History and Genealogy

Traveling Trunks: Civil War

Civil War – Geared Towards Upper-Elementary and Middle School. Our Civil War traveling trunk is packed full of great historical reproduction materials to give your students a hands-on approach to learning about the Civil War and its impact on Tennessee. Through physical materials like a pair of soldier’s Brogans to letters, photographs, and diaries, students will dig deeper into their Civil War curriculum. Investigative topics in this trunk includes the election of 1860, battle statistics, daily life for a soldier, the aftermath of battle, United States Colored Troops, as well as women’s involvement in the war.

Traveling Trunks: 1920s

1920s – Geared Towards Elementary School. The 1920s traveling trunk highlights some of the crowning achievements and scandals of the 1920s through the investigation of primary sources, media, and three-dimensional objects. Topics analyzed in this trunk include new technological appliances for the home, Prohibition, the emergence of automobiles, and 1920s pop culture.

Traveling Trunks: World War I

World War I – Geared Towards Middle and High School. Students will expand their knowledge of World War I through the use of primary sources, media, and reproductions. Classrooms will analyze the effects of new technology in warfare, read entries from Tennessee soldiers who witnessed these new weapons first-hand, and learn about Alvin York’s heroic efforts and how Tennesseans memorialize him today.

Traveling Trunks: World War II

World War II – Geared Towards Upper-Elementary School. High School teachers consult lesson plan prior to booking trunk. During World War II, more than 300,000 men and women from Tennessee served in the armed forces. In addition to the support provided by Tennessee to our nation’s armed forces, the Volunteer State also lived up to its name in its action on the Homefront. From scrap drives and war bonds to rationing and victory gardens, Tennesseans sacrificed, saved, and served. The activities in this trunk will walk participants through daily life on the Homefront during WWII, in the hopes of providing them with varying perspectives, as well as a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by the greatest generation.

Library and Archives Workshop: Land Platting

September 23, 2017 - Locating the land of an ancestor can uncover a wealth of knowledge. Presenter J. Mark Lowe demonstrates how platting a property tract map may help identify many important features of a community, including ferries, mills, cemeteries, trails, historic homes and many other landmarks. With the aid of a few inexpensive tools, researchers can construct their own plats of land tracts as described in deeds, wills, court records or land grants.


Composed of two scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings related to Georgia Tann and the investigation into the Tennessee Children’s Home Society initiated by Governor Gordon Browning. It is unknown who collected the materials. The newspaper clippings all date from 1950. The majority of clippings are from Tennessee newspapers including: Nashville Tennessean, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press-Scimitar, Knoxville Journal, Nashville Banner, Chattanooga Times, and Knoxville News Sentinel. There is one newspaper article from The New York Post and one from The New York Times as most of the children were placed in New York and California.


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