Donna Neary, Historian and Preservationist
Donna M. Neary is a historian and writer. A Louisville native, she earned a B.A. in history and journalism from Murray State University and a master’s in public history from Loyola University Chicago.
Neary has worked for local, state, and federal governments, often administering federal grants for local history projects. One such project was an amibitious effort to document historic landmarks, patterns, and events important to the heritage of African Americans in Jefferson County. A passionate advocate for historic preservation, she has successfully listed nearly 2,000 historic resources on the National Register of Historic Places.
Her other accomplishments include teaching several courses on local history and historic preservation at Bellarmine University and speaking on historic preservation and history topics at local, state, and national conferences. Neary has made multiple appearances on local and national television and radio programs to discuss historical topics and has developed tours and history and archaeology educational programs for audiences ranging from preschoolers to senior citizens.
Neary is also a published author. She co-authored the Louisville volume in the Images of America Series for Arcadia Publishing (2001); wrote and edited Historic Jefferson County (2000, 1992); co-authored Riverside Receipts (1999) and Riverside: The Restoration of a Way of Life: Exploring the History of a Nineteenth Century Farm on the Ohio River (1998); and wrote the text for “Derby City 125,” a temporary exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum (1999). She served as editor of The Giving Self: A History of St. Joseph Infirmary School of Nursing (2000) by Marge Glaser and contributed several articles to the Encyclopedia of Louisville.