexed, and sources for the documents should be included before donation, so the records are usable by library patrons.


TURN IT LOOSE: Remember, you are donating your material. That means you will be giving it up, so make sure you are finished with your own research and have copies of the items you want to have on hand. You will no longer have any rights to the documents and will only be able to access them by appointment like any other visitor. (see info on Researching in Person, and Research Requests on next page)

IDENTIFY YOUR DUTCH NAMES, and place those names prominently on each folder. For example: COZINE (The James Cozine Collection); VORIS (The Larry Vories Collection); DEMAREE (The Vincent Akers Collection); TERHUNE (The Paul and Barbara Terhune Collection); DORLAND (The Judy Cassidy Collection); etc.

WHAT TO DONATE: Family Group Sheets and charts, Bibles and Bible records, Originals or copies of Deeds, Wills, Obits, court records, Revolutionary War data, old letters, family photos and stories, published or unpublished genealogy books. Any bit of thread that ties our Kentucky Low Dutch to the colonies in Conowago, Berkeley, New Jersey and New Amsterdam; and not just the Dutch in Mercer County but all of Kentucky. The land was so costly some chose other counties, many settled in Henry Co.

BIBLES: Do not tear out the family sheets, they want the whole Bible; especially the copyright data page. They maintain a collection of family Bibles in the archives room.

SEPARATE: Original records, deeds, etc should be in separate folders from current copies and group sheets. Items should also be separated according to subject.

IDENTIFY SOURCES: and mark each item to show it came from your collection.

NO INK OR TAPE: Do not use ink to mark ORIGINAL records, use pencil only; and no cello tape, staples or paper clips, as in time these will disfigure the document.

PLACE IN FOLDERS: Place each subject in separate labeled filing folders. If you have acid-free folders and want to use them, that is fine but not required. The library has acid-free folders, which are purchased from Gaylord.com.

LIST EVERYTHING: Make a list of what you are donating, one for you and one for the library — the more organized the information is, the better.

DO NOT DONATE INSECTS: Be very careful there is no insect infestation that could travel with your books, papers etc and destroy them.

HOW TO DELIVER: Mark OUTSIDE of envelopes, boxes, etc. “FOR LOW DUTCH SPECIAL COLLECTIONS.” Items may be delivered to the HHS in person or by mail: HHS, Attn. Carolyn Worley, P.O. Box 316, Harrodsburg, KY 40330, or by FEDX, UPS, etc: HHS, Attn. Carolyn Worley, 220 S. Chiles Street, Harrodsburg, KY 40330. (Library is open limited hours Tuesdays through Saturdays, and a note on door directs delivery next door if closed.) If you have any questions, feel free to call.

TOUCHING THE FILES: Clean hands are important as even hand lotion may leave stains on old paper. Gloves will be available for use at the library.


RESEARCHING IN PERSON: The Harrodsburg-Mercer County Research Library is not funded by any agency other than Harrodsburg Historical Society and is manned by volunteer docents. The library is open limited hours from Tuesdays through Saturdays; specifically Tuesdays 10 to 4 pm; Wednesdays through Saturdays 1:00 to 4:00. Researchers should call first to be sure the library is open in case of bad weather, family emergencies, etc. If advised, docents will make every effort to be sure the library is open and materials are available.

COST TO RESEARCH: If you are a member of the Harrodsburg Historical Society, there is no charge for researching in person. Annual memberships are available for $20.00 a year donation and include a quarterly newsletter, The Olde Towne Ledger, which contains genealogical references. Non-members may research for a nominal fee of $5.00 per day.

RESEARCH REQUESTS: The Library recommends a minimum donation of $15.00 per hour for research service requests. Any donations to the HHS, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible. Donation money is used to improve the library, and to make additions to the collections. You should send a retainer in advance with your request for research. If your answers are found in less time, the excess can be returned if requested. Please prioritize needs in order of significance, and include names with approximate dates where possible. To keep research time to a minimum, you should explain in clear, concise statements or on charts, the information you have already collected and what you hope to prove.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE HHS LIBRARY: Bring your wireless laptop – WiFi is available free! The HHS Research Library at Morgan Row’s genealogy section contains family files, Bible Records, cemetery records, tax and census records, newspapers, books of history and genealogy, and MANY original court documents of local families. They have purchased microfilmed death certificates for the entire state of Kentucky, 1911 to 1957, as well as early Mercer County newspapers and Washington County newspapers. There are numerous shelves of Kentucky history as well as research books from surrounding counties and states. A microfilm reader is available as well as copy machines and electrical plug-ins for your computer. The Library has compiled many books of early records and reference, which are available for purchase, either in person or by mail. For more info, see the web page: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kymercer/hhs/

ACROSS THE STREET: Also available are records at the Mercer County Courthouse, located across the street from the Research Library. Records at the Courthouse include wills and probate records, marriages, and deeds.

Attn: Carolyn Worley
P. O. Box 316
220 South Chiles Street
Harrodsburg, Kentucky 40330-0316
Phone: 859-734-5985
E-mail – library@harrodsburghistorical.org