Interview SummaryIn this interview, historian Thomas D. Clark describes some significant events throughout his career at the University of Kentucky. He states that he first came to Kentucky in 1928 and he remembers putting together a checklist of important documents that the University of Kentucky needed to save during the summers of 1929 and 1930. Around this time he was hired to work part-time collecting historical material for UK's library. Clark describes an early morning adventure with J.W. Martin to save state documents that were being sold as scrap paper. Through help from A.B. "Happy" Chandler, Clark and Martin were able to save the documents and take them to UK for storage. Until the state developed an adequate records program, Clark continuously moved important documents from Frankfort to the University of Kentucky. Clark also talks about his experience collecting country store records in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina between 1942 and 1943. The records were used in two of his books "Pills, Petticoats, and Plows" and "Southern Country." Clark tells a story about a politician who traveled through Knott County, Kentucky on a mule, and his own experience riding a mule in Elliott County, Kentucky in the rain. He describes Otto Rothert, who was the editor of the Filson Club Historical Quarterly. Clark discusses his relationship with the Filson Club and how it differed from his relationship with the Kentucky Historical Society. Clark talks about his many attempts to get Kentucky governors like Julian Carroll and Louie B. Nunn to establish a state archives. Clark states that Julian Carroll finally agreed to provide funding for a building for the state archives, and Clark recalls finding a location and an architect. He also describes difficulties when federal funds were cut off. Clark describes his relationship with Judge Samuel Wilson and the Book Thieves Club. He recalls the development of the Book Thieves Club, which included himself, Judge Wilson, Winston Coleman, Dr. Frank McVey, and other scholars. Judge Wilson's library was donated to the University of Kentucky after his death. Clark discusses changes to the Kentucky Historical Society after Bill Buster became director. Jim Klotter, a former UK student, also later became director. Clark also describes his role on the Kentucky Historical Commission, and finding the funding to process the Henry Clay Papers.
Interview KeywordState archives State records Fires Universities and colleges--Employees College buildings. Universities and colleges--Professional staff Governors--Kentucky Universities and colleges--Safety measures. Primary sources Country store ledgers Country store records Kentucky Historical Society Filson Club Book Thieves Club Teachers--Salaries, etc. College teachers--Salaries, etc.
Interview LC SubjectChandler, Happy, 1898-1991 Clark, Thomas Dionysius, 1903-2005 Clark, Thomas Dionysius, 1903-2005--Interviews University of Kentucky University of Kentucky--History University and colleges--Research. Academic libraries. Archives. Business records. Account books. Financial statements. History--Societies, etc. Public records Kentucky--Politics and government Politicians--Kentucky Government paperwork University of Kentucky. Libraries. Division of Special Collections and Archives Records Personal archives
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s).
Clark, Thomas D. Interview by William J. Marshall. 10 Dec. 2002. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Clark, T.D. (2002, December 10). Interview by W. J. Marshall. Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Clark, Thomas D., interview by William J. Marshall. December 10, 2002, Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.
If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.
Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt73bk16pv1f