Digital Access Project

Digital Access Project (DAP) will make Fayette County's property history visible and accessible to all.

More than 60,000 pages of Fayette County’s historical property records containing information about enslaved people from the late 1700s through 1865 will soon be available to the public online thanks to a partnership between the Fayette County Clerk, University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Institute of Black Studies, the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, Blue Grass Community Foundation and its Knight Foundation Donor Advised Charitable Fund.

Downtown Lexington was the site of one of the biggest slave markets in the Southeastern United States. Thousands of transactions recorded in Fayette County contained names of large segments of the enslaved population prior to emancipation and the official end of slavery on December 6, 1865. In the late 1890s, newspapers across the country contained ‘information wanted’ ads placed by formerly enslaved people looking for family members who had been sold and separated from them in Lexington, Ky. Publishing Fayette County’s historical property records online will help answer these questions that still linger for many Black families today.

Bringing these documents online and into a searchable database will take humanpower, specialized equipment, historical expertise, and funding. Thanks to the Digital Access Project partnership, Fayette County will be the first county in Kentucky to digitize its historical property records dating back to the late 1700s. 

To make a stock donation or larger gifts, contact Blue Grass Community Foundation at 859.225.3343.

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