Established in 1939, the Keeneland Library is a public research/reference library that is one of the world’s largest repositories of information related to the Thoroughbred. For its contributions to the Thoroughbred industry, the Library received the 2002 Special Eclipse Award.
The Library houses nearly 30,000 books, approximately 1 million photographic negatives and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles about all aspects of the equine industry. Among the primary resources are the Maryjean Wall Papers, the Joe Hirsch Papers and the James E. “Ted” Bassett III Papers. The Library also lends materials to area museums, hosts a lecture series and works to expand the collection and its availability to the public.
In 2000, the publisher of the Daily Racing Form donated its entire archive of the newspaper, in three editions, now numbering over 5,000 volumes. Included in the gift were a complete file of the American Racing Manual and a large run of The Morning Telegraph, the predecessor of the Eastern edition of the Form. The Morning Telegraph touted itself as “America’s Oldest Authority on Motion Pictures, Theatre and Turf,” and featured headlines from the track juxtaposed with photos of Hollywood starlets.
The Library subscribes to the popular online resource, American Produce Records, which is made freely available to onsite researchers. To locate pedigree, sales and racing history of Thoroughbreds, librarians provide instruction in use of this research tool, along with the use of other freely available internet resources, such as Equibase and Pedigree Online.