Fifty-seven of seventy-six maps in Allen's album feature Kentucky, either alone or with Tennessee, or cities in Kentucky. The Kentucky Geological Survey team called these drawings, created between 1785 and 1937, the most extensive group of Kentucky maps known. The collection includes 17th- and 18th-century French, English, and Dutch maps of North America, as well as later maps printed in the United States. Highlights include Americae Nova Tabula (1635) by Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571-1638), Carte de Kentucke d'apres les Observations Actuelles (1785) by John Filson (ca. 1747-1788), A Geographical, Statistical and Historical Map of Kentucky (1822) by Fielding Lucas (1781-1854), and a small tourist map with steam boat routes and stage coach schedules published in 1839.
Lafon Allen, Esq. (1871-1952), a graduate of Yale College and University of Louisville Law School, was a prominent attorney, Circuit Court Judge (1922-1934), and active supporter of art and historical organizations in his home state of Kentucky. He also collected maps and, in 1950, Allen donated his personal "Collection of Maps of North America with Special Reference to Kentucky" to the University of Louisville's Rare Books department.
Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository