About Our Collections
Archival materials and oral histories anchor the Initiative. They document Kentuckians who have served in the Judicial Branch and provide insight into its interactions with the Legislative Branch and the Executive branch. The collections and oral histories from federal judges—as well as from law clerks, legal scholars, court staff, and Executive and Congressional leaders—contextualize the work of the federal courts. The Heyburn Initiative builds on UK Libraries’ existing strengths, which include the papers and oral histories of two Supreme Court Justices, while also supporting the acquisition of new materials related to the courts:
- Charles M. Allen papers, circa 1958-2001 | Judge on the Western District Court of Kentucky, 1971-2000.
- Charles I. Dawson papers, 1923-1969 | Judge on the Western District Court of Kentucky, 1925-1935.
- John G. Heyburn II papers, 1980-2015, bulk 1992-2015 | Judge on the Western District Court of Kentucky, 1992-2015.
- Joseph M. Hood papers, 1982-2016 | Judge on the Western District Court of Kentucky, 1990-present.
- Harry Innes papers, 1775-1815 | Judge on the District Court of Kentucky, 1789-1815.
- A. L. Isham letters, 1938-1939 | Property manager for Associate Justice Stanley Forman Reed.
- Edward H. Johnstone papers, 1978-2007 | Judge on the Western District Court of Kentucky, 1978-2013.
- Boyce F. Martin papers, 1973-2013, undated | Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1979-2013.
- Stanley Forman Reed papers, 1926-1977 | Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, 1938-1957.
- John M. Rogers papers, 1974-2003 | Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2002-present.
- Mac Swinford collection, 1932-1975 | Judge on the Eastern and Western District Courts of Kentucky, 1937-1975.
- G. Wix Unthank papers, 1980-2013, bulk 1977-2012 | Judge on the Eastern District Court of Kentucky, 1980-2013.
- S. Sidney Ulmer correspondence, 1970, 1992 | Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Kentucky, 1963-1988.
- Frederick Moore Vinson collection, 1907-1953 | Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1943-1953.
- Emanuel G. Weiss papers, 1944-1970 | Law clerk to Associate Justice Stanley Forman Reed, 1945-1946.
Oral History Interviews
In the Heyburn Initiative’s ongoing oral history project, members of the Federal Judiciary—particularly judges from United States district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court—discuss their legal and judicial careers, including their nomination process and their reflections on Judge Heyburn himself. In addition, public figures such as Senator Mitch McConnell provide their perspectives on the role of “advice and consent” and relationships among the three branches of federal government.
UK Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History also preserves and provides access to other oral histories related to the Federal Judiciary: