Monday, October 16, 2017

Effort to Digitize World War I Artifacts Heads to Chattanooga

Over a five-year period, World War I ravaged Europe, the Middle East and parts of North Africa, overturning governments and costing millions of lives. The United States joined the battle in 1917, eventually mobilizing more than 4 million soldiers and countless civilians who provided support for the war effort on the homefront.



The Tennessee State Library and Archives launched Over Here, Over There: Tennesseans in the First World War, a major effort to collect digital records of how World War I affected Tennesseans. Archivists travel throughout the state to digitally scan and photograph documents, maps, photographs, uniforms and other artifacts related to World War I that are owned by private citizens.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to our request for Civil War items, so we hope this project will help us create a rich record of World War I history as well,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Creating digital records of historical artifacts makes them easily available to anyone with internet access. It’s important that we do this now before more of these century-old items are lost or damaged beyond repair.”



The next event will be held at the Chattanooga Public Library, located at 1001 Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga. Items will be digitally recorded from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Nov. 1 and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Nov. 2. The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from the owners but will provide tips on how to care for these rare treasures.

People living in East Tennessee are encouraged to bring in letters, photographs, diaries, military records, maps, sketches, weapons, uniforms and other items related to the war. All items must be original (no photocopies or reproductions) and owned by the person bringing them to the event.

To reserve time with an archivist on one of those dates, email WorldWarI.tsla@tn.gov or call (615) 741-1883.

This is the fifth of several digitization events being held around the state, and the second in East Tennessee. Find more information about the project and upcoming events at sos.tn.gov/tsla/OverHere_WWI.

This event is part of the fall 2017 Great War Symposium.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Launches New Online Ordering System

The Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (TLBPH), a division of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, has a new online ordering system offering unprecedented access to patrons. The system is available 24/7 and can be easily accessed on a computer or mobile device.



Audio, braille and large books are available for free shipment directly to patrons' homes. Patrons can search by title, narrator, author and more. They can also browse new releases, staff recommendations and view their personal reading history.

“This new user-friendly system will create greater access to books for people with blindness or visual impairments, which is a principal goal of the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. I am proud we can create equal access to books and educational resources for all Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The service works with the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service allowing users to download books with one click.

“This fills a fundamental need in our community,” said Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Director Maria Sochor. “We hope that the new system will encourage people with visual disabilities to take advantage of this invaluable resource.”

To access the system, visit accessiblelibrary.org or contact library staff regarding online ordering at 800-342-3308.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Folklife artists share their craft...

Please join us at the Library and Archives on Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon to learn more about the soon-to-be-released digital collection and learn more about folklife in Tennessee.

We are excited that peach pit carver Roger Smith will be present as a featured artist at the upcoming event. Roger R. Smith of Culleoka, Tennessee, is a cattle farmer and retired meter reader for the Duck River Electric Company.



While he doesn’t consider himself an artist, he carves amazing figures out of peach seeds using only his pocket knife. Mr. Smith creates animals, reptiles, people and even an entire baseball stadium complete with peach pit players, spectators and automobiles. He estimates that each figurine takes about four to eight hours to complete. Mr. Smith’s work has been on display at the Tennessee State Museum as well as the White House where his Santa carving was displayed on the tree as part of Christmas at the White House before becoming a permanent part of the White House ornament collection.

In addition, former Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program, Robert Cogswell, will speak about the collection and old-time buckdancer Thomas Maupin will be performing. Although the workshop is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium. To reserve seats, please visit folklifetsla.eventbrite.com.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New World War I digital collection in the Tennessee Virtual Archive

By Allison Griffey

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has launched a new digital collection, Record of Ex-Soldiers in World War I, Tennessee Counties, 1917-1919. Visit the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) to view the records of over 130,000 soldiers and sailors from Tennessee who served in the Great War: http://bit.ly/RG36TeVA.

Graeme McGregor Smith, Governor McCord and Mary Daniel Moore, State librarian and archivist, at the signing of the bill to build the new Library and Archives, 1947.


