Lectures & Workshops
Runaways, Coffles and Fancy Girls: A History of Slavery in Tennessee
In this installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives free workshop series, local author Bill Carey examines slavery through slavery ads appearing in Tennessee newspapers. Carey researched every newspaper printed in Tennessee from 1791 until 1864, including newspapers on microfilm held at The Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Grounded in Tradition: The Tennessee State Capitol
In this installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives free workshop series, Assistant State Archivist Dr. Wayne Moore shares the stories of those who labored on the Capitol, from the unpaid prisoners to William Strickland himself, from 19th century African American stonecutters and Irish masons to the 21st century Rock City crews. These and other new facts about the Capitol emerge from the wealth of records at the State Library and Archives.
A History of Tennessee's Three Constitutions
In this installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives free workshop series, the Honorable Judge Andy D. Bennett of the Tennessee Court of Appeals will present the history of each of Tennessee’s constitutions. Learn details about the historical documents and what they meant for Tennesseans during that time in history.
Cross Connections to the Civil War
The Civil War has touched the life of almost every U.S. citizen but connecting families with complete records can present challenges. Presenter J. Mark Lowe demonstrates how to search and use the wide variety of records available through the Tennessee State Library and Archives to draw a more complete picture of their Civil War ancestor and family history.
Handout: Cross Connections to the Civil War
The Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA)
Digital Materials Librarian Jennifer Randles will take attendees on a tour of the newly-redesigned Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA). The free online repository of Tennessee’s history contains valuable collections, such as photographs, documents, maps, postcards, audio, and video. Learn how to quickly find what you need in TeVA’s collections and view some of the many items available via the website.
Using Historical Newspapers for Your Research
In this installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives free workshop series, genealogist Taneya Koonce will navigate attendees through the benefits of using newspapers when putting together the puzzle pieces in genealogical and historical research.
Election Records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
In this installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives free workshop series, veteran genealogist Jim Long will explore Record Groups, as well as printed and digital election-related materials held at the Library and Archives, and will show how newspapers can also be a rich source of information about elections.
It's Not All Online
Presenter Melissa Barker is a certified archives manager for the Houston County Archives and a professional genealogist who works with clients researching their Tennessee ancestors. Barker discusses the importance of visiting an archive when seeking out records that are not online.
Locked Up – Finding Ancestors in Prisons and Asylums
Following the trail of an ancestor in trouble with the law or plagued with mental illness is often difficult. Using examples from actual records in Tennessee and elsewhere, State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill discusses how to locate the records, what to glean from the information and how to deal with confidentiality restrictions.
Handout: Locked-up - Finding Ancestors in Prisons and Asylums
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.
Handout: Beginning Land Platting
David Franklin Brock Korean War Photograph Collection
In January 1952, Brock left behind his Van Buren County home to undergo rigorous combat engineer training. He was then assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in the vicinity of the Iron Triangle and the 38th parallel in Korea. This collection documents his time in Korea as well as his visits home.
Darla Brock, Library and Archives manuscripts archivist and daughter of Brock, conducted the workshop featuring her father's photographs and oral history in the broader context of the Korean War.
To view the current collection, go to: https://cdm15138.contentdm.oclc.org/customizations/global/pages/collections/brock/brock.html
Finding Ancestors in Tennessee Samplers
Documents made with pen and paper aren't the only important records of Tennessee history. In some cases, the stories of the state's early days are stitched together in embroidered cloth patches known as samplers. This Tennessee State Library and Archives workshop describes what these samplers can reveal about the lives of our ancestors.
Andrew Jackson and his Legacy
Born 250 years ago this month, Andrew Jackson remains one of Tennessee's most iconic and controversial political figures. The former United States president is celebrated for his popularity with common folk and his military skills, but reviled for his headstrong temperament and his troubling relations with Native Americans.
Murder and Mayhem in Nashville
People don't usually associate libraries with murder and mayhem. However, when Brian Allison was researching his book, "Murder and Mayhem in Nashville," he frequently relied on material from the Tennessee State Library and Archives to help him flesh out the sometimes gory details about the city's history.
