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Keeneland Library launches Life’s Work Oral History Project; first installment features Seth Hancock


The Keeneland Library is creating the Life’s Work Oral History Project, a new initiative designed to capture treasured stories from the Thoroughbred industry and preserve and promote them for future generations.

Life’s Work represents a unique collaboration of the Keeneland Library, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, along with the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History and Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN). The first installment of the series featuring Claiborne Farm’s Seth Hancock was released this week.

Life’s Work features video and oral interviews from prominent figures in the equine industry whose passion and livelihood have been devoted to the Thoroughbred. Conducted by respected journalist Chris McGrath and filmed by Keeneland Broadcast Services, the interviews will appear as monthly feature articles in TDN and TDN Look as well as a feature video series.

In addition to Hancock, those who have participated in interviews include John Phillips of Darby Dan Farm, Keeneland Trustee Emeritus James E. “Ted” Bassett III and Shadwell Farm Vice President and General Manager Rick Nichols, among others.

In keeping with the Keeneland Library’s mission to preserve and promote the rich history of Thoroughbred racing, the Library engaged the prestigious University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History to support the project. The Nunn Center’s state-of-the-art archives will index and preserve each Life’s Work video interview.

During the coming months, interviews will be released through the video catalog, which will be fully searchable and made available to the public for decades to come.

In addition to the full video interview, which is available on the Nunn Center’s website, elements of the project include a video and podcast series produced by the Patty Wolfe Media Group. To view the first feature video, click here.

The Nunn Center is recognized around the world as a leader and innovator in the collection and preservation of oral histories. Life’s Work is the latest project between UK and Keeneland that focuses on the Thoroughbred industry.

“Oral history is such a powerful way to preserve the history of the Thoroughbred industry,” Nunn Center Director Doug Boyd said. “I am proud the Nunn Center can help connect these rich stories to a global audience.”

“The preservation of our industry’s rich history is at the core of our mission at Keeneland,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to share the tremendous passion for Thoroughbred racing, which is woven throughout these stories. New vehicles and multimedia that are now available allow us to elevate these stories through rich and engaging content for the public to enjoy. It is fitting that the Keeneland Library is playing a role in capturing, celebrating and properly preserving the valuable stories of our industry for future generations.”

The Keeneland Library was established in 1939 when Keeneland Trustee and Director William Arnold Hanger donated a 2,300-volume Turf collection of Robert James Turnbull. Today, the Library is a public research and reference library that is one of the world’s largest repositories of information related to the Thoroughbred and the caretaker of many priceless materials.

The Library is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

From Keeneland


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