Service record information is arranged by county and includes age, place of birth, residence, unit in which the soldier served, enlistment and discharge dates. These service abstracts fill a gap left by the 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire, which destroyed the majority of Army personnel records between 1912 and 1960.

World War I service abstract for Sgt. Alvin C. York from the Record of Ex-Soldiers in World War I, Tennessee Counties, 1917-1919.


This collection began as an American Legion Auxiliary project spearheaded by Graeme McGregor Smith, mother of two World War I veterans. She mobilized Tennessee’s women to collect the records of soldiers and sailors to ensure that every Tennessean who served in the Great War would be remembered. In 1937, the legislature granted these compiled service records status as official public records of Tennessee and allowed for certified copies to be used in all courts.

“After all the History of a State is but the history of her people and when the Records of the ninety-five Counties of Tennessee are completed, Tennessee will have available a complete survey of its industrial and military man-power.” —Graeme McGregor Smith

Visit Record of Ex-Soldiers in World War I, Tennessee Counties, 1917-1919: http://bit.ly/RG36TeVA


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Monday, September 18, 2017

Library and Archives Hosts Free Folklife Event

In partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will host a free event about folklife Oct. 14. Folklife is a multifaceted tradition which values oral stories, songs, art and many other cultural aspects.



The Library and Archives' abundant resources assert Tennessee as a premier resource for national folk studies. This upcoming event will highlight the publication of a large digital image collection consisting of approximately 22,000 photographs, slides, and negatives. Over 300 of these images will be released on the Tennessee Virtual Archive to coincide with the event, with the rest of the images to be published over subsequent years.

Dr. Robert Cogswell will speak about the collection he developed over three decades during his tenure as Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program. Dr. Cogswell retired from the Commission in 2014. Thomas Maupin, winner of the National Education Association’s National Heritage Fellowship award and renowned old-time buckdancer, will also perform. In addition, Roger R. Smith of Culleoka, Tennessee, will be on hand to talk about his craft. Smith carves figures from peach pits, including animals, reptiles, people, and even an entire baseball stadium complete with players, spectators, and automobiles. Smith’s work has been on display at the Tennessee State Museum as well as the White House. Free children’s craft activities will also be available during the event.



The event will be 10 a.m. until noon CDT Oct. 14 in the Library and Archives auditorium.

The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. North, directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available around the Library and Archives building. Although the workshop is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium.

To reserve seats, please visit: https://folklifetsla.eventbrite.com.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Meet the Staff - Susan Gordon

Welcome to another installment of “Meet the Staff.” Today, let’s meet Susan Gordon. She is an Archivist in Archival Technical Services (ATS).

How long have you worked here?

Since 1999.

What are some of the things you do as an archivist?

Aid in processing, evaluating, and analyzing manuscripts and preparing them for placement in the collections; I am part of a large team that summarizes court transcriptions for our Tennessee Supreme Court data project; I research historical events and participate in several of our very active committees. I identify historical context for letters, diaries, court cases, state legislation, and keep up on current events. (Nothing worse than an uninformed historian!)

What is your favorite part of your job?

It’s a hackneyed old answer, but I enjoy (nearly) all facets of my work. Processing family papers is at the top of the list. I very much enjoy the research required to assess the historical value of a collection. It’s an endless learning experience.

Another of my favorite responsibilities is editing finding aids, which our talented ATS folks write. These are guides to manuscript collections, state records, and governors’ papers. We assess their significance to Tennessee history. One has to be a little nosy to be a historian since you must summarize collection content. (Reading diaries and period correspondence--some intimate--is like reading other people’s mail.)

I serve on several committees. A committee such as Archives Review decides if donations and potential purchases will complement/widen the breadth of the collections. It keeps me aware of incoming documents. Exhibits Committee work is pretty obvious: we research, illustrate, and write copy for displays on topics as diverse as women’s suffrage, prohibition, and children. Great fun. Let me plug the upcoming exploration of Tennessee’s role in the Great War--that’s World War I.

