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State Library and Archives to Host Workshop on Andrew Jackson
(Published: September 30, 2013)

Historians have traditionally presented Andrew Jackson as a man who struggled to overcome the obstacles of his backwoods upbringing and helped create a more democratic United States. Jackson served as the seventh president of the United States, and is considered the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. In his public life, Jackson is best known for his fight to defeat the Second Bank of the United States and for the controversial relocation of Native Americans from the southeastern United States to Oklahoma.

With that in mind, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is hosting the latest in its series of workshops, titled "Andrew Jackson: Frontiersman or Elite Southerner?" The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held October 26 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the State Library and Archives building, 403 Seventh Avenue North in downtown Nashville.

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Be Aware of Road Closures Saturday, Sept. 28
(Published: September 26, 2013)

There will be road closures in downtown Nashville to accommodate the Women’s Running Half Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 28 that could affect people visiting the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The road closures will be in effect from about 6 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. To view the affected roads online, visit http://womenshalf.competitor.com/nashville/road-closure-informationThe State Library and Archives is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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State Archivists to Visit Chattanooga in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: September 24, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Chattanooga on October 9 and October 10 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for an exhibit titled "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee." This event will be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event, "Occupation and Liberation."

Archivists will be at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Two Carter Plaza in Chattanooga, on October 9 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and October 10 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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More Tennessee Papers Added to Chronicling America Project
(Published: September 23, 2013)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is proud to announce the addition of more than 1 million newspaper pages to the Chronicling America project, making historical newspapers from Greeneville, Jonesborough, Memphis, Sweetwater, and Winchester freely available on the Internet. These newspapers focus on the period from the 1850s to almost 1900.

In cooperation with the University of Tennessee, TSLA has already provided more than 120,000 pages of historical Tennessee newspapers to the site. In the previous phase of the project, TSLA focused its efforts on digitizing newspapers from the Civil War era, roughly 1850 through 1875.

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Launch of TutorTN Gives Knox County Residents Free Tutoring Online
(Published: September 13, 2013)

Knox County students struggling with their homework or studying don’t have to rely on parents any more, thanks to a new online tutoring service called TutorTN.

The new service is available to library users attending any level of school, from kindergarten through college. Students simply visit www.tutor.com/TutorTN and enter their Knox County Public Library card numbers to connect with expert tutors for one-to-one homework help or tutoring sessions in online classrooms. In cooperation with the Knox County School District, students who do not yet have Knox County Public Library cards can use the district password.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett launched the program today at the Powell Branch Library to an audience of parents and librarians.

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State Archivists to Visit Fayetteville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: August 26, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Fayetteville on September 11th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for an exhibit titled "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee."

Archivists will be at the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Library, 306 Elk Avenue North in Fayetteville, on September 11th from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Johnny Majors Collection at State Library and Archives Doubles in Size
(Published: August 12, 2013)

In 1986, the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team pulled one of the school’s most shocking upsets by beating the University of Miami in the Sugar Bowl. For longtime Vols fans who would like to know the inside story of how their team accomplished that feat, details are now available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Johnny Majors, a star football player at UT before becoming one of the school’s most successful coaches, has donated more of his personal papers to the State Library and Archives - more than doubling the amount of information that had previously been available.

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State Archivists to Visit Knoxville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: August 1, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Knoxville on August 15 and 16 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for an exhibit titled "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee."

Archivists will be at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street in Knoxville , August 15 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and August 16 from 9 a.m. until noon. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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July 12 - A Big Day for an Infamous Tennessean
(Published: June 27, 2013)

Here’s a quick trivia question: Can you name five Tennesseans who became president?

If you’re a good student of the state’s history, you probably won’t have any trouble naming former U.S. presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson or James K. Polk. But a fourth or fifth?

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Statement from Secretary of State Tre Hargett Regarding the Appointment of Dr. Carroll Van West as State Historian
(Published: July 10, 2013)

"Governor Haslam has made an excellent choice in appointing Dr. Carroll Van West as Tennessee’s new State Historian," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "Dr. West has worked with our staff at the State Library and Archives on the Civil War Sesquicentennial and other public history projects, and we look forward to working with him in the future as he takes on this new role. Dr. West has been published extensively on Tennessee history and has done much to preserve the physical heritage of our state’s past. He has served admirably as the editor of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and as the managing editor of the Encyclopedia of Tennessee History and Culture."

State Library and Archives to Host Workshop on Group Affiliations from the Civil War Era
(Published: July 10, 2013)

Americans have long sought out groups of like-minded people with whom they can share their interests, goals, and achievements. That was true during the Civil War era and in the years following the war. And finding records from some of those groups can provide important clues about how people back then lived, thought and felt.

With that in mind, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting the latest in its series of workshops, titled "Remembering the Civil War: Civil War Veterans and Friends." The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held August 10 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the State Library and Archives building in downtown Nashville.

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Secretary of State Premieres Tennessee State Capitol Documentary
(Published: June 27, 2013)

It has endured an army occupation, the interment of two of its founding fathers, and a car cruising through its hallways. Not to mention its role as the site of many of the most important events in Tennessee's history. The Tennessee State Capitol building has many great stories to tell - and some of those stories were revealed in a documentary about the building that premiered last week. In attendance were state legislators, department commissioners, representatives from preservation groups and others.

The documentary was created by the staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. It is the first part of a project that will eventually include a virtual tour of the Capitol building and its grounds, and feature stories about the building and influential people in Tennessee history.

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For Many Tennesseans, Historical Research is in Their Genes
(Published: July 2, 2013)

Did you know that July is Tennessee Genealogy Month? That designation was created last year through an act of the state’s General Assembly. It’s a fitting time to recognize that genealogy – that is, family history research – attracts surprisingly large numbers of people.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) gets about 10,000 visits to its offices in Nashville every year – plus millions more on TSLA’s section of the Secretary of State’s web site. Most of those visitors are genealogists.

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State Archivists to Visit New Johnsonville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: June 27, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in New Johnsonville on July 11 and July 12 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Johnsonville State Historic Park, 90 Nell Beard Road in New Johnsonville, on July 11 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on July 12 from 9 a.m. until noon. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Historian Walter Durham Dies at Age 88
(Published: May 28, 2013)

From The Tennessean:

Walter Thomas Durham, Tennessee’s state historian for the past decade and author of 24 books on Tennessee history, who left a lasting mark especially in his hometown of Gallatin, died on Friday at the age of 88.

Mr. Durham, a longtime Gallatin businessman and a walking encyclopedia of Tennessee and Sumner County history, was appointed state historian in 2002 by then-Gov. Don Sundquist. He had already served as president of the Tennessee Historical Society, founding president of the Tennessee Heritage Alliance (renamed the Tennessee Preservation Trust) and chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Read the entire article.

Legendary Football Coach's Records Available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
(Published: May 21, 2013)

As a player, he led the University of Tennessee football team to an undefeated season and nearly won the Heisman Trophy, the college game’s highest individual honor. After a brief career in professional football, he became a college coach and won a national championship at the University of Pittsburgh. He then returned as the head coach at the University of Tennesseee and brought his alma mater back to national prominence.

Johnny Majors celebrates his 78th birthday today – and the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) wants to mark the occasion by making Tennesseans aware of the vast collection of materials the library has available for public inspection that document Majors’ career.

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State Archivists to Visit Bolivar in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: May 20, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Bolivar on June 7th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Bolivar City Hall, 211 North Washington Street in Bolivar, from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on June 7th. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Archivists to Visit Somerville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: May 20, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Somerville on June 6th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Somerville-Fayette County Public Library, 216 West Market Street in Somerville, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on June 6th. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Archivists to Visit Sewanee in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: May 13, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Sewanee May 28 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the University of the South Archives, 81 Alabama Avenue in Sewanee, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Library and Archives Hosts Workshop on Exploring Family Trees
(Published: May 8, 2013)

Many families have great stories to tell - which can often be unearthed by searching through family videos, photo albums, or journals passed down from generation to generation. However, for some people, the idea of starting such a project is daunting. The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) has just the event to ease the stress of beginning family research.

The free workshop, called "Placing Leaves, Flowers, and a Few Nuts on Your Family Tree," will be held Saturday, June 1 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the TSLA Auditorium. Author Jim Taulman will discuss the process of gathering and recording information for a family history.

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Prohibition Exhibit at State Library and Archives and Online
(Published: May 2, 2013)

It was the constitutional amendment that tried – often unsuccessfully – to put Americans on the path to sobriety and in the process created a booming market for Tennessee’s providers of illegal moonshine whiskey.

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which launched the Prohibition era in 1920, was called the country’s “noble experiment.” That experiment ended 13 years later with the ratification of the 21st Amendment – the only amendment to repeal another amendment - which halted Prohibition and brought imbibing back out of the shadows.

