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History Monday: Our Collected History

Update 4/8/2021: The opening day has been pushed back to April 19, 2021.
See: Genealogy and History Research Center Update


By Mike Watson

Monday, April 12, 2021, will be a tremendous day in Columbia and Adair County. A long awaited event will quietly blossom at 307 Greensburg Street. The new addition, adjacent to the Adair County Public Library will quietly open to the public. The Adair County Genealogy and History Research Center, long planned and recently completed, will open at 9amCT on that day.

The Adair County Public Library's research section has been a cornerstone in local research since the 1980s, developed originally by the original Dean of our department, Mrs. Randy Hood Flowers. From a single filing cabinet, a single book shelf, a small work table, and an ancient microfilm reader, this section of the library grew, and grew.

Researchers have visited from nearly every state in the nation and several foreign countries. Our records collections have grown by leaps and bounds in the past forty years. Books, professional articles, newspaper pieces, and many personal research projects have been created from this collection, utilized by literally thousands of researchers. And good things have always been said of the materials housed here.

Many collections have been added. Most importantly, the first major collection was the research of Mrs. Ruth Paull Burdette, premier historian and genealogist of Columbia and Adair County for decades.


Her materials came here in the 1980s and form the nucleus of our family and local history files. Now numbering over 2,000 family files, the Research Center contains fifteen new file cabinets with ever-evolving and expanding research opportunities. Other collections have come into our hands over the decades and continue to do so. More on these later, and they are stellar!

Shelves in the Research Center contain local, regional, state and national publications and collections: Family Surname books and paper collections, Adair County records of every type, Adair County Schools and Lindsey Wilson yearbooks, many Kentucky Counties books, Military publications including Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Church publications, United States histories and county research publications from may of the eastern states including Virginia, North and Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, New England and more, Photograph collections, Business papers, and more.

There are items coming into the Research Center on a daily basis and will be processed, prepared for use and made available as quickly as possible. Many individuals, families, and businesses have contributed to the development of this facility. The Adair County Library Board has been working toward this goal for more than a decade, being fiscally responsible and driven. LeeAnn Jessee has worked tirelessly to make this a reality, supported by an excellent staff including Ernestine Bennett, lead genealogy librarian.

The Adair County Genealogical Society has supported this project from the beginning and will continue to contribute to the collection and publication of materials through such outlets as the Adair County Review, the publication of the Society.

The Adair County Genealogy and History Research Center will be a true asset to this town and county for many years to come; will bring more and more people who will return year after year.

Keep in mind that we are always collecting and preserving the past, even the recent past. Items come to us in boxes and in small envelopes; every item is given the same care and attention and is considered another piece in our collective jig-saw puzzle of our shared history.

The first day for the opening of doors will be Monday, April 12, 2021, 9amCT until 5pmCT, and each week day forward with the same times; Saturdays 8amCT until NoonCT.

Come see us at your convenience. There cannot be a "grand" opening at this time due to the continued restrictions on meetings, and social distancing, but there will be an event later.


This story was posted on 2021-04-05 08:22:54
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