Lecture Series: Unfolding History in the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Dr. Susan Knowles

Tennessee is famous for many things, but some people may not realize the state once was a hotbed for the marble industry. Tennessee marble, known for its pinkish-gray coloring and ease of polishing, has been used in many buildings across the country.

In the next installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives lecture series, Susan Knowles, a digital humanities fellow at Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation, will discuss how Supreme Court case records helped her research the marble industry. Dr. Knowles' talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Sept. 24 in the Library & Archives auditorium.

Dr. Knowles first explored the Supreme Court Case files, which are housed at the Library and Archives,​ while serving as museum consultant for the ​Tennessee Judiciary Museum in 2012. She will illustrate their value in a case study on the Tennessee marble industry that helped her prepare Rock of Ages: East Tennessee's Marble Legacy, an exhibit that will open Nov. 18 at the Museum of East Tennessee History. To search Supreme Court case records at the Library and Archives, please visit Tennessee Supreme Court Cases.

"We are very privileged to have Dr. Knowles share some of the findings of her research with those who want to participate in our lecture series," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "She will demonstrate how Supreme Court records can be used to learn more about how marble had a major impact on our state's history."

Dr. Knowles' dissertation topic was Tennessee marble in civic architecture, with a focus on the individuals who built the industry as well as the political, societal and infrastructural forces that shaped it. Over a 20-year career in the museum field, she has organized numerous exhibitions and worked as a project curator for the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Fisk University, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Hofstra University, Humanities Tennessee, Nashville International Airport, Nashville Public Library, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, the Tennessee Judiciary Museum and the Tennessee State Museum.

The Library and Archives auditorium is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Parking is available around the library building. Although the lecture is free, reservations are encouraged due to seating limitations. To sign up for the lecture, please visit: https://courtfilesworkshop.eventbrite.com