Ordering Legislative Petitions

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has indexed personal names appearing in the Acts of Tennessee, 1796-1850. You can search the Index to Names in the Acts of Tennessee to see if a particular individual is listed.

Many Acts of the legislature were passed in response to petitions which had been presented by a citizen or citizens. In some cases, the Library and Archives will have the original petition pertaining to a specific act. If you would like us to search the petition index (only a rough index, not comprehensive) you may request a search by post or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to send us an e-mail.  We can accept only one such search request at a time. If a petition is found we will notify you. The Library and Archives will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

The microfilmed petitions are also available on interlibrary loan.



  • There is a $10 fee to copy a legislative petition.  RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) pay a $5 fee to copy a legislative petition. This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please submit each search request on a separate form. Orders will be filled promptly and in the order that they are received. Most requests are answered within two weeks of the time they are received by the Library and Archives; however, response times may vary depending on the volume and nature of your request.
  • The Library and Archives can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through  Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs.


ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS [Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs]

Some printed indexes and microfilmed records may be available for delivery through our e-mail service.  Requests to be delivered by e-mail, however, must be submitted in the same manner as our Services by Mail requests:  payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department,  403  Seventh Avenue North,  Nashville TN  37243-0312.  If you request electronic delivery of a document, you must check the e-mail box under "Delivery Instructions". If no boxes are marked, or if more than one box is marked, the record will be photocopied and sent via US Mail.

  • Records available through this service are scanned and saved as a .pdf file.  Documents can only be saved as .pdfs.  Patrons can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.
  • Records sent via e-mail service cannot be certified.
  • The Library and Archives will e-mail the record to one e-mail address.
  • If it is not feasible to scan the record you are requesting, a print copy will be mailed to you.
  • Due to space limitations, digital copies of records will be maintained on the Library and Archives' server for 30 days.  After 30 days, the digital copies of the records will be deleted from the server.  Once the digital copies of the records have been deleted, they will not be available for e-mail delivery unless another request, along with the required fee, is submitted.
  • Digital copies of records will be sent from the e-mail address ask@tsla.libanswers.com .





There are situations where a court, insurance company, Social Security Office, nursing home, or genealogical society may require an individual to submit a certified copy of a document. When the Tennessee State Library and Archives certifies a document, the photocopy is marked with a stamp avowing that it is a true and exact copy of a document held at the Library and Archives. The document is signed and dated by a designated Library and Archives staff member, and an embossed seal is placed over the signature and date.

  • If needed, the Library and Archives can certify a copy of a record held in our collection.  There is a fee of $5.00 to certify one copy of the document, in addition to the initial search fee. If you wish for more than one copy of a record to be certified, each additional certification is $5.00.
  • If you think certification may be needed, please indicate this when the initial copy order is placed, as we cannot certify after-the-fact any copies that have left our facility.  We cannot certify copies of items that we have not copied ourselves.  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.
  • The Library and Archives cannot certify electronic copies (scans) of documents.
  • If you pay in advance for a record search and certification and the record is not located, neither the search fee nor the certification fee are refundable.  For this reason, when searching for a record that you wish to have certified, the Library and Archives suggests that you use our downloadable forms and pay by credit card.  If you pay by credit card and a record is not located, then you will not be charged the additional $5.00 certification fee.