In 2016, five ambitious and dedicated advocates came together to preserve the diverse histories of Kentucky’s historic asylums, hospitals and institutions. Many of these facilities, long demolished and forgotten, have decades or even centuries of untold stories waiting to be uncovered. As researchers, we rely heavily on primary sources and have uncovered a range of photographs, documentation, and oral and visual histories. We also aim to provide a historiographical picture of how historians have approached institutional histories, particularly in the Appalachian region of the United States.
As diverse as the institutions we research and archive, the founding members of Kentucky Historic Institutions, Phil Tkacz, Jay Gravatte, Hope Bryant, Robin Rider-Osborne and Shawn Logan, have years of combined experience ranging from field and clinical/social service work to extensive research in special collections, archives, and libraries across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. Over the years, our members have connected with former patients, employees, and their families to gain a better understanding of what life was like and how these facilities operated. At this time, our members work entirely on a volunteer basis and do not receive any monetary donations or compensation.
The main page of this website also houses a blog which will be updated on a regular basis providing educational posts and other information related to the institutions featured on the website. Please remember that the website is a work in progress and we will be providing updates as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you would like to contact us or to provide additional information, photos and/or stories then please click here. You can also visit and participate in our Facebook groups.
Kentucky Historic Institution’s mission is to preserve memories, advocate for the forgotten patients and employees, and to educate the public about the individual histories of Kentucky’s historic asylums, hospitals and institutions.