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Dr. Thomas Clark, historian laureate, was great friend of Lindsey Wilson College

"Clark's Gifts to LWC Had Major Impact on College"
- Headline in June 29, 2005 LWC tribute to Dr. Clark

Dr. Clark had close ties to Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY. Duane Bonifer of Lindsey Wilson College has sent this link to the Lindsey Wilson College website story, which is a beautiful tribute to the Kentucky historian laureate. Click here to read the Lindsey Wilson College tribute to Dr. Clark.

Dr. Clark was Kentucky's 'Father of the Archives'

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 29, 2005) - "Kentucky lost the 'Father of the Archives'when Dr. Thomas Clark died yesterday," said James A. Nelson, the statelibrarian and commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Libraries andArchives (KDLA) for nearly 25 years. "No one has shown more passion forpreserving our history than Dr. Clark. He taught us that our heritage isworth saving and passing down to future generations."

Dr. Clark laid the foundation of the state's archival system when heappealed to Gov. A.B. "Happy" Chandler to save thousands of importanthistorical state documents from being destroyed to make room for offices inFrankfort in the 1930s. He had them transferred to the University ofKentucky where he began cataloging them.

"The thought of him rushing over to Frankfort in his pajamas when Gov. HappyChandler came into office to stop the dump trucks from hauling off recordsis an image that stick's in my mind of Dr. Clark. He faithfully served onthe state Archives and Records Commission, representing the University ofKentucky, for many years. In this responsibility, he seldom missed a meetingand his voice on the disposition of the record of this state was alwaysstrong, intelligent and respected," said Nelson.

Dr. Clark lobbied 10 successive governors for a building designed to housethe state's archival holdings. Gov. Julian Carroll allocated the funds for acombined library and archival facility in Frankfort that was dedicated in1982. The KDLA headquarters was named the Clark-Cooper building in honor ofDr. Clark and prominent Hazard banker Vernon Cooper, who also was a championof Kentucky's library system. One of Dr. Clark's top priorities in recentyears was to build an extension to this facility to accommodate the growingvolume of records not anticipated 23 years ago.

"Dr. Clark had a 75-year love affair with Kentucky that never waned. Hewrote about her, talked about her and preserved her memories with passionThe author of more than 30 books chronicling Kentucky's history, Dr. Clarkwas a perennial favorite at the annual Kentucky Book Fair, which isco-sponsored by KDLA. "He was enormously popular to a broad range ofKentuckians as demonstrated each year at the Kentucky Book Fair. It wasalways easy to find where he was signing his books; just look for thelongest line," Nelson said.

In 1991, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a resolution naming Dr. Clarkas Kentucky's Historian Laureate for life, the only person in the state'shistory to receive the honor.

Nelson said, "Dr. Clark was not only a remarkable scholar and renaissancefigure influencing the course of our state, he was also a good friend andmentor for me and many like me who seek to make this a better place to liveand raise our families."
KDLA provides grants, technical assistance and direct services to libraries,archival repositories and public agencies throughout Kentucky. In addition,it offers reference, research and specialized information services fromFrankfort. For more information about KDLA services and two essays about Dr.Clark's life and contributions to KDLA, go to
Story courtesy of Commonwealth of Kentucky Education Cabinet: contact, Kim Saylor Brannock, (502) 564-6606 ext. 130

This story was posted on 2005-06-29 19:54:52
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Dr. Thomas Clark in 1983

2005-06-29 - Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Clark-Cooper Building - Photo State of Kentucky photo. Dr. Thomas Clark at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives' Clark-Cooper building in 1983. The building was named for Dr. Clark and Vernon Cooper, a Hazard banker.
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