NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Considered one of the best park systems in the country, Tennessee has 57 state parks. A new exhibit at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, The Legacy of State Parks, honors the impact of state parks in Tennessee.
“Tennessee’s state parks offer visitors endless opportunities to explore lakes, waterfalls, hiking trails and much more,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “This new exhibit is a great way to learn about the history of our great state parks and the impact they have had on Tennessee.”
Guests can view this new exhibit and the permanent interactive exhibits in the Library & Archives lobby from Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT. The Legacy of Tennessee State Parks exhibit is free and open to the public until May 13, 2023.
The Legacy of Tennessee State Parks exhibit brings together materials from sixteen collections to highlight the organization’s 86-year history. The Library & Archives has some of the state’s largest collections related to Tennessee State Parks.
“We are honored that the Tennessee State Library & Archives is recognizing our state parks in such an outstanding way,” said Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “Our parks have 86 years of rich history, preserving natural resources, providing recreation for families, and enhancing communities. We’re indebted to the state’s leaders who years ago had the foresight and commitment to give our parks a special role in Tennessee. We’re delighted to see such awareness and appreciation of our parks with this exhibit.”
Through The Legacy of State Parks exhibit, visitors can learn about early conservation and recreation efforts in state parks and the Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project. This exhibit showcases just a portion of their vast collections related to the history of Tennessee State Parks.
The mission of the Library & Archives, a division of the Department of State, is to preserve Tennessee's history for current and future generations. They collect and protect books, records and other documents of historical and reference value, focusing on items about Tennessee and Tennesseans.
The Library & Archives is home to many irreplaceable historical documents, including Tennessee's three constitutions, letters from Tennessee's three presidents, records from 55 former Tennessee governors, a comprehensive collection of Tennessee newspapers dating back to 1791 and original records of the State of Franklin.
The Library & Archives is located at 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North on the northeast corner of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, across from the Tennessee State Museum. Parking is available for guests in the Library & Archives garage on Jackson Street/Junior Gilliam Way.
The Library & Archives library, microfilm and manuscripts reading rooms are open for research Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. Research appointments are recommended. With an appointment, Library & Archives staff can help visitors build a list of relevant collection items and can often pull some of the items in advance.