Education Outreach gives us the chance to share our holdings with teachers and students. We have a remarkably able Outreach staff--they are a vital part of carrying out our institutional mission.

I’m biased, but I think my department (ATS) is one of the most important in our building. We take in manuscript donations, process collections and write their finding aids, and deliver documents to the Public Services Manuscripts Section for public viewing, the Digital Work Group for digitization, or to other archivists doing research. They count on ATS not only for delivery but also for helping to locate related collections. Access to manuscripts, state record collections, and governors’ papers originates in ATS.



Do you have a favorite collection?

Of course, I do! The Oliver Caswell King and Catherine Rutledge King Papers. Dozens of intimate letters tell the story of two East Tennessee lovers (yes, they get married) who get caught up in the Civil War. Their exchanges provide a social, political, and domestic framework of the times through correspondence, essays, and poetry. Anyone interested in antebellum/wartime courtship practices, college experiences, Civil War camp life, and life on the home front will find plenty here. The letters are not unlike those written in the next century: they reveal humor, sympathy, pain, jealousy, and intellect.

(View them online: http://tsla.tnsosfiles.com/digital/teva/sites/kingpapers/index.htm)

What makes libraries and archives relevant to modern society?

Libraries and archives exist to preserve and share the records that document our history. The State Library and Archives is a custodian of our state’s past, and that means preserving legislative records, governors’ papers, personal and family papers, books, atlases, and maps. Fulfilling our mission is a balancing act. May patrons handle historic documents? Or, do we strictly preserve the records of times gone by? Both. Often a researcher feels a connection to an original document. We are sensitive to that, so in certain situations and under strict supervision, a patron may work with originals. To keep us in the modern age, we are digitizing countless numbers of these documents. Making them available to the public in this way allows us to preserve them and share them at the same time.

For more than 10 years, I worked as a manuscript archivist in Public Services. I considered it important work. Soon after I moved to ATS, I realized how essential to our mission my new work was. Maybe in some small way I am helping scholars and family historians contribute to the historical literature.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Remembering and Celebrating a Rural Heritage: The Tennessee Century Farms Program

By Dr. Kevin Cason

The popular 1960s television comedy Green Acres introduced viewers to New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas who longed for a simpler way of life. As a result, he purchased a farm and moved there to live off the land, despite the opposition of his socialite wife Lisa. To express his appreciation of the rural life Douglas declared in the opening theme song: “Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me. Land spreading out, so far and wide. Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!” While the song provided a memorable tune for television viewers, the love of the countryside and farm living is something that still resonates with people. For many Tennesseans and other Americans farming has been an important part of their lives.

One program that recognizes this rural heritage is the Tennessee Century Farms program. The Tennessee Century Farms program honors farms that have remained in the same family and have had continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture established the “Family Land Heritage-Century Farms” program as a way to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. To gain recognition as a Century Farm, farmers filled out applications that told the history of their farm and provided documentation proving continuous ownership. A county agent or county historian then certified their application. After officially certifying the farms, special ceremonies were held at regional, county and state fairs to recognize the Century Farms where farm families received a certificate and a plaque. In 1979, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture loaned 637 farm files to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for microfilming. Eventually, the microfilmed files became State Record Group 62 and part of the Library and Archives microfilm collection.

Cartwright-Russell Farm, Smith County, Record Group 62, Tennessee Century Farms Microfilm Collection.


In 1984, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture asked the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University to administer the program and maintain the Tennessee Century Farms collection of applications and photographs. Under the guidance of staff at the Center for Historic Preservation, more farms have been added to the collection each year. Over the years, the Center has produced publications, exhibits, and a website to recognize the program.

