Ordering > Images and Microfilm Digitization

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is home to hundreds of thousands of photographs and images as well as to a vast microfilm collection of county records, newspapers, and manuscripts. These collections depict the rich and diverse history of Tennessee. Most images and microfilm rolls housed at the Library and Archives are available for purchase in print or electronic form unless copyright or reproduction issues are involved. Keep reading for information on finding and ordering print and digital images as well as the Library and Archives' microfilm digitization services.

For reference inquiries, research questions or help finding images and microfilm within collections at the Library and Archives, please contact ask@tsla.libanswers.com or call 615-741-2764.

UPDATED 12/3/2020:

Temporary Suspension of Imaging Orders & Microfilm Digitization
  • Imaging orders (new scans), prints and microfilm digitization: suspended December 18 - April 15

    • Because the Tennessee State Library & Archives is moving to a new building,  some patron order activities will be temporarily suspended because of limited availability of collection items. Imaging orders that require prints or new scans will be suspending starting December 18, 2020 through April 15, 2021. Please email us at ask@tsla.libanswers.com to see if the item you wish to order requires a new scan.

  • Imaging orders (existing scans): suspended January 26 - February 26

    • Because the Tennessee State Library & Archives is moving to a new building,  some patron order activities will be temporarily suspended. Digital imaging orders will be suspended from January 26 – February 26, 2021 while we relocate staff and office equipment.


Ordering Images 

  • Send a question to ask@tsla.libanswers.com or fill out this form. Staff will contact you within 2 business days to start the quote process. Include your name and email address so staff can reply.
  • If you know the image you wish to order, include the following: 
    • Your name, mailing address, email, & phone number
    • Title of item
    • Link where you found the item
    • ID#
    • Collection Name
    • Do you want a print or scan?
    • If a print, how large? Available paper sizes
    • If a scan, what resolution and file type? Not sure what to order? See the table below for help.
    • Professional Printing or Publication

      Master quality TIF (resolution determined by size of original item, minimum 400 dpi)

      Copyright/Permissions

      Presentation, Blog, Social Media

      Lower resolution JPG (300 dpi JPG)

      Many are available to download for free on TeVA provided that you include our courtesy line, "Courtesy of the Tennessee State Library & Archives." If not available on TeVA, it will need to be ordered.

  • See the Fee Schedule for pricing & delivery information.
  • Payment must be made in advance of fulfilling each order after receiving a quote. Payment will not be accepted before the Digital Work Group provides a quote.
  • We take the following methods of payment: Cash (in person only), Check, and Credit Card. DO NOT send payment or payment information via traditional mail or email as we cannot guarantee the security of electronic communications. Library and Archives staff will contact you for your credit card information upon assessing that your order can be filled. Please make checks payable to Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Resources for finding images at the Tennessee State Library and Archives

  • Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) -- A digital repository of the Tennessee State Library & Archives providing open access to thousands of photographs, documents, maps, postcards, film, audio and other records relating to the history and culture of Tennessee. Any image on TeVA is available for free download as a lower resolution JPG using the download button on the right side of each item's page.
  • Photograph and Image Search Database -- A partial index to the hundreds of thousands of photographs and images held by the Library and Archives. Many of these images are available to download as 300 dpi JPGs, but otherwise images in this database will need to be ordered.

Microfilm Digitization

  • Send a question to ask@tsla.libanswers.com or fill out this form. Staff will contact you within 2 business days to start the quote process. Include your name and email address so staff can reply.
  • If you know it, include in your request: 
    • microfilm roll number(s),
    • county,
    • dates,
    • microfilm number
    • preferred file format (if other than 300 dpi JPG)
    • Your mailing address, email, & phone number
  • Microfilm can be digitized as JPG, TIFF, or PDF. Microfilm will be digitized as 300 dpi JPG unless otherwise specified at time of quote.
  • See the Fee Schedule for pricing & delivery information.
  • Payment must be made in advance of fulfilling each order. Payment will not be accepted before the Digital Work Group provides a quote. 
  • We take the following methods of payment: Cash (in person only), Check, and Credit Card. DO NOT send payment or payment information via traditional mail or email as we cannot guarantee the security of electronic communications. Library and Archives staff will contact you for your credit card information upon assessing that your order can be filled. Please make checks payable to Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Resources for finding microfilm at the Tennessee State Library and Archives

For information on ordering microfilm copies of rolls from the Library and Archives' collection, navigate here and under Preservation Services Forms on the page here.

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