Unfolding History in the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files
Tennessee is famous for many things, but some people may not realize the state once was a hotbed for the marble industry. Tennessee marble, known for its pinkish-gray coloring and ease of polishing, has been used in many buildings across the country. Dr. Susan Knowles, a digital humanities fellow at Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation, will discuss how Supreme Court case records helped her research the marble industry.
Women's Suffrage Movement
Tennessee played a pivotal role in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. During a hot summer in 1920, Tennessee became the final state needed to meet a requirement that three-fourths of states approve the amendment in order for it to become federal law. Genny Carter, a librarian at the Library & Archives, will discuss the political battle that raged in Nashville preceding Tennessee's vote on the amendment during the next event in our free lecture series. Her presentation will focus on items in a new online collection about the women's suffrage movement, which was created using the many documents and photographs stored at Library & Archives. This collection includes letters, telegrams, political cartoons, broadsides, photographs and audio clips.
Preserving Tennessee Folkways
Tennessee is a state rich with folk traditions. By studying oral history interviews and song recordings, we can learn a lot about how people lived during simpler times. From hog killings to sorghum making to wash days to building railroads and banjos, the old ways of life in our communities have been passed down from generation to generation. Fortunately, these traditions of the past are not lost - the Tennessee State Library & Archives holds a vast collection of material about them. Carol Roberts, conservation manager at the Library & Archives, will discuss these homespun traditions during the lecture. Her presentation will highlight collections that document “Tennessee folklife,” including the Tennessee State Parks Folklife Collection, the Zilphia Horton Folk Music Collection, the Highlander Collection, Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletins and Sound Recordings and interviews, captured on reel to reel and cassette tape, which help tell the stories of Tennessee's rural communities.
From Little Bighorn to Vietnam
J.L. "Bud" Alley was a participant in one of the bloodiest battles during the Vietnam War, which was fought in the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965. For years afterward, Alley struggled to make sense of how the events of that day fit into historical context. His soul-searching and research led him to write The Ghosts of the Green Grass, a narrative nonfiction story of his experiences and those of others who served in the Second Battalion Seventh U.S. Cavalry.
Finding World War I Ancestors
The United States waited almost three years before joining the Allied Forces in World War I, but then committed to the war effort in a major way. According to the National Archives, about 2 million Americans served overseas during the conflict, which represented more than one quarter of the country's male population from the ages of 18 to 31. That means many of us have ancestors who fought during World War I. In this workshop at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Gordon Belt helps people discover more about those long-ago relatives.
Using Library and Archives Resources to Turn Small Clues into Big Discoveries
Veteran genealogist Jim Long will use case studies to demonstrate how even small bits of information can lead to important discoveries found among the Tennessee State Library and Archives' collection of resources.
The Evolution of Tennessee's Borders in Maps
Map expert Murray Hudson's lecture at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) taking participants on a journey that begins along North Carolina's colonial borders, travels through the “Lost State of Franklin,” documents the annexation of Cherokee and Chickasaw territory, highlights western border changes brought about by shifts in the Mississippi River and describes Supreme Court decisions that seem to have finalized Tennessee's state boundaries.
'Virtual Story Time’ Offers a New Way to Experience Books
This video, produced by the Tennessee Secretary of State's office, highlights a new story time program from the Tennessee Library for Accessible Books and Media. The library is part of the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Tennessee Department of State. T
How to Keep Kids Engaged During Story Time
Jinx Watson is an expert in children’s story time. Watson is a retired associate professor with the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This video is a service of the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Tennessee Secretary of State’s office produced to help librarians across the state.
Tennessee Board of Pension Examiners Records
The Tennessee State Library and Archives is excited to share information about the Tennessee Board of Pension Examiners Records, also known as Record Group 3. This valuable resource from the board responsible for issuing and administering Tennessee's Confederate pensions contains clippings, obituaries, death dates, payment records, and family connections you might not have known about, plus much more. If you want the whole story, you want to look in Record Group 3.
Tennessee's Library and Archives
The Library and Archives preserves millions of precious documents, photographs and maps that chronicle Tennessee’s rich history. This video explains how state librarians and archivists work tirelessly to ensure these invaluable resources continue to be available for all Tennesseans.
Senator Douglas Henry - Tennessee Statesman
The video, which has a running time of just under 30 minutes, is narrated by former Gov. Winfield Dunn. It covers some of the highlights of Henry's career and includes remarks from people who worked with him through the years.