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Tennessee History Day Winners Qualify for National Competition
(Published: April 24, 2013)

Sixty-five students from the Volunteer State have qualified for a trip to Maryland this summer after their projects were judged the best of the best at Tennessee History Day over the weekend.

History Day is an event in which students in grades six through 12 present history-themed projects in a variety of formats – including museum-style exhibits, research papers, web sites, documentaries and live performances.

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Learn Facts about the Women's Suffrage Movement in Tennessee Online
(Published: April 22, 2013)

On this date 94 years ago, Mary Cordelia Beasley Hudson etched her place in history by becoming the first woman to legally vote in Tennessee. Hudson cast her vote - for the winning candidate, she proudly noted - in a Camden mayoral election just five days after a law giving women the right to vote in Tennessee took effect. (The man she helped elect, A.V. Bowls, told a Nashville newspaper he was “puffed up” to have won the first election in which women were allowed to participate.)

That story is just one of many chronicled in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ online exhibit about women’s suffrage. The exhibit titled,“Remember the Ladies!”: Women Struggle for an Equal Voice, can be found online at http://tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/suffrage/.

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Young Historians Descend on Downtown Nashville for Tennessee History Day
(Published: April 18, 2013)

With state employees and other downtown office workers home for the weekend, a special group of students will be converging on downtown Nashville Saturday to compete in Tennessee History Day. About 400 sixth- through 12-graders will be participating, with the winners advancing to the National History Day finals in College Park, Maryland June 9-13.

History Day is a competition in which students are judged on the quality of their exhibits, term papers, web sites, documentaries or live performances on historical topics. The theme of this year's event is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”

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Early Tennessee Tax Lists Now Online
(Published: April 15, 2013)

April 15 can be a taxing day for all of us living in modern times, but our ancestors didn’t have it much easier. Although our federal income tax only dates back to the Civil War era, Tennesseans have been paying state and local taxes since long before then.

Now Tennessee tax records dating back to 1783 are available free online to Tennesseans, thanks to a partnership between the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Ancestry.com. The online database contains records from 71 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Famous notables like Andrew Jackson (who paid $66 in taxes to Davidson County in 1829) appear side by side with ordinary farmers, millers and laborers.

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Westmoreland Public Library Receives Grant to Fund Expansion
(Published: April 11, 2013)

Westmoreland Public Library will receive a $50,000 grant from the state to help fund its expansion plans.

The expansion will include dedicated meeting space, better accessibility, exterior renovations, rearrangement of interior furnishings and work stations, a new book deposit and a new entrance. The library will be increasing its total floor space from 3,360 square feet to 5,376 square feet.

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City of White House Receives Grant Funding for New Library
(Published: April 11, 2013)

The city of White House will receive a $100,000 grant from the state to support construction of a new 17,760 square-foot library. The new building will replace a 4,500 square-foot building the library has been sharing with a museum.

The new building, located on property adjacent to the White House City Hall, will feature dedicated spaces for teenagers and younger children, quiet study areas and a computer lab. The museum will expand into the space being vacated in the old building after the library relocates.

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Stewart County Library to Receive Grant to Provide Round-the-Clock Internet Access
(Published: April 11, 2013)

The Stewart County Library is receiving a $15,000 grant from the state to help pay for an outdoor pavilion that will give local residents access to the Internet even when the library is closed.

The 36-foot x 17-foot pavilion will have lighting, seating, electrical outlets and WiFi access.

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Get Your Mule Fix Online at the State Library and Archives
(Published: April 5, 2013)

Columbia is home to one of the biggest Mule Day celebrations in the world, but not everyone hasbeen able to make it to the many events held in the Maury County town this week.

But if you live too far away (or are just too stubborn) to participate in the festivities, don’t fret. If you have Internet access, you can get your mule fix by visiting “Got Mules? A Celebration of Mules in Tennessee History” – an online exhibit produced by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. 

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State Archivists to Visit McMinnville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: April 4, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in McMinnville April 17 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Warren County Administration Building (early voting room), 401 Locust Street in McMinnville, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 17. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Adds Online Language Learning Program
(Published: April 2, 2013)

Learning a new language just got a little easier, thanks to a new service that's being offered by the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). Powerspeak Languages, an interactive online experience, allows everyone in Tennessee to learn new languages on their own schedules. This program is ideal for students, business professionals, leisure travelers, or anyone who simply wants a new skill.

“Part of our mission with the Tennessee Electronic Library is to inspire and engage life-long learning within our state,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Powerspeak Languages helps us achieve that by offering learning opportunities for people of all ages – from high school students needing to brush up before tests, to professionals hoping for a few cultural tips before business trips, to retirees planning exotic vacations.”

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State Archivists to Visit Morristown and Dandridge in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: March 20, 2013)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Morristown on March 26 and Dandridge on March 27 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Morristown-Hamblen Library in Morristown from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on March 26 and at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on March 27. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Provides Help for High School Equivalency Test Takers
(Published: March 18, 2013)

Requirements for earning a high school equivalency diploma are set to change next year, which may set off a scramble among people hoping to complete their course work under the existing rules. The format of the General Educational Development test, commonly known as the GED, will change January 1, 2014 – which means that people studying for the current test may have to start over if they don’t complete it this year.

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) can help. TEL is an online library that provides Tennesseans with free round-the-clock access to more than 400,000 resources. Many of those resources available through TEL’s Learning Express Library can help people who want to prepare for the GED.

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In Honor of Women's History Month, Check Out Some of the Resources at the State Library and Archives
(Published: March 11, 2013)

March is Women’s History Month – a time to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of women who have helped to shape the world in which we live.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) has many resources for those who want to learn more about the roles Tennessee women have played throughout history.

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State Library and Archives to Host "Chronicles of the Cumberland Settlements" Workshop
(Published: March 6, 2013)

As the 1700s drew to a close, the Revolutionary War was over, but life was far from peaceful in places like Tennessee's Cumberland Valley. Settlers in the region fought against various Native American tribes, haggled with North Carolina over territory and wrangled with the Spaniards over control of the area's waterways.

That period in Tennessee's history is among those highlighted in Paul Clements' latest book, Chronicles of the Cumberland Settlements, which will be featured during the next in a series of workshops hosted by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). The free workshop will be held Saturday, March 30 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the TSLA Auditorium.

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State Library and Archives Commemorates Black History Month with Updated Online Exhibit
(Published: February 14, 2013)

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is introducing a greatly expanded version of one of its most popular online exhibits: “This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee.” Available at http://tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm, the revised exhibit offers many intriguing new features.

The original site was created in 2006 at the request of the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus. Dedicated to the 14 African-Americans elected to the Tennessee General Assembly between 1873 and 1887, it provided a considerable body of historical material that had never before been assembled in one place.

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State Library and Archives Exhibits Go on the Road
(Published: February 6, 2013)

Visitors to Collierville’s public library can learn about some of the state’s most horrific natural and human-caused disasters from an exhibit on loan from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The “Disasters in Tennessee” exhibit will be on display at the Lucius E. and Elsie C. Burch, Jr. Library, 501 Poplar View Parkway in Collierville, through the end of February.

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Early Tennessee Legislative Records Index Now Available Online in a Convenient Searchable Database
(Published: January 23, 2013)

Tennesseans who want to get a glimpse at the foundations of our state’s political and social history can do so with the help of a new resource from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The Early Tennessee Legislative Records database is now online, providing an index to records from as early as 1793 through the 1840s. These papers chronicle the most important events in Tennessee history of that era, including the formation of county and boundary lines, the mustering troops for war and amendments to the state constitution.

Researchers of the Early Tennessee Legislative Records can see, for example, how the first legislative attempt to ban slavery in Tennessee was drafted and failed in 1819. Many of the documents indexed in the collection have not been seen since the original clerks folded them away at the end of the legislative sessions. Included in the records are acts, original bills, failed bills, resolutions, amendments, messages, petitions from citizens, and tally sheets showing how members voted on the issues.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Usage Increases Significantly in 2012
(Published: January 14, 2013)

The Tennessee Electronic Library's (TEL) web page saw an increase of nearly 15 percent last year compared to the year before, indicating more Tennesseans are finding the free resources available to them through TEL's many databases.

“TEL is an important resource for Tennesseans,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Whether it is helping students study for the ACT or SAT or assisting individuals find new careers, I am happy to see that more Tennesseans are using the vast array of free information and databases available to them through TEL. We will continue our efforts to inform Tennesseans about the free resources available to them through TEL.”

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State Library and Archives Hosts Two Civil War Events
(Published: January 10, 2013)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will host two special events on Saturday, January 26. The first, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee,” is an initiative to create an online archive of Civil War photographs, documents and artifacts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The second is a free workshop on Civil War era photography presented by the Vacant Chair Photography Studio of White Bluff, Tennessee.

