Legislative History & Recording

Legislative Audio Recording Program
 

In 1955 the Tennessee State Library and Archives began audio recording the floor sessions of the Tennessee General Assembly.  Over a period of years the program gradually expanded and by the late 1980’s all standing committees of the legislature were recorded.  In 2006, legislative mandate ordered the expansion of the recording program to fully record the proceedings of the General Assembly, including all committees and subcommittees.  This recording has now become a year-round process as many legislative committees currently meet 12 months of the year.  In addition, recordings of various special committees have been added to the audio archive, creating a unique resource of primary materials.


Legislative Audio Recording Process

The recordings are made by the staff of a section of the Technical Services Office of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  Recorders set up the equipment, record the meetings, and create a ‘log’sheet  for each recording. The logs have a brief description of the material on each recording, which includes bill numbers, names of person speaking and an indication of the subject discussed.  Any request to have a meeting recorded must be directed to, and scheduled by, the Legislative Recording Coordinator, who can be reached at 615-253-3455 or e-mail at: Greg.Yates@tn.gov.


Researching Legislative History and Intent

 

There are no materials with which to research legislative intent for any legislation  enacted before 1955.  Legislation enacted after 1955 may be discussed on recordings contained in the Tennessee State Library and Archives audio archive.  To search the audio archive, the staff of the Legislative History Office of the library’s Public Services section will need the following information:

  • Public Act number and the year or
  • Bill numbers and the year

The Public Act numbers and year can be found at the tail of each citation of relevant  Tennessee Code.   If you need assistance to locate this information, please call Legislative History staff at 615-741-1549 or e-mail at lht.tsla@tn.gov.  Once the staff has the above information, then they can trace bill history, determining appropriate dates of action, yielding specific recordings and corresponding log sheets.  Depending on the complexity of each request, staff research time can take as little time as an hour or as long as a couple of days.  When research is completed, library clients can come in to listen and/or view materials here, or copies can be ordered and mailed out.

It is best to place your initial order by phone, e-mail or fax because of the length of time the research may take.  Staff will notify you when the research has been completed and the various materials have been gathered together.  At that time you can decide whether you wish to come in to the library to use materials here or have copies made.  The Legislative History office can be contacted at: 615-741-1549 or e-mail at lht.tsla@tn.gov. The fax number is:  615-532-2472.

Please note that  NO TRANSCRIPTS are available. Clients wishing transcripts either make them themselves or hire someone to do so.

An audio listening area is available at the library.

Audio recordings made from 1987-2008 were recorded at half speed on cassette tapes.  Clients are best served by listening here for these years by using  our transcribers which are calibrated to match our log sheets.  When copies are made the tapes are reformatted to full speed for conventional transcribers which make the log sheets less compatible.  Research time is greatly enhanced when using our half-speed transcribers.

Digital recording was initiated in October, 2008.  CD’s of material after this date can be made available; however, no digital transfer of earlier recordings is presently available.

Please note: Legislative history and recording materials are available for retrieval between the hours of 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Tuesday - Friday. If you know you will need materials between 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, please call ahead to the Legislative History section at 615-741-1549 or e-mail Legislative History. We will do our best to accommodate your request.


Fees

There is an initial research fee, which is payable in advance.  If copies are needed there is an additional charge per recording, also payable in advance.  The number of recordings involved in any given request can not be determined until the initial research is completed.  For specific information about any of the fees involved or about methods of payment, please contact the Legislative History Office at: 615-741-1549 or e-mail Legislative History.


Certification of Materials

If needed, library staff can certify both recordings and/or any print materials.  There is an additional fee of $5.00 per item.  If you think this may be needed, please indicate when the initial copy order is placed, as we can not certify after-the-fact anything that has left the library.  If you decide at a later date that you need items certified that you have already received, we will have to charge you for the order a second time and re-copy all the materials.


Public Acts of Tennessee

The text of Public Acts passed by the Tennessee General Assembly since 1997 is posted on the web site of the Tennessee Department of State. For Acts passed prior to 1997, check with your local public or university library or call or e-mail the Tennessee State Library & Archives at 615-741-2764 or lht.tsla@tn.gov.


Tennessee Rules and Regulations

The current Tennessee Rules & Regulations are posted on the web site of the Tennessee Department of State and are updated monthly. For copies of superseded Rules for the years 1976 through the present, call or e-mail the Tennessee State Library & Archives at 615-741-2764 or  lht.tsla@tn.gov.


Hours of Operation

The Legislative History Office of the Tennessee State Library & Archives is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm (Central Time). The Tennessee State Library and Archives is open Tuesday through Saturday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Central Time). Legislative History clients are welcome to leave a voice mail message on the 615-741-1549 telephone number 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the messages will only be responded to during the usual business hours of the office.

Please note: Legislative history and recording materials are available for retrieval between the hours of 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Tuesday - Friday. If you know you will need materials between 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, please call ahead to the Legislative History section at 615-741-1549 or e-mail Legislative History. We will do our best to accommodate your request.


Links


Resource Guide