History and Genealogy Online Resources

Patriot Paths Map
Patriot Paths is a work in progress that uses Revolutionary War pension records to map the paths that soldiers took before and after their service.
Genealogy Index Search
Search military records, vital records and other Tennessee resources indexed by our staff over many years.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I (1914-1918), the Tennessee State Library & Archives will send a team of professional archivists and conservators to communities across Tennessee.
Soldiers and ambulances in France
World War I photographs, journals, and documents following an American ambulance driver in France.
Lithograph of James K. Polk, eleventh president of the United States
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835-1839), Governor of Tennessee (1839-1841), and the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849).
Snapshot postcard of Margaret and Elise Croft
The Grassmere Collection, 1786-1985, is centered around five generations of the same family that lived at Grassmere Farm, Nashville, Tennessee. The property served as a family farm for 175 years.
Roger Smith poses with a diorama of a baseball diamond with figures hand-carved from peach seeds, Culleoka, TN, 2001.
The Tennessee Arts Commission established its Folk Arts Program in 1984. From the beginning, program director Dr. Robert Cogswell photographed artists, sites, and events related to program activities.
Graeme McGregor Smith, Governor McCord and Mary Daniel Moore at the signing of the bill to build the new Library and Archives, 1947.
Record of Ex-Soldiers in World War I, Tennessee Counties, 1917-1919 is a digital collection that consists of the compiled service records of over 130,000 soldiers and sailors from Tennessee who served in the First World War.
John Sales with rifle
Nashvillian John L. Sales served in the United States Marine Corps from May 1966 to May 1968. This collection consists of letters written home to his mother, photographs taken in country and on board the USS Iwo Jima, and miscellaneous items.
Special Agent Gene Stone
These Korean War era photographs belong to Gene A. Stone. Lieutenant Stone was in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), first assigned to the 308th CIC Detachment at 8th Army Headquarters in Seoul, Korea.
Robert H. Cartmell and his grandson
Robert H. Cartmell (1828-1915), a Madison County, Tennessee farmer, documented the nature of his farm operation beginning in 1853. There are thirty-three volumes of diaries that contain full commentaries related to the running of his farm, the weather, and the fluctuations of the cotton market.
Old Hickory power house
This small collection of large-format photographs highlights various aspects of the World War One-era Old Hickory Gunpowder plant. DuPont built and operated the plant, under contract for the United States government, to manufacture smokeless gunpowder for the Allied war effort.
Workshop Series presentation
Come hear experts from the TSLA and other institutions present information useful for scholars, genealogists, and historical researchers.
Engraving of Major General Andrew Jackson by James B. Longacre
This online presentation features rare images of Jackson as a hero from his victories over the British and Creeks during the War of 1812, as well as political broadsides depicting him as a villain. Letters show his fiery temper and sense of honor that won him devoted friends and bitter enemies.
Brock sitting on washstand at "The Hook" base camp
Tennessee farm boy David Franklin Brock left behind his Van Buren County home and his sweetheart in 1952 and found himself a world away. Brock served as a combat engineer with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. An oral history and 120 images comprise this collection.
Marching suffragettes
This collection focuses on pro- and anti-suffrage activity in Tennessee in 1920, primarily drawing from the papers of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, anti-suffragist Josephine A. Pearson, and Governor Albert H. Roberts.
Maps are invaluable components of historical and genealogical research, and documentary records often cannot be fully understood without referring to maps. The Library & Archives has the largest and most significant collection of historical maps in the state available for public use.
This web page proves links to web sites that can be useful to those researching Tennessee history and genealogy. Please note that access to some of these web sites are only available through terminals in our building. Some web sites are only available to residents of Tennessee.
picture of woman and child in garden
The Library Photograph Collection is a migration project from our Online Photo Database to allow researchers more extensive description and the ability to download directly from our website.
Two Women Making Corn Shuck Dolls and Buckets
The images in this collection, depicting individuals and cultural traditions throughout the Appalachian region of the state, are a selection of photographs taken from the Arts, Crafts, and Folklife series of Record Group 82: Tennessee Department of Conservation Photograph Collection, 1937-1976.
A dental hygienist cleans the teeth of a young boy during a class period circa 1924-1928.
This photograph album presents detailed visual documentation of the Commonwealth Fund Child Health Demonstration’s (CHD) study of children from Rutherford County, Tennessee, between 1924 and 1928.
picture of Crossville High School from 1944
Like its sister Southern states, Tennessee’s commitment to public education hovered on the periphery in the early twentieth century. By that time Progressivism and race had become central but conflicting factors in influencing the development of education mores.
picture of passengers on deck
The Earl S. Miers River Photographs date from the first decade of the 20th century (ca. 1900-1912) and show steamboats, buildings, people and scenes along the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers. There are 69 photographs in the collection, 34 of which are displayed here.
image of sheet music cover in the Kenneth Rose music collection
The Kenneth D. Rose Sheet Music Collection contains first editions and imprints of sheet music pertaining to a variety of subjects, including the American Civil War (particularly the Confederacy), politics and presidents, wars, ships and shipping, sports, minstrels, and comic songs.
image of a postcard from Knoxville in 1910
The items in the Tennessee Postcard Collection span a broad timeframe and include images from across the state. Unlike other collections at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the items in this grouping are similar only in format.
Page from Scrapbook with two images
William Henry Fort, Jr.’s Fisk University scrapbook comprises part of the Ambrose A. Bennett Family Papers.
a watercolor sketch of the Ponti di Rotto and the Forum Boarium in Rome
The images in this digital collection consist of original drawings, elevations, ground plans, and watercolor sketches attributed to famed architect William Strickland (1788-1854) and his son, Francis W. Strickland (1818-1895).
photograph of a French observation balloon being inflated during World War I
The photographs in this online exhibit, selected from the Frierson-Warfield Papers and Karl Kleeman World War I Photographs, provide a thoughtful look at the Western Front during World War I from an American perspective.