The “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee” event will take place from 9 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Archivists and curators from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will scan or digitally photograph original Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for this new exhibit. Some of the items will be featured in the exhibit. The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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Libraries to Get Cheaper, Faster and More Extensive Loan Service in 2013
(Published: December 26, 2012)

Tennessee's public libraries will soon have more books available - cheaper and faster than before - thanks to a new interlibrary loan service set to debut next year.

The new Firefly Courier service, developed by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, will link rural, suburban and urban public libraries throughout the state, as well as libraries at colleges and universities.

The new courier service will allow libraries to request and receive books on loan from other libraries more quickly and more efficiently. Interlibrary loans, which previously were handled through the postal service, account for about 125,000 books checked out from Tennessee libraries each year.

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State Archivists to Visit Pulaski Dec. 7 in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: November 26, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Pulaski Dec. 7 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the American Legion Post #60, American Legion Drive in Pulaski, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee Continues Participation in Chronicling America Project
Project Includes 5 Million Pages of Documents Nationwide
(Published: November 14, 2012)

Newspapers have been called “the first draft of history.” Thanks to a national project called Chronicling America, the Tennessee Library and Archives (TSLA) will soon be making even more of those valuable historical records available to the public on the Internet, free of charge.

TSLA recently learned that additional federal grant funds for the project will be made available by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Those funds will allow TSLA to convert state newspapers from the 1880s to the 1920s into a digital format that can be stored on the Chronicling America web site.

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Online Exhibit Featuring Veteran's Personal Papers Now Available
(Published: November 8, 2012)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is collecting materials about the Vietnam War. Recently, veteran Christopher Ammons of Clarksville donated his personal papers to TSLA, including photographs, letters and memorabilia. An online exhibit featuring the Ammons collection is now available for viewing.

Ammons entered military service a month after graduating from Clarksville High School. He served two terms in Vietnam from 1967 through 1970. He was part of the First Infantry Division and was stationed at many locations in South Vietnam, where his unit saw extensive combat action.

The Ammons online collection contains wartime photographs, letters from the front lines, military documents typical of the period and souvenirs - including local currency and propaganda leaflets collected by Ammons from his time “in county.”

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New TSLA Exhibits to Commemorate Korean and Vietnam Wars
(Published: November 5, 2012)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will launch new exhibits providing details about the Korean and Vietnam Wars during a Nov. 9 ceremony.

The exhibits will tell the story of those two conflicts through the eyes of two Tennesseans – David Brock, who served in the Korean War, and Christopher Ammons, who served in the Vietnam War. The exhibits - which will be displayed in the lobby of the TSLA building through at least March 1, 2013 - include wartime photographs, correspondence, documents and artifacts provided by each of the men. Through the exhibits, people can learn their personal perspectives on the wars.

The exhibits are free and open to the public during TSLA’s regular operating hours.

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State Archivists to Visit Jackson in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: October 22, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Jackson Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Carnegie Center for Arts and History, 305 E College in Jackson, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and from 9 a.m. until noon Nov. 2. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Offers New Tool to Help Tennesseans Find Jobs
(Published: October 17, 2012)

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) has added Career Transitions, an online service designed to help even those with no experience using technology to find jobs or change careers.

“Every day, more than 300,000 Americans get job-seeking help at their public libraries, and they need efficient tools to help them find work,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “With Career Transitions, Tennessee residents will be able to find the answers they need to improve their chances of finding employment, whether they are dealing with job loss, retraining for new skills or looking for a new career path.”

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State Library and Archives Displays Artwork by Tennessee School for the Blind Students
(Published: October 8, 2012)

The Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the State Library and Archives are again celebrating “Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month” throughout the month of October. The library is exhibiting a display of artwork created by students at the Tennessee School for the Blind (TSB). Sponsored by Art Education for the Blind, a New York-based nonprofit organization, “Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month” is celebrated in October each year. This is the third year the Tennessee State Library and Archives has hosted this free exhibit.

Items on display include paintings, shadow boxes and pottery. In keeping with tradition, the centerpiece of the display is the school’s mascot, Dot, a paper mache tiger made of scraps of braille paper, which was created by TSB students in 2010. The tiger, on permanent loan to the Tennessee State Library and Archives, is meant to be touched, unlike the items in many art exhibits.

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State Library and Archives to Host Local Jewish History Workshop
(Published: September 13, 2012)

Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will host a free workshop on Saturday, October 13 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the TSLA Auditorium, tracing the history of the Nashville Jewish community back more than two centuries.

The workshop will focus on prolific people who contributed to local history and Jewish life in Nashville.

Some of the people to be featured include the man who raised more than $2 million to help finance World War I, the man who introduced seeing-eye dogs to America, the first woman to run for governor in Tennessee and the screenwriter who drew from his Nashville youth in crafting the popular movie, Dead Poets Society.

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State Archivists to Visit Dyersburg in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: September 10, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Dyersburg Sept. 24 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Dyersburg Professional Development Center, 305 College Street in Dyersburg, from noon until 4 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Library & Archives Exhibit Highlights the Civil War in 1862
(Published: September 10, 2012)

History is being recreated at the Tennessee Library and Archives (TLSA) with the opening of a new exhibit highlighting the events of the Civil War in 1862.

Included in the exhibit:

  • The Battle of Shiloh
  • The death of General Felix Zolicoffer at the Battle of Mill Springs
  • The Battle of Fort Henry
  • The fall of Fort Donelson
  • Union Occupations of Nashville and Memphis
  • The Prison on Johnson's Island

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Library & Archives' New Tool Makes Research Easier
(Published: August 21, 2012)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) has a new addition to its roster of public services, one that will make research and study easier for many Tennesseans.

The Zeta Book Scanner was installed at the TSLA building last month. The new piece of equipment makes scanning books or documents a free, quick, and easy process.

"The Library and Archives continues to find new technology to better serve its customers, the taxpayers of Tennessee," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This scanner has proven to help bring the research materials that were previously only available in the library to people's fingertips across the state, making the library resources more accessible and easier to use."

"We have already received a positive response from patrons who have used the new scanning technology," Director of Public Services Gordon Belt said. "It can be very cost effective for those who require multiple copies since we don't charge patrons to store documents on their own storage devices."

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State Archivists to Visit Hickman County in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: August 20, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Centerville Aug. 30 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Hickman County Historical Society at Hickman County Courthouse in Centerville from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Aug. 30. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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Tennessee Virtual Archives Exhibit Highlights Life of Alvin C. York
(Published: July 23, 2012)

The Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA), an online program of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), is proud to present a new digital collection featuring one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I and one of Tennessee’s greatest native sons, Alvin C. York.

"Digital collections are a fast and customer-friendly way to share a portion of what the Library and Archives has to offer," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "With this digital collection, the life of a great Tennessean is highlighted and available at any time, to anyone with Internet access."

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Tennessee Bar Foundation Legal History Project Now Available at State Library and Archives
(Published: July 18, 2012)

A unique collection of videotaped interviews of prominent Tennessee lawyers and judges is now available for public use at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The Tennessee Bar Foundation Legal History Project is a collection of video oral histories that began in 1998. The collection consists of 76 interviews sponsored by the Fellows of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.

"I commend the Bar Foundation for conducting interviews with many of our great state's most prominent judges and lawyers highlighted in this collection," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This collection will serve as a new source of firsthand legal history, available to all Tennesseans."

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State Library and Archives Says E-Book Use Up 77 Percent
(Published: July 17, 2012)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is proud to announce the popularity of the Regional E-book and Audio Download System (READS) Program over the last fiscal year.

READS is a free program that offers thousands of digital e-books and audio books to patrons of public libraries that belong to the Tennessee Regional Library System with the simple click of a mouse. Digital titles can be downloaded to a personal computer or a variety of portable devices.

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State Library and Archives' SNAP Grants Applications Now Available
(Published: July 16, 2012)

The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 round of State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) Grants.

SNAP is a program for improving the preservation of and access to Tennessee's historical records. Since 2009, THRAB has awarded a total of $148,000 in SNAP Grants to archives and historical records repositories across the state. Funds provided by the SNAP grants are used to increase funding for Tennessee's historical records, preserve and provide access to Tennessee's historical records, educate and train records custodians, and support archival program development and enhancement.

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State Library and Archives to Host World War II Maneuvers Workshop
(Published: July 11, 2012)

To help shed light on the details about World War II maneuvers and other war-related activities in Tennessee, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will host a free workshop on Saturday, August 18 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the TSLA Auditorium.

The workshop will also focus on explanations of maneuver exercises, how civilians in Tennessee were impacted by soldiers, and what happened to soldiers after they left Tennessee. The workshop will also include stories from those who lived through the challenging times - helping to recreate the emotions of the time - and show the actions of normal men, women and children in a time of war. Part of the program will include a display of more than 100 World War II artifacts and a discussion about the training facilities located throughout Tennessee during World War II.