Commissioner of Agriculture Edward S. Porter with Century Farms certificate and sign, October 1976. Tennessee Market Bulletin, Vol. XLIX, No. 10


Today, people can still apply to be a part of the Tennessee Century Farms program. In order to apply for the Century Farms designation, a person must fill out an application that is provided by the Center for Historic Preservation. In addition, the person must have documentation that shows the continuous ownership of the farm within their family for at least 100 years. Another requirement is the farm must be 10 acres or more of the original farm owned by the founder. The farm also has to produce at least $1,000 in revenue annually. The application then has to be certified by either the county agent or the county historian. On review of the application, the Center for Historic Preservation issues a letter and certificate officially designating the property as a Tennessee Century Farm. In addition, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture issues a yellow outdoor sign to further distinguish the family farm.

Townsend Farm Landscape Scene, Giles County, Record Group 62, Tennessee Century Farms Microfilm Collection.


Across Tennessee, the yellow metal Century Farm signs can be seen prominently displayed on many rural landscapes and historic buildings. The signs serve as a reminder of the important agricultural legacy of farm families who have continuously owned and farmed their land for at least 100 years.

For more on the Tennessee Century Farms Program see:

  • The Tennessee Century Farms website: http://www.tncenturyfarms.org/
  • “Family Land Heritage-Century Farms Collection, 1975-1978.” Record Group 62, Tennessee State Library and Archives. (Microfilm only collection).
  • Carroll Van West, Tennessee Agriculture: A Century Farms Perspective. Nashville: Department of Agriculture, 1986.
  • Caneta Skelley Hankins and Michael Thomas Gavin, Plowshares and Swords: Tennessee Farm Families Tell Civil War Stories. Murfreesboro, TN: Center for Historic Preservation, 2013.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Friday, August 25, 2017

James Burney McAlester: The First Native American to Play Football for Vanderbilt University

By Will Thomas

James Burney McAlester was born in North McAlester, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) June 7, 1876*. He went on to become the first Native American to play football for Vanderbilt University. His father, James J. McAlester, served as U.S. Marshal for the United States Court in the Choctaw Nation from 1893 to 1897. His mother, Rebecca Burney, was a member of the Chickasaw nation, and his uncle, Benjamin C. Burney, was Governor of the Chickasaw Nation from 1887 to 1880.

J. B. McAlester, Nashville, Tennessee, 1898. Calvert Brothers Studios Glass Plate Negatives.



J. B. McAlester studied law at the University of Missouri and then at Vanderbilt University. During his time at Vanderbilt, he played left tackle on the 1897 football team. In his book 50 Years of Vanderbilt Football, famed sports writer Fred Russell calls the 1897 team the "Greatest Eleven of the Nineties." He also notes that McAlester was the only Native American to play football for Vanderbilt (at least, as of the time of the book's publication in 1938).

1897 Vanderbilt University football team in Fred Russell's 50 Years of Vanderbilt Football. Library Holdings.


During the 1890s and early 1900s, Vanderbilt's greatest rival wasn't the University of Tennessee – it was Sewanee (now named University of the South). Between 1891 and 1944, Sewanee and Vanderbilt would battle it out on the gridiron 52 times. Vanderbilt won 40 of the games, Sewanee won 8, and there were 4 tie games.


Statements by Sewanee team captain, Oscar Wilder and Vanderbilt team manager, Lester G. Fant (misspelled in the newspaper), about the 1897 game, Nashville American, Nov. 25, 1897. Newspaper Microfilm Collection.


In 1897, the two teams met in Nashville November 25 (Thanksgiving Day). The game, which Vanderbilt won 10-0, received a great deal of coverage in the Nashville American newspaper (later renamed the Tennessean).

List of players on the Sewanee and Vanderbilt football teams with their respective weights, Nashville American, Nov. 25, 1897. Newspaper Microfilm Collection.


One article lists the offensive players for each team and gives their respective weights (although it incorrectly lists McAlester as "J. E." McAlester). Tipping the scales at 190 lbs., McAlester was the heaviest player on Vanderbilt's team. Now, of course, an offensive lineman under 200 lbs. or a 134 lb. quarterback is something you might only expect to see on a junior high school team.

Illustration depicting Vanderbilt scoring a touchdown against Sewanee, Nashville American, Nov. 26, 1897. Newspaper Microfilm Collection.



