Tennessee State Library and Archives to Host Open House for New Building

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting an open house on Tuesday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT in their new building on Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Rep. John Lewis Way N. and Jefferson St. in Nashville. Library and Archives staff will be available to explain the building’s new features and work done in each area as visitors take self-guided tours.

"We are excited to welcome visitors from across our state starting next week. Our new state-of-the-art facility will allow more Tennesseans to access and interact with the historical resources in the Library and Archives' collections and will better equip us to preserve these items for future generations," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The Library and Archives, a division of the Department of State, collects and preserves a wide range of original historical documents, focusing on items related to Tennessee. It is also the state's premier historical research facility and supports Tennessee's local libraries and archives.

"The previous Library and Archives building was the oldest in the country that had not been significantly expanded or renovated," said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist. "Our staff is excited to show off this beautiful new building and the additional space and technological advancements that will help us better serve our guests."

The new facility has much-needed space to properly house the Library and Archives' extensive collections, improved climate controls and increased handicapped access. The larger 165,000 square foot building and the latest technologies to improve efficiency will increase capacity by nearly 40 percent from 542,700 to 759,500 items. The new building also has classroom, meeting and research space for students, historians, librarians, archivists, genealogists, lawyers and groups of up to 300.

The new Library and Archives building is fully ADA compliant and has many accessibility improvements for Tennesseans with disabilities. As the home of Tennessee's Library for Accessible Books and Media and Early Literary Resource Center, the Library and Archives is a resource for adults and children with disabilities. The Library and Archives offers more than 240,000 book and magazine titles found in a traditional public library in audio, braille, or large print format through these programs.

The Library and Archives is hosting a virtual ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony at 1 p.m. CDT on April 12. Watch the livestream on the Secretary of State's Facebook page or YouTube Channel.

For the latest information from the Library and Archives, follow their social media channels: Facebook: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Instagram: @tnlibarchives and the Secretary of State's Twitter account: @SecTreHargett.

Reservations are not required to attend the open house. To schedule a visit to the Library and Archives after April 13, email ask@tsla.libanswers.com. Guests are required to wear a mask.

About the Tennessee State Library and Archives
The office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett oversees the operations of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. By law, it is required to preserve Tennessee's legal and civic history by housing the archives of state government and records from families, churches, businesses and organizations. The Library and Archives is home to several notable historical documents, including Tennessee's Constitutions, letters from Tennessee's three presidents, Civil War diaries, records of 55 past Governors of the State, maps and original records of the State of Franklin. The collections include copies of virtually every book published about Tennessee and Tennesseans. The Library and Archives preserve original documents from court cases and legislation, along with audio recordings of legislative proceedings since 1955. Records from every Tennessee courthouse and all surviving Tennessee newspapers can also be viewed in the library's collections.