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State Archivists to Visit Memphis in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: June 21, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Memphis on July 10 and July 11 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, 3030 Poplar Avenue, from 3 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. July 10 and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. July 11. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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More Tennessee Libraries Set to Join Shared Network of Resources
(Published: June 19, 2012)

More Tennessee libraries will be able to provide additional resources to their users, thanks to a new service that’s being implemented as part of a statewide contract. A dozen public libraries around the state will begin using the Auto-Graphics AGent VERSO integrated library system (ILS) later this month.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) contracted with Auto-Graphics to provide access to an affordable, cutting edge ILS for public libraries statewide. Library users will benefit from improved access to a large collection of library materials available through the statewide interlibrary loan program. In addition to books and other printed materials, the ILS features an online portal that enables quick public access to resources like the Tennessee Electronic Library. The new service also helps librarians more efficiently perform tasks such as cataloging, processing returned materials and tracking library usage trends – which, in turn, frees them to spend more time assisting patrons.

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State Archivists to Visit Grainger County in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: May 29, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Rutledge June 12 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Grainger County Archives, 7850 Rutledge Pike (Hwy. 11-W) in Rutledge, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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Local Librarians Complete Specialized Training
(Published: May 23, 2012)

Thirteen distinguished library directors in Tennessee graduated from the Public Library Management Institute recently, increasing their knowledge and understanding of the unique role libraries fulfill in their communities.

“I commend our directors and library branch managers on this great accomplishment,” Secretary Hargett said. “Our public libraries are more than places to check out books. Libraries also provide valuable services such as job training and Internet access. Tennesseans are fortunate to have library directors willing to demonstrate the additional commitment needed for our libraries to reach even greater heights.”

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New Exhibit to Highlight Tennessee's Natural Beauty
(Published: May 22, 2012)

After he began work at the Tennessee Department of Conservation in 1937, James L. Bailey crisscrossed the state, preaching the benefits of protecting our natural resources. Throughout his long career, he became such a widely-known advocate for proper use of land, development of parks and recreational areas, restoration of wildlife and protection of water sources that he was nicknamed “Mr. Conservation.” Also a talented photographer, he compiled an extensive collection of photographs.

Now part of that collection is available for public viewing as part of a new free exhibit at the Tennessee State Library & Archives. Bailey’s work is one of several collections featured in the exhibit. In addition to Bailey’s personal collection of photographs, the exhibit features many photos and postcards collected by the Department of Conservation through the years.

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State Library and Archives to Host War of 1812 Workshop
(Published: May 15, 2012)

To help commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will host a free workshop on June 16 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the TSLA Auditorium.

The workshop will shed a light on Tennessee's role in the war. Politically and militarily, Tennessee played a vital role in the War of 1812 and placed the state in the national spotlight for the first time.

The workshop will also focus on key questions: What caused the war? Why did Tennesseans want to fight? What is the legacy of the war in Tennessee? While the focus of the workshop will mainly be on the history of the War of 1812, the session will also examine what resources pertaining to the war are available at TSLA.

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State, Local Officials Work Toward New Library for White House, Tenn.
(Published: May 7, 2012)

As it celebrates a quarter century of existence, the White House Inn Library has become a victim of its own success.

The number of patrons with library cards has more than quintupled since the first year after the library’s opening. In fact, the total number of registered borrowers – 10,163 – is almost equal to the town’s total population of 10,255.

Over the years, the library’s collection of books has nearly quintupled, too – from 5,500 volumes to 25,250 – while the library’s size has not been expanded.

State Rep. Debra Maggart, State Rep. Joshua Evans and Secretary of State Tre Hargett will be working with White House Mayor Mike Arnold, White House City Administrator Gerald Herman and other community leaders to help the community on the border of Sumner and Robertson counties get a new library. A meeting of community leaders is expected to be held later this month to discuss the increased need for library services in the White House area.

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State Archivists to Visit Smith County in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: April 30, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Carthage May 11 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Smith County Heritage Museum, 107 Third Avenue in Carthage, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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More Tennessee Newspapers Available Online through 'Chronicling America' Project
(Published: April 24, 2012)

For more than 100 years the Tennessee State Library and Archives has been collecting and microfilming historical newspapers. Now through the Chronicling America project, selected papers from cities and towns across the state are being converted to digital format and made available for free searching online.

Thanks to a recent partnership with the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Tennessee, dozens of Tennessee newspaper titles have been scanned, indexed, and posted on the Internet. The focus is on papers from the Civil War era. All three of the state’s grand divisions are represented, with available newspapers from towns as small as Athens and as large as Memphis. More than 60,000 pages of Tennessee newspapers dating from 1850 to 1876 are now online.

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Digital Images of Ryman Auditorium Available Online
(Published: April 17, 2012)

Digital images of one of Nashville’s most famous and historic venues are now available for viewing online in the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA). These digital images highlight the history and architecture of the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The exhibit includes photographs, letters, broadsides, programs, and tickets from the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) photograph and manuscript collections. These materials and accompanying information provide a pictorial and cultural history of this famous building and its origins, including images and writings regarding the Ryman Auditorium’s namesake and founder, Captain Thomas G. Ryman and his family.

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TSLA to Host 1940 Census Seminar
(Published: March 14, 2012)

Did you know that over a third of the questions asked on the 1940 U.S. Census were new or modified from the previous census? On April 14, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), along with Rick Koelz, will host a free seminar on the impact of the 1940 census information becoming available online and answer your questions.

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State Archivists to Visit Pickwick Landing State Park in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: March 13, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be at Pickwick Landing State Park on April 4th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at Pickwick Landing State Park, Park Road at Pickwick Dam, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 4th. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not take possession of the items from their owners.

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New Online Exhibit Highlights History of Tennessee School for the Deaf
(Published: February 28, 2012)

A new online exhibit in the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) highlights the architectural history of the Tennessee School for the Deaf in Knoxville. This digital exhibit features images of the unique buildings on the historic Tennessee School for the Deaf campus, many of which were designed in the 1920s by noted architect Thomas Scott Marr. Marr, who was deaf himself and a graduate of the school, founded the prominent Nashville architectural firm Marr and Holman.

The State Library and Archives has a special connection with the School for the Deaf as a partner in the Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. This service, which operates from the Nashville Public Library, serves all Tennesseans. Among the services offered are an extensive library of books about hearing issues, assistive devices for loan and testing, accessible children’s programming and access to video relay services. See the web site for more information: http://www.tndeaflibrary.nashville.gov/

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State Archivists to Visit in Washington County in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: February 16, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Washington County Feb. 23-24 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Johnson City Public Library, 2100 West Millard Street in Johnson City, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Feb. 23 and at the Jonesborough Public Library, 200 Sabin Drive in Jonesborough, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Feb. 24. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee Students Compete for Honors at District History Day Contests
(Published: February 15, 2012)

Beginning next week, students from across the state will demonstrate their research abilities, knowledge and creativity in the world's leading program for history education.

The district level competitions for Tennessee History Day are scheduled to take place from February 22 through March 24 in Greeneville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Memphis. More details about the times and locations of the district competitions are available at http://www.tennesseehistory.org/historyday.htm or by calling (615) 741-8934.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives to Host Workshop on DNA Testing
(Published: January 24, 2012)

If you are interested in learning more about how DNA testing helps trace our ancestors or determining the ethnic origins of your family, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) might have just the workshop to fit your needs.

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ACT & SAT Test Prep Available Through the Tennessee Electronic Library
(Published: January 19, 2012)

The winter test dates for the ACT and SAT are fast approaching. While some students may be nervous about how the upcoming exams could affect their college options, the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) has the tools they need to succeed.

TEL is an online library funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. TEL is administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. 

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State Archivists to Visit Tullahoma in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: January 5, 2012)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Tullahoma Jan. 19 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

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New Voter Photo ID Law Goes Into Effect January 1
(Published: December 29, 2011)

As a new law that will require Tennesseans to show photo identification when they vote goes into effect January 1, Division of Elections officials are continuing their voter outreach efforts.

“Our focus, up to this year’s elections and beyond, is educating voters about what this law will mean to them,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who oversees the division. “Our voter outreach efforts so far have been unprecedented. I commend Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins, his staff, county election officials and all the other individuals and groups across the state who have worked so hard to get the message out.”

Find Metro Newspaper Articles for Free in the Tennessee Electronic Library
(Published: December 28, 2011)

Newspapers can be terrific sources of information, but articles aren’t always available online or if they are, there are often fees involved.

However, Tennessee residents can get free access to the electronic versions of the daily newspapers in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, the (Nashville) Tennessean, the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Chattanooga Times-Free Press are all available on the TEL web site, www.tntel.info.

