LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Overlooking an iconic track, record setting sales pavilion and stalls housing some of the finest thoroughbreds around is a stately yet slightly inconspicuous building that’s home to one of the most expansive collections of thoroughbred literature in the world.
You might not even notice the Keeneland Library, located just up the road on the right on the way to the track, but once inside, there’s a good chance you’ll get caught up in its magic.
Open year round, the library us celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary.
According to director Becky Ryder, it’s the most comprehensive thoroughbred library that’s open to the public and freely offers its services, “We have researchers from around the world that need detailed information data photographs stories the whole one yards.”
A special aspect of the library is that its specifically constructed to preserve and protect about 6000 bound volumes of the daily racing form dating back from 1896.
Every time anyone searches through those vaults, they’re reminded again of the extent of information at their disposal. Ryder adds, “You might have overlooked it before, but now that they have a specific research request it all comes alive again.”
However, they don’t only accommodate the leading authors, experts and historians. “Then we have someone who just comes in and wants to see the biography of a horse like cigar.” Ryder goes on and says, “Some famous horse that they really love and we can take them over there and pull out a book about native dancer or man o war and they’re happy.”
Everyone is invited to come enjoy the many resources including guest speakers and rotating exhibits throughout the year.
With the thoroughbred industry currently thriving, it’s important to respect and understand it’s storied past, track it’s progress and picture the wide open future of racing, and it’s all there within the limestone walls of the Keeneland Library.