Spanning the late 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, the collections at Liberty Hall Historic Site tell the stories of the Brown family, one of Kentucky’s most prominent families. The collection comprises two early 19th century homes, four acres of trees, flowers, and plants, furniture, paintings, silver, textiles, ceramics, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and domestic objects. The decorative arts collection is largely from the Federal period, with several pieces from the Victorian era. Most of the furnishings are of Kentucky or Southern origins and many are original to the Site.
Many personal artifacts owned by Brown family members illustrate early Kentucky life. The Brown family lived on the property for over 150 years.
To view pieces from the museum collection, visit:
- Liberty Hall Historic Site online collection (under the objects tab)
- Speed Art Museum's Kentucky Online Arts Resource website (search Liberty Hall)
- Liberty Hall Historic Site Pinterest boards or Kentucky Made Digital Guide
- MESDA Object Database (search Liberty Hall Historic Site)
Library & Archives
Let good and wise men or good books be your constant companions…
Letter from John Brown to Orlando Brown, 1826. The Filson Historical Society.
The Senator John Brown Library & Archives has been made possible through a two-year grant from the Kentucky Bar Foundation. The library contains over 3,000 volumes of books, 300 manuscripts, and 1000 photographs. Search our online collection; this site does not contain all of the items in the library, but will be updated frequently.
Works of nonfiction in history, government, philosophy, gardening, cooking, and education are displayed alongside a fine collection of early federal publications, books in French, family bibles, and classic fiction. The earliest book in the collection dates to the mid-17th century. Generations of the Brown family were avid readers and fond of literature. Many books in the collection have been signed by members of the Brown family, and 230 contain signatures of the first residents of Liberty Hall, John and Margaretta Brown. It is rare for a historic house museum to have such a large collection of books that were owned by the family. Some programs offered by LHHS are inspired by library and archival collections, including Looks at Books, a 2021 series of virtual talks.
If you are interested in donating to help the ongoing conservation efforts of our library and archives, please click here.