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Tennessee Legislative Petitions Updated
(Published: December 15, 2011)

The index Tennessee Legislative Petitions at http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/misc/petition.htm has been updated. Indexes for the years 1831 – 1850 have been added to the indexes for 1796 – 1829.

State Library and Archives Hosts ‘Silent Cities of the Dead’ Exhibit
(Published: November 29, 2011)

It’s been said that the dead tell no tales, but patrons and staff at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) know that’s not true. The study of cemeteries – and the people who are buried in them – can often provide helpful historical clues, particularly the field of genealogy.

With that in mind, TSLA is hosting a free exhibit called “Silent Cities of the Dead,” which focuses on various cemeteries around the state and the role those cemeteries play in the study of history.

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Online Library Catalog Available to Libraries Across Tennessee
(Published: November 28, 2011)

About 100 public libraries across Tennessee will soon be sharing an online library catalog, courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA).

TSLA recently purchased the new electronic product, which makes it easier for libraries to use state-of-the-art computer technology to share resources. While most libraries have had individual systems of this type for years, the shared system brings many advantages.

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State Library and Archives Hosting Pair of Civil War Lectures Dec. 10
(Published: November 23, 2011)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will host two free lectures Dec. 10, one by a Fulbright scholar from Canada who has spent months digging in the archives in Nashville and the other by a local couple who recently co-authored a book.

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State Library and Archives Promotes Family History Saturday
(Published: November 21, 2011)

OK, so the whole family is stuffed with Thanksgiving turkey. Everyone is shopped out after Black Friday. So what to do with the rest of the holiday weekend?

The staff at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is encouraging families to stop by for Family History Saturday, a time when they can research their roots together.

The library, located at 403 Seventh Ave. N. just west of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville, will be open during its regular hours – 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. – on Saturday.

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State Library and Archives Launches New Initiatives to Honor Korean and Vietnam War Veterans
(Published: November 10, 2011)

This Veterans Day, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will launch a pair of projects aimed at preserving the history of those who served in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

TSLA is asking veterans of the Vietnam and Korean Wars and their families to contribute items for a new archival collection called Tennessee Remembers: Vietnam and Korea Veterans. TSLA will accept all forms of original material including books, photographs, film, audiotapes, slides, negatives, artifacts, maps and letters. Professional archivists will arrange, organize and preserve the collections to ensure that donated materials are available to the public for research.

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New Billboards Promote Tennessee Electronic Library
(Published: November 8, 2011)

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) has launched a statewide billboard campaign to raise awareness about the services it offers to Tennesseans. The campaign includes a total of 20 billboards stretching from Memphis to the Tri-Cities.

TEL is an online resource with more than 400,000 reference materials, journals, essays, podcasts, videos and e-books. It provides free test preparation, family history materials and access to Tennessee’s metropolitan newspapers and the World Book Encyclopedia. Access to TEL is provided at no cost to Tennessee residents and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer or mobile device in the state.

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Archivists to Visit McMinn County in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: November 2, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Athens, Tennessee Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, 522 West Madison Avenue in Athens, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and from 9 a.m. until noon on Nov. 17. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives Partners with Ancestry.com to Make State Records More Widely Available
(Published: October 25, 2011)

Millions of Tennessee historical records will be readily available to genealogists throughout the country as a result of the State Library and Archives’ new partnership agreement with Ancestry.com, an online family history resource which has 1.7 million paying subscribers.

The State Library and Archives is commencing the relationship by sharing Tennessee death records from 1908 through 1959 with Ancestry.com and its users. This database includes 1.2 million digital images and indexes 3.4 million names that appear in those records.

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State Archivists to Visit Erwin in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: October 13, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Erwin Oct. 27 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Erwin Town Hall, 211 North Main Ave., from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Parker’s Crossroads Hosts Second Civil War Exhibit
(Published: October 11, 2011)

Parker's Crossroads, a small community located along Interstate 40 halfway between Nashville and Memphis, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Civil War history buffs.

For the second time this year, the Parker’s Crossroads visitors’ center is hosting a traveling Civil War exhibit on loan from the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). The exhibit focuses on 1861, the year the Civil War began. To commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary, TSLA plans to prepare exhibits chronicling each year of the war.

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Librarians Statewide Prepare to Offer Early Literacy Training
(Published: September 13, 2011)

Children don’t develop literacy skills overnight. There are many fun and easy things that parents and caregivers can do to prepare their children to learn to read.

With assistance from the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), public librarians around the state are learning new ways to help parents and caregivers increase children’s early literacy skills.

Last month, participating librarians attended one of two statewide workshops to learn about the Public Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition® (ECRR 2) kit.

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Dispatches from Officers in Civil War African-American Unit Now Available at TSLA
(Published: August 30, 2011)

Glory, an Academy Award-winning movie released in 1989, documented the lives of African-American troops who served in the U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War. Now, for the first time, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) has a collection of letters from officers who led one of those units.

Archivists from TSLA and the Tennessee State Museum are in the midst of a project, called Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee, in which they plan to visit every county in the state in search of Civil War era documents and artifacts. During the county visits, local citizens bring in items that the archivists electronically scan or digitally photograph.

This ongoing statewide project, in honor of Tennessee’s Civil War Sesquicentennial, allows for the digitization of historic family documents and artifacts for public access and educational use.

State Library & Archives to Display Art from Tennessee School for the Blind
(Published: August 29, 2011)
TN School for the Blind Art Image 1

Claude Monet painted his legendary water lilies in dark reds while he had severely impaired eyesight. Although blind at the end of his life, his blurred impressions of nature made him one of the most famous artists of all time. Students at the Tennessee School for the Blind have not let physical challenges keep them from creating visual arts, either.

As a prelude to “Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month” in October, the Tennessee State Library & Archives (TSLA) is exhibiting artwork created by students at the Tennessee School for the Blind. Art Beyond Sight is a national program that promotes art education for the blind and vision impaired.

The free exhibit opens Sept. 6 in the lobby of TSLA’s building in downtown Nashville. The exhibit will remain on display until Sept. 30. The exhibit is accessible during TSLA’s normal business hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The TSLA building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North in Nashville, next to the State Capitol. Parking is available around the building.

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Thousands of Tennesseans’ Biographies Now Accessible with Internet Tool
(Published: August 11, 2011)

People around the world are familiar with Jack Daniel’s, but they may not know much about the man behind the brand name - the son of a wealthy Scottish immigrant who combined whiskey making techniques from his father’s homeland with Tennessee maple sugar to create a distinctive new type of libation. Nor do they know much about his nephew, a one-time Tennessee state senator who learned how to market that whiskey to the world

Tennesseans can now find the history of the Daniel family - along with more than 30,000 others – with the help of an online index available on the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ (TSLA) web page at http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/misc/biography.htm

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State Archivists to Visit Dover in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: August 2, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Dover Aug. 16 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Stewart County Visitors Center, 117 Visitors Center Lane in Dover, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in an upcoming exhibit titled, “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee.” The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.

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Singer Ronnie Milsap Promotes Library for Blind and Physically Handicapped
(Published: August 1, 2011)

Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Ronnie Milsap is promoting the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) in a public service announcement that is being distributed to radio stations across the state.

Milsap, whose hit songs include “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “Any Day Now” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World,” recently recorded the 60-second spot free of charge. Milsap, who was born with a congenital disorder that caused him to lose his eyesight as a child, has been an LBPH patron for many years.

In the spot, Milsap talks about the wide selection of audio, Braille and large-print books and the new digital players for downloading and playing audio books that are available at the library.

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Parker’s Crossroads Hosts “Looking Back” Civil War Exhibit
(Published: July 19, 2011)

Parkers Crossroads ExhibitTravelers along Interstate 40 can do more than stretch their legs while stopping between Nashville and Memphis: They can also expand their knowledge of Civil War history.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives’ (TSLA) exhibit titled “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee” is now on display in Parker’s Crossroads, a historical community along I-40 halfway between the state’s two largest cities.

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World Book Encyclopedia Available Through Tennessee Electronic Library
(Published: July 13, 2011)

World Book offers the most well-known encyclopedias ever published. Now everyone in Tennessee has a virtual set, thanks to the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).

Through the TEL web site, Tennesseans can access all the reference products available from World Book, including a Spanish language edition.

The online product is an expanded version of World Book’s print encyclopedias. Without the space constraints of the printed page, World Book has added more pictures, sound clips and more up-to-date information online.

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Online Guide to Church Records at TSLA
(Published: July 13, 2011)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a wide range of church records in its collection. Church records can be very useful for genealogy researchers as they often contain membership lists, baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial records.

