Passport to Tennessee History

The Tennessee State Library & Archives, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Tennessee State Capitol invite you to make a history day of it with the Passport to Tennessee History.

Inside the Passport to Tennessee History on Capitol Hill and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, visitors will find information about four institutions of Tennessee history. 

Pick up your free Passport to Tennessee History at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park Visitor Center or Tennessee State Capitol to begin stamping your passport to Tennessee History. Admission to all four participating locations is free.

Guided Tours of the Library & Archives are available by request, Tuesday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. Please email to schedule your group tour.


Tennessee State Library & Archives Family History Day

Tennessee State Library & Archives' free Family History Day event was held on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. 

Each year, Family History Day has something to offer for anyone wanting to research their family history, from beginners to seasoned genealogists.

The featured presentation was “Early Tracks and Trails Across the South,” led by J. Mark Lowe.  

During the presentation, attendees learned how to use tools at the Library & Archives to locate pathways created initially by animals and later followed by humans, eventually leading settlers and families throughout the South and beyond. Watch the presentation. 


Tennessee State Library & Archives Author Talks

The Library & Archives is pleased to welcome author and columnist Bill Carey on Friday, August 11, 2023, from noon until 1:00 p.m. CT. 

Mr. Carey's talk will include untold stories of the 19th century from his new book, True Tales of Tennessee: Earthquake to Railroad, detailing the stories of people and events that have often been overlooked. Watch the presentation


Legacy of State Parks Lunchtime Speaker Series

Tennessee State Library & Archives is hosting a new lunchtime speaker series as part of The Legacy of Tennessee State Parks exhibit, exploring the history behind one of the best park systems in the country. 

This Lunchtime Speaker Series event will be in person and live-streamed on the Library & Archives' Facebook page. Each event takes place from Noon to 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch. This series is free to the public. Seating is limited, so please make sure to reserve your spot.

  • March 16, 2023 - Early Conservation Efforts in Tennessee led by Tennessee State Parks Cultural Resource Manager Hobart Akin. Watch the presentation.
  • March 24, 2023 - The Role of Archival Research in Interpreting the Material Culture of the Port Royal General Store, presented by Amanda McCrary Smith. Watch the presentation.
  • April 1, 2023 - Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project presented by Bob Fulcher. Click here to join us in person for the presentation. Watch the presentation.
  • April 14, 2023 - Archaeology at Tennessee State Parks, presented by Aaron Deter-Wolf. Watch the presentation


Lunchtime Speaker Series Commemorating Tennessee’s 225 Years of History

Tennessee State Library & Archives is launching a new lecture series revealing the stories behind significant events in Tennessee’s rich 225-year history. The Lunchtime Speaker Series events will be in-person and live-streamed on the Library & Archives’ Facebook page and the Secretary of State’s YouTube channel. Each event will take place from Noon to 1 p.m. In-person attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch. This series is free to the public. In-person seating is limited. 

  • Sept. 10, 2021 - A Look Back at Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration in 1896/7 - the story behind world's fair style event in Nashville led by Historian David E. Ewing - Watch the presentation
  • Nov. 5, 2021 - Why Tennessee is Known as the Volunteer State - history of the nickname and Tennessee's service in military conflicts led by Lipscomb University Professor Tim Johnson - Watch the presentation
  • Feb. 11, 2022Tennessee Frontier - How Tennessee’s Land Influenced Where Pioneers Settled by historian and associate professor Aaron Astor – Watch the presentation
  • May 6, 2022 - Tennessee and the Fight to Win Women's Right to Vote by journalist and author Elaine Weiss - Watch the presentation 


Lunchtime Speaker Event - This Used to Be Nashville

The Library & Archives is pleased to welcome special guest Jim Hoobler for a lunchtime lecture on April 22, 2022, from Noon to 1 p.m. Mr. Hoobler, a local author and longtime State Museum curator, will present a talk entitled "This Used to Be Nashville." - Watch the presentation