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. Sisters Margaret and Elise Croft willed the Grassmere property to be used as a nature preserve upon their deaths, and the Nashville Zoo began management of the site in 1997 to honor that request. The digital collection is a sampling of the physical collection and consists of over 250 items including photographs, letters, audio oral history excerpts, maps, memorabilia, and land records.
The Beautiful Jim Key Collection (1885 – [1897-1907] – 1933) was donated to the Tennessee State Library and Archives by a relative of Dr. William Key, the self-trained, African-American veterinarian (and former slave) who partnered with promoter A. R. Rogers to showcase the extraordinary talents of the Arabian Hambletonian horse, Beautiful Jim Key. Key performed for nine years around the country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to large crowds at expositions, world’s fairs, schools, and other venues.