TSLA has added the index Guide to Church Records at TSLA: Manuscripts & Books to its web site. The index divides the church records into three groups: church records on microfilm, church records in Manuscript collections and published church records in our library collection. Patrons with questions about any of these collections should e-mail TSLA for additional information.

State Archivists to Visit Chattanooga in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: July 12, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Chattanooga July 26 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View in Chattanooga, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. that day. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Celebrating Eighty Years with the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
(Published: July 5, 2011)

Eighty years ago, President Herbert Hoover signed the Pratt-Smoot Act into law, establishing the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS) and launching the distribution of raised type books for people with visual disabilities.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Gov. Bill Haslam, State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill and local library patrons will commemorate the anniversary during a ceremony at the State Capitol.

Tennessee’s Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (LBPH), a partner with NLS, opened in 1971 to provide free library services for the blind and anyone who cannot use standard print books. Currently 7,890 Tennesseans are registered users who have borrowed more than 180,000 books in the last nine months alone.

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New Web Application Uses GIS to Map Civil War Sites in Tennessee
(Published: June 15, 2011)

Most Tennesseans may not stop to reflect on the state’s role in the Civil War as they go about their daily lives, but now interactive technology coupled with extensive historical research can map out the battles that took place where present day grocery stores, schools and businesses stand.

The first of its kind in the nation, the Tennessee Civil War Geographic Information System (GIS) Survey shows hundreds of locations where Civil War battles, engagements, skirmishes and other military actions took place. The interactive GIS application for the Civil War in Tennessee is now available at: http://tnmap.tn.gov/civilwar/.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives Announces New Hours and Amenities
(Published: June 14, 2011)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will change its operating hours at the end of June. Along with the change in hours, TSLA will begin providing access to manuscript collections on Saturdays. Visitors will also soon have a patron lounge where they can take breaks from their research or eat lunch without leaving the building.

Starting July 1, TSLA will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time. Professional librarians and archivists will be on duty during all business hours and the manuscripts section will be open during those hours. Patrons will still be able to send inquiries to the reference desk any time at reference.tsla@tn.gov.

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New Exhibit Gives Annual Snapshot of Civil War
(Published: June 6, 2011)

A century and a half ago, Tennesseans were divided by something far more important than their college football loyalties or their barbecue preferences: More than 187,000 citizens served in the Confederate Army while about 51,000 fought for the Union Army.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) begins a year-by-year examination of the Civil War in a new exhibit that opened this week. TSLA will chronicle each year of the war in its corresponding 150th anniversary year. The first of the exhibits, which will be available for viewing through early August, will focus on the events leading up to the war and the first year of conflict in 1861. Next year’s exhibit will highlight 1862.

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New Public Service Announcements Promote Summer Reading
(Published: June 2, 2011)

Please check out the Office of the Secretary of State’s new public service announcements promoting summer reading programs at libraries across Tennessee. The announcements are being distributed to radio stations across the state, free of charge, by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.

Listen to the spots: 30 Second Version | 60 Second Version

State Archivists to Visit Springfield in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: May 31, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Springfield Friday to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Robertson County Archives, 504 S. Willow St. in Springfield, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Obion County Teens Win in National Library Video Challenge
(Published: May 25, 2011)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 13 percent of Tennesseans lack basic literacy skills, but a group of teens from Obion County is hoping to address that problem by encouraging more of their peers to spend time at the library.

The Obion County Public Library Teen Advisory Group was recently named the Tennessee winner of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) “You Are Here” Teen Video Challenge. Contestants were asked to submit videos that help promote reading and summer reading programs at libraries. Teen groups representing libraries in 20 states participated in the first year of competition.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is part of the Secretary of State’s office, helped promote the contest in Tennessee.

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Technology Advances Genealogical Research at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
(Published: May 23, 2011)

While President Obama spent part of today in Ireland learning about his family roots, it's now easier than ever for Tennesseans to do genealogical research without ever leaving the Volunteer State. The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) recently welcomed the addition of the ScanPro2000, the latest development in professional microfilm technology.

Previously, visitors and researchers at TSLA needed to manually scroll through microfilm on large machines and insert a quarter to print each page. The ScanPro2000 attaches to a computer to read microfilm and saves pages as documents for storage on a USB drive and will soon send images via e-mail. This small machine takes up less room than most printers and allows users to zoom, straighten, regulate brightness and contrast and adjust focus with the click of the mouse.

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Tennessee, Virginia Officials to Collaborate on Civil War Archiving Project
(Published: May 12, 2011)

Long before the term was used in a political context, Tennessee and Virginia were literally two of our country’s biggest “battleground states” – serving as the sites for more Civil War battles than any other states.

Now archivists from the two states are teaming up in the border town of Bristol to create digital records of that part of their history

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum and the Library of Virginia will spend two days this month at the Bristol Public Library, examining Civil War era documents and artifacts brought in by Tennessee and Virginia residents.

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State Library and Archives Hosting Workshop on Genealogy Research
(Published: May 11, 2011)

As seen on numerous popular television shows, DNA testing has revolutionized the way that crimes are solved. Now, DNA testing is the newest tool in genealogy research and the topic of the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ (TSLA) next public services workshop.

On June 18 at the State Library and Archives building, J. Mark Lowe will explain DNA fundamentals, how to use DNA to conduct research and how to confirm results in his class “Understanding the Basics of DNA Testing for Genealogical Research.”

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Discover the Amazing History of Your Family Online
(Published: May 10, 2011)

Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in America today - and the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is the place to get started with genealogical research.

Through the library’s web site, Tennesseans can discover their family histories with HeritageQuest, an easy-to-search collection of genealogical and historical sources that goes back to the 1700s. Search by name, year or location to find family information.

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April 24 – 30, 2011 is Preservation Week
(Published: April 27, 2011)

April 24 – 30, 2011 is designated as Preservation Week as a cooperative project of American Library Association, Society of American Archivists and National Archives and others. It is a reminder that preservation helps everyone and educates everyone with records.

The following link to more information on Preservation Week.

Preservation Week ends with May Day a reminder to plan ahead and be prepared for any disaster.

 

Free Practice Tests Available Through the Tennessee Electronic Library
(Published: April 18, 2011)

There seems to be a test for everything these days. Students and people who are changing careers are especially challenged with stressful - at times overwhelming - required tests. The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) can help. TEL is available to everyone in Tennessee and provides the tools needed to prepare for a variety of exams and take studying to the next level.

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State Archivists to Visit Hohenwald in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: April 11, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Hohenwald April 21 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Is a Bargain for Schools and Libraries
(Published: March 21, 2011)

It would cost Tennessee schools and libraries about $94 million a year to purchase the resources that are available to them free of charge through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).

TEL is an online collection of more than 400,000 resources, with over 150,000,000 articles, videos, e-books, podcasts and other reference materials available to any Tennessean with Internet access. TEL pays about $1.5 million annually to provide subscriptions to those materials.

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State Archivists to Visit Cheatham County in Search of Civil War Artifacts
(Published: March 15, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Ashland City April 1 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Cheatham County Public Library, 188 County Services Drive in Ashland City, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Archivists to Visit Knoxville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: March 2, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street in Knoxville, March 9 and March 10 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the East Tennessee History Center from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. March 9 and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. March 10. During those times, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Library for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Hosts Career Day
(Published: February 28, 2011)

Up to 15 percent of Tennesseans are deaf or hard of hearing, which means their career paths are sometimes more challenging to navigate. To share the opportunities that await students who are deaf or hard of hearing in the future, Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting its Career Day March 3.

The event, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library, will give 7th through 12th grade students who are deaf or hard of hearing opportunities to learn how much of an impact a quality education can have on their future career successes. The program will feature adults working in various professions who are deaf or hard of hearing. Students are encouraged to bring their lunches and stay to make friends

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Tennessee Students Compete for Honors at District History Day Contests
(Published: February 23, 2011)

Beginning this weekend, students from across the state will be demonstrating their research abilities, knowledge and creativity in the world’s leading program for history education.

The district level competitions for Tennessee History Day are scheduled to take place from Feb. 25 through March 7 in Memphis, Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Chattanooga. More details about the times and locations of the district competitions are available at http://www.tennesseehistory.org/historyday.htm or by calling 615-741-8934.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Launches Kids’ Site
(Published: February 7, 2011)

Elementary school children struggling with their homework have a new ally in the Kids InfoBits, one of the features available on the Tennessee Electronic Library’s new Kids’ Page. With a few mouse clicks, students can use Kids InfoBits to get concise, easy-to-read information about various subjects, including the dawn of the electronic age, the seven wonders of the ancient world and the origin of the symbols used by the country’s two major political parties.

