The Tennessee Secretary of State’s offices will have a delayed opening on Wednesday, November 14, opening at 10:45 a.m. to allow for an annual staff meeting and training. Many of our services will remain available online during this time.
This web page provides links to a number of useful resources for those researching African American heritage. The materials at the Tennessee State Library and Archives include the following: research guides, bibliographies, exhibits, Tennessee Virtual Archive Collections, Manuscript collections and photographs.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives maintains a diverse collection of resources that relate to African American genealogical research. Although there were free blacks in the state, the majority of Tennessee's African American population were slaves, making them virtually invisible because of the scarcity of documentation in ante-bellum records. The information in this guide is by no means exhaustive. Researchers are urged to confer with librarians and archivists at the Library and Archives for consultation on individual research needs.
This guide divides the African American materials into six categories: Manuscripts Collections; Microfilm Only Collections; Supreme Court Cases (east & middle Tennessee); Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850; Legislative Petitions 1799-1861; and Bible Records, Church Records, Correspondence, Diaries and Memoirs, Documents, Genealogical Data, and Small Collections.