History and Genealogy

Search military records, vital records and other Tennessee resources indexed by our staff over many years.
Online exhibit examining the history behind the famous Scopes Trial, a court case that received national attention as attorney Clarence Darrow battled William Jennings Bryan on behalf of a Rhea County teacher’s decision to teach evolution. The Scopes “Monkey” Trial is one of the landmark legal decisions of the twentieth century. Through this exhibit, we consider the debate over evolution versus creationism from its beginnings to the present, but our focus is on the trial that took place during the hot summer months of 1925 in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee.
Online exhibit chronicling the events of the Civil War in Tennessee during 1863.
Online exhibit exploring some of the state's most trying times, from the New Madrid Earthquake in 1811 to the recent flooding of May 2010. Images and stories of Tennessee's past from TSLA's extensive collection of photographs, records, and manuscripts illustrate the multitude of calamities that have befallen the citizens of this state . . . but you will also learn much about the volunteer spirit of Tennessee's citizens and their determination to help themselves and their neighbors recover from unthinkable misfortune.
Online exhibit highlighting the life, culture, and achievements of Jews in Tennessee. The items exhibited include photographs, architectural drawings, family papers, a trademark book, scrapbook, petition, broadside, school book, and other records that shed light on the life and culture of Jews in Tennessee.
Genealogy is the record of a family’s history. In many cases, our ancestors left a “paper trail” for us to follow. Genealogy is a very personal way to study history which can lead to many exciting discoveries. This guide tells you how to begin, how to make use of records, information about birth and death records, county records, state records, military records, city directories and phone books, and newspapers.
The purpose of the following resource guides is to help identify and clarify some of the vast resources available at Tennessee State Library and Archives. These guides are not comprehensive listings for all archival collections, but rather a sampling of what is available to interested researchers.