Kids InfoBits is just one of several online databases available under the new Homework Help section of the Kids’ Page. Others include the LearningExpress Library, where students can take practice tests or sharpen their knowledge with skill-building courses and exercises, and the Internet Public Library for Kids, a kid-friendly spot for web surfing.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives Featured on Hit NBC Show
(Published: February 4, 2011)

While actress and singer Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first African American woman to be crowned Miss America, one of her ancestors was among a group that made an important first in Tennessee history. Recently, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) helped the “Desperate Housewives” star trace her Tennessee lineage.

In the Feb. 4 episode of the popular genealogy tracking show “Who Do You Think You Are?” TSLA’s research specialist Kathy Lauder helped Williams uncover the history of her West Tennessee ancestors. Williams was delighted to learn that her paternal great grandfather, William Feilds, was a teacher just like both of her parents. But Lauder’s findings surprised Williams, who is perhaps best known for her hit song "Save the Best for Last.”

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More Black History Month Resources Now Available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
(Published: February 3, 2011)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is proud to announce several new resources that have become available in time for this month’s celebration of Black History Month. People interested in learning about African-American history in Tennessee are encouraged to use these new books and other primary source materials.

“The State Library and Archives has a wealth of information that can be useful to students, teachers and others who are doing research related to Black History Month,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I hope Tennesseans will take full advantage of the materials available in our collections.”

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State Archivists to Visit Greeneville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: February 2, 20101)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be at Greeneville High School, 210 Tusculum Blvd. in Greeneville, on Feb. 18 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

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Canceled Due to Weather! State Archivists to Appear in Carthage in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: January 19, 2011)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be at the Smith County Heritage Museum, 107 Third Avenue East in Carthage, Jan. 26 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

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Tennessee State Library and Archives to Host a New Exhibit Commemorating Tennessee’s Veterans
(Published: December 7, 2010)

Tennessee earned the nickname “the Volunteer State” by sending 2,000 willing soldiers to fight in the War of 1812. Now a new exhibit at the Tennessee State Library and Archives chronicles the exploits of those soldiers – as well as other Tennesseans who have served in the military before and since.

This new exhibit, titled The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans, covers everything from the veterans of the Revolutionary War who helped found our state to Tennessee men and women serving in the military today.

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Teen Video Challenge Offers Chance for One Tennessean to Win Cash, Possibly National Air Time
(Posted 11/29/2010)

Aspiring teenage videographers have a chance to win a $250 prize in Tennessee’s “You Are Here” Teen Video Challenge.

The contest is sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), which is a grassroots consortium of 49 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and the Mariana Islands that promotes summer reading programs at public libraries. The Tennessee State Library & Archives, a division of the Tennessee Department of State, is coordinating the competition in Tennessee.

State Library & Archives to Commemorate Civil War’s 150th Anniversary
(Posted 11/4/2010)

The Tennessee State Library & Archives is sponsoring a pair of activities this month in connection with the kickoff event for the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

The Sesquicentennial will be a series of events held from 2011 to 2015 to commemorate Civil War history. To prepare for the Sesquicentennial, archivists from the State Library & Archives and the Tennessee State Museum have been visiting counties across the state in search of Civil War era artifacts. The archivists have been making digital records of the items Tennesseans have shared with them on those visits.

From now through Nov. 30, some of the digital photographs and digitally-scanned documents collected so far by the archivists will be on display in the lobby of the State Library & Archives building, which is located at 403 Seventh Ave. North across from the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. The State Library & Archives is open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. There is no charge for viewing the exhibit.

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Korean War Sources at TSLA
(Posted 10/28/2010)

The document "Korean War Sources at the Tennessee State Library and Archives" is now available on our web site. TSLA holds a number of manuscript collections, record groups and published materials on the Korean War and the estimated 10,500 Tennesseans who served in the war.

State Library and Archives to Host Workshop on Researching Native American Ancestry
(Posted 10/25/2010)

People who want to learn more about their Native American ancestors are encouraged to attend the latest in a series of workshops and seminars sponsored by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The workshop, titled “Researching Your Native American Ancestry,” will be presented by Pixy Morgan, a librarian and researcher of historical, political and genealogical materials. She is currently the publications manager for Arnold Engineering Development Center.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Dec. 11 in the State Library and Archives building. The building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North in downtown Nashville, directly across the street from the Tennessee State Capitol. The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State.

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State Library and Archives to Host Workshops to Help Students Prepare for History Day Competition
(Posted 10/20/2010)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives will be hosting a pair of workshops to give students and teachers pointers on how to find and use the research materials available at the State Library and Archives. These workshops will focus on assisting students with research on their selected topics for the National History Day competitions that will be held in Tennessee in 2011.

National History Day is a series of competitions in which middle and high school students prepare exhibits, research papers, web sites, documentary films and live performances on various historical topics. Students whose projects are judged the best at local, regional and statewide competitions are eligible to compete with other students from across the country in the national finals. The theme for the 2011 competition is “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.”

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State Archivists to Visit Gallatin in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Posted 9/13/2010)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Gallatin on September 24th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Sumner County Archives, 365 North Belvedere Drive in Gallatin, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. that day. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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Tennessee Electronic Library Helps to Answer: "What Do I Read Next?"
(Posted 8/16/2010)

The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) has introduced a new tool to help readers find the perfect “next book.” TEL has partnered with Gale, a division of Cengage Learning that is recognized as a leader in providing electronic research and educational resources, to offer Books & Authors, an Internet resource that offers a new way to explore the endless possibilities and combinations of books, authors and topics.

TEL is a virtual library that provides free access for Tennesseans to thousands of magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, podcasts and videos – as well as hundreds of academic tutorials and practice exams.

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Historic Tennessee Newspapers to Be Available Online
(Posted 7/30/2010)

Thousands of issues of old newspapers from across Tennessee will be available to the public online, courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Using grant funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, the State Library and Archives will make available dozens of urban and rural newspapers from across the state.

The State Library and Archives, which is part of the Tennessee Department of State, has been preserving newspapers on microfilm since 1957. The two-year process of converting those microfilmed documents into digital records will be managed by the University of Tennessee.

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State Library and Archives to Provide Database of Civil War Battlefields
(Posted 7/27/2010)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will use a $40,750 grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program to develop an online database of the state’s Civil War battlefields that will be available for federal, state and local planning agencies as well as the general public.

This project will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to create the database. The database will link information from the Civil War Sourcebook for Tennessee to Civil War maps and documents archived at TSLA. This enhanced resource will be available on TSLA’s section of the Tennessee Department of State web site.

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State Archivists to Appear at the Rutherford County Archives on August 6 in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Posted 7/19/2010)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Murfreesboro on August 6 to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

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Nashville City Directory
(Posted 7/13/2010)

A scan of the directory for 1868 has been added to our collection of Scanned Copies of Nashville City Directories.

New TSLA Exhibit Chronicles Some of Tennessee’s Biggest Disasters
(Posted 6/8/2010)
Photo of Crash at Dutchmans Bend

Dutchman's Bend Train Crash

Many communities in Tennessee were hit hard by the recent flooding, but the state’s residents have endured many disasters before.

A Yellow Fever epidemic in the 1870s caused more than 7,000 deaths in Memphis alone. The sinking of the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River in 1865 claimed more lives than the sinking of Titanic 47 years later. And a head-on collision between two trains in Nashville in 1918 still ranks as one of the worst train wrecks of all time.

All of those calamities - and others - are documented in a new exhibit on display at the Tennessee State Library and Archives building in downtown Nashville. The exhibit, titled “Tennessee Disasters,” chronicles some of the worst moments in the Volunteer State’s history, as well as the determination and resilience of the people who lived through them.

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Rescuing Flood Damaged Collections
(Posted 5/13/2010)

The web page Rescuing Flood Damaged Family Collections provides instructions for salvaging family papers, books and photographs. The page also includes links to handouts and to other web sites with preservation guidelines.

State Archivists to Visit Maryville Friday in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Posted 5/6/2010)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be visiting Maryville Friday to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for a new exhibit.

Archivists will be at the Blount County Library, 508 N. Cusick Street in Maryville, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. During that time, they invite residents of the area to bring in photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

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State Library & Archives Avoids Flood Damage
(Posted 5/5/2010)

The Tennessee State Library and Archives benefitted from its location near the top of Capitol Hill during recent flooding in Nashville. Although some water came into the building during heavy rains, no records were damaged. TSLA remains open to the public on its regular schedule.

Index to Tennessee Legislative Petitions
(Posted 4/28/2010)

A name and subject index to Tennessee Legislative Petitions (1799-1829) has been added to the TSLA web site. Legislative petitions are original documents that were submitted to the Tennessee General Assembly, requesting that legislative action be taken on matters of concerns to individuals, municipal governments or county governments.

Read more ...

TSLA to Visit Columbia, Maryville, and Camden for the Civil War Digitization Project
(Posted 4/6/2010)

Project staff for Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee are setting up digital workstations in Columbia, TN on April 21st, Maryville, TN on May 7th, and Camden, TN on June 2nd.

Read more about the project and schedule a reservation here.

TSLA Project to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War
(Posted 3/31/2010)

More than two decades after a statewide effort to copy and catalog photographs of historical significance, the staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be hitting the state’s highways and byways again in search of Civil War memorabilia. The materials TSLA staff members find during their travels will be copied, archived and used to create a digital exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Read more ...

1931 Tennessee Death Certificate Index
(Posted 3/31/2010)

Listings for 1931 have been added to the Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records.

THRAB Announces New Grant Opportunity for Archives
(Posted 2/8/2010)

The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is now accepting applications for the 2010 State and National Partnership Regrant Program. The purpose of the SNAP regrants is to provide support to Tennessee repositories by increasing funding for Tennessee’s historical records, preserving and providing access to Tennessee’s historical records, educating and training records custodians, and supporting archival program development and enhancement.

Eligible historical records repositories will receive limited grant funds for projects to support basic preservation, arrangement and description, proper storage, and public access to its collections. Funding for the SNAP program comes from a federal grant awarded to THRAB from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

The grant guidelines and application are available here.

Black History Month Resources Available at State Library and Archives
(Posted 2/8/2010)

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is highlighting two collections relating to the state’s African-American history that have been added within the last year.

Last fall, TSLA added a collection called Guide to African-American Genealogy-Related Documents Prior to 1865, which includes a large selection of Supreme Court cases, state acts from 1796 through 1850, legislative petitions from 1799 to 1861, church records, correspondence, diaries, memoirs and other documents.

TSLA also added a new collection, Reconstruction and the African-American Legacy in Tennessee, to the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) within the last year. That collection, which includes photographs, scrapbooks and other images, can be found on the web at: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/reconstruction.php

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Secretary Hargett Appoints Charles Sherrill as State Librarian and Archivist
(Posted 1/14/2010)

Charles Sherrill, a Middle Tennessean with 25 years of experience as a library administrator, will begin his new job as State Librarian and Archivist Feb. 5, Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced this week.

The State Librarian and Archivist directs operations at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA), the agency that collects, stores and displays state documents and records. The State Library and Archives also operates the Tennessee Regional Library System, provides training and support for other public libraries throughout the state and oversees the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which offers free library services to people with disabilities.

“I am very pleased to have someone with Mr. Sherrill’s background and skills in this esteemed position,” Secretary Hargett said. “Our goal is to increase the awareness of the great programs available to Tennesseans through the State Library and Archives. Our goal is to extend our outreach beyond our downtown Nashville location and I know Mr. Sherrill will provide excellent leadership and vision not only to TSLA, but also to libraries throughout our great state. "

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Nashville City Directory
(Posted 1/14/2010)

A scan of the directory for 1867 has been added to our collection of Scanned Copies of Nashville City Directories.

Tennessee Myth and Legend Exhibit
(Posted 1/6/2010)

If you have lived in this state for a while, you have probably heard stories about famous Tennesseans such as Casey Jones, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.   But have you ever heard about the time it rained blood or about the woman who lived to be 149 years old? 

The Tennessee Myth and Legend exhibit, located at the Tennessee State Library and Archives Building in downtown Nashville, touches all of these topics as well as ghosts, the Bell Witch, Tommy Knockers, opossums, giant catfish, falling stars, Elvis, Jack Daniels and Jesse James. Read more...

Go to online exhibit

Nashville City Directory
(Posted 12/8/2009)

A scan of the directory for 1866 has been added to our collection of Scanned Copies of Nashville City Directories.

1930 Tennessee Death Certificate Index
(Posted 11/24/2009)

Listings for 1930 have been added to the Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records.

Tennessee in World War II
(Posted 10/28/2009)

The resource guide "Tennessee in World War II: A Guide to Collections at TSLA" is now available. The guide lists a sampling of WWII era collections available at TSLA.

Consumer Health Resources Featured on the Tennessee Electronic Library
(Posted 10/22/2009)

The Tennessee Electronic Library provides free access to consumer health resources. Find information about the H1N1 and season flu viruses and other health-related topics, as well as a directory of statewide community health services. Visit the consumer health links featured on the TEL Portal at http://tntel.tnsos.org/consumerhealth.htm

African American Research Materials and Genealogy
(Posted 10/15/2009)
1929 Tennessee Death Certificate Index
(Posted 9/23/2009)

Listings for 1929 have been added to the Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records.

Abraham Lincoln Exhibit
(Posted 9/1/2009)

This exhibit showcases portraits of Abraham Lincoln. It also discusses the continued use of the penny to commemorate his anniversaries (centennial, sesquicentennial and bicentennial). If you have ever wondered what “Honest Abe” looks like without his beard, this exhibit is for you. Read more ...

Go to online exhibit.

State of Tennessee Applies for Stimulus Funding
(Posted 8/28/2009)

The state of Tennessee has applied for stimulus funding to increase broadband internet availability to its citizens. Read more ...

Civil War Funeral Home Records
(Posted 8/25/2009)

The Civil War index Burial Records of Federal Soldiers by W.R. Cornelius and Company is now available on the TSLA web site.

2009 Tennessee Archives Institute Registration
(Posted 8/18/2009)

Registration is now open for the 2009 Tennessee Archives Institute (TAI). This year, the program will be held October 21-23 at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

The Tennessee Archives Institute is a training program on archives and records management conducted by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). This two and one-half day series of workshops provides participants with an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with archival staff from around the state.

Registration is $85 and includes 2 nights lodging and instructional materials.

Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary
(Posted 8/6/2009)

The index to Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1851-1870 is now available on the TSLA web site. This index is a companion to Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1831-1850.

Death Notices in Nashville Newspapers
(Posted 7/24/2009)

The index Death Notices in Nashville Newspapers 1855-1907 is now available on the TSLA web site.

Resource Guide for Land Grants
(Posted 7/2/2009)

The Resource Guide Early North Carolina / Tennessee Land Grants at the Tennessee State Library and Archives is now available.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Radice visits Washington County
(Posted 5/28/2009)

On Monday, May 18, 2009, IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice and her staff conducted a whirlwind tour of museums and libraries in Washington County, TN.  The visit was a result of an invitation by US Representative Phil Roe, who accompanied Dr. Radice on the tour.  The day began with an early morning tour of the Gray Fossil Site, and then moved to the Hands On Museum for a Picturing America grant presentation.  The tour ended at the Johnson City Public Library, where State Librarian and Archivist Jeanne Sugg, Watauga Regional Director Nancy Renfro and Johnson City Public Library Director Bob Swanay shared information on the state of libraries in Tennessee.

IMLS provides approximately $3.1 M in funding to the libraries of Tennessee through the Library Services and Technology Act.

Tennessee Regional Libraries Digitization Project
(Posted 5/21/2009)

Thanks to the availability of grant funds, the Tennessee State Library & Archives (TSLA) has been the recipient of twelve scanners and twelve external hard drives for use in digitizing collections of historical importance in Tennessee.

Our hope is to continue the effort of the Volunteer Voices project to digitize and present original archival and library special collection materials from all parts of the state. This project is a collaboration between TSLA, the Regional Library System, and participating repositories. We hope to identify original materials of value that can be scanned for institutions that have limited equipment or training to preserve items within their collections.

 

For more information go to Tennessee Regional Libraries Digitization Project web page.

Now Available: The State of State History in Tennessee in 2008
(Posted 5/7/2009)

Underground Railroad Report Cover PhotoWritten by State Historian Walter Durham, The State of State History in Tennessee in 2008: The Underground Railroad in Tennessee to 1865, is now available.

Excerpt from the book:

"In 2004 and again in 2006, I published studies called The State of State History in Tennessee. The works surveyed the organizations and activities that preserve and interpret Tennessee history and bring it to a diverse public. This year I deviate by making a study of the Underground Railroad in Tennessee and bringing it into the State of State History series. No prior statewide study of this remarkable phenomenon has been produced, a situation now remedied."
 
New TSLA Web Site!
(Posted 4/30/2009)

TSLA is launching a Web site redesign. As we continue to work on the improved site, please take a look, and give us your feedback.

NEW SERVICE: TSLA E-Docs
(Posted 4/21/2009)

Selected materials at TSLA are now available for delivery by e-mail.

 

1928 Death Index Added to Web Site
(Posted 4/21/2009)

Listings for 1928 have been added to the Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records.

New Building
(Posted 4/13/2009)

Nighttime rendering of the proposed new building for the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The Joint Venture Team is comprised of Kem Hinton, Tuck Hinton Architects, PLC. and Don Miller of Thomas, Miller & Partners, LLC. In planning since 1996, the new building will be located at the north end of the Bicentennial Mall and will offer a memorable research experience as well as state-of-the art storage and retrieval systems.