*There is some discrepancy about when McAlester was born. His World War I draft registration (which he filled out) lists his birth year as 1876. His death certificate, however, lists his birth year as 1874, and his tombstone lists it as 1875. The date he himself gave is most likely the correct one.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Library and Archives Hosts Free Workshop on Land Platting

UPDATE: Due to high demand, we have received the maximum number of registrations we are able to seat for our upcoming workshop, “Land Platting: State Grants and Local Deeds” by J. Mark Lowe. Registration is now closed. We look forward to seeing those who have registered for this presentation on Sept. 23rd.

If you wish to have your name added to our reserve waiting list to attend this workshop, please email workshop.tsla@tn.gov. When a registered attendee cancels in advance of this event, we will notify a waiting list member that a spot has opened up. You are also welcome to arrive on the day of the event to be on standby in case a spot opens up. Please note, however, that we cannot guarantee you a spot due to seating limitations in our Auditorium.

For those unable to attend, we plan to video record this session for publication on our website at a later date. We look forward to sharing that video with you in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, thank you for your interest in our Workshop Series. We’ll continue to keep you updated on future events. 


Locating the land of an ancestor can uncover a wealth of knowledge. On Sept. 23, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will host a free workshop about land platting. It will be a basic review of the steps in locating the description of property in Tennessee and platting that description onto a map.

Plat of Hiwassee District. Tennessee Virtual Archive.
Presenter J. Mark Lowe is a certified genealogist and fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. He’s also a renowned author and lecturer who specializes in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. His expertise has been featured on several genealogical television series including African American Lives 2 (PBS), Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC) and The UneXplained (BIO).

Lowe will demonstrate 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.

"This workshop allows us to see and interpret history through our greatest natural resource: land. Lowe’s insight will serve as a valuable tool for Tennesseans looking to discover more about their heritage," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "I look forward to this event and encourage people to reserve their seats as soon as possible."

The workshop will be 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. CDT Saturday, Sept. 23, in the Library and Archives auditorium.

The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. North, directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available around the Library and Archives building. Although the workshop is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium. To reserve seats, please visit loweworkshop.eventbrite.com.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Monday, August 21, 2017

Viewing the Eclipse through the eyes of the Rose Music Collection

By Dr. Kevin Cason

According to NASA, today’s total solar eclipse is the first to sweep across the United States in nearly a century. As the largest U.S. city in the eclipse’s path, Nashville will watch day turn to night as the moon completely blocks the sun from the sky for about two minutes. In honor of this celestial event, we highlight some sheet music from the Rose Music Collection that features the “sun” as a theme.

“Sunrise, Sunset.” Composed by C.A. White. Rose Music Collection.


Kenneth Rose was an accomplished violinist and oversaw the violin department at Ward-Belmont College. In addition to being one of Nashville’s preeminent musicians, he was a collector of sheet music.

“Sunbeam Scottisch.” Composed by Ferdinand Lellner. 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 Civil War, politics, presidents, wars, ships, sports, minstrels and comic songs.

“Sunset and Dawn” from Moods: A Series of Songs, Composed by E.L. Ashford. Rose Music Collection.



The collection has more than 20,000 pieces of music, most of which was acquired by the Tennessee State Library and Archives before 1956. The remainder of the collection was bequeathed in 1956.

For more from the Kenneth Rose Music Collection see: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/rosemusic


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Library and Archives Celebrates National Aviation Day

By Will Thomas

The Tennessee State Library and Archives celebrates National Aviation Day (August 19) with photographs from the Puryear Family Photograph Albums collection. Gallatin natives George W. Puryear and his older brother Alfred I. Puryear both served in the U.S. Army Air Service during and after World War I. Their photograph albums document the early days of aviation.

Unidentified Army Air Service pilot standing in front of a Caudron G.4, France, 1918.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/7

The Caudron G.4 was a French bomber and reconnaissance plane that entered service in November 1915. Although it quickly became obsolete as a bomber, it was also used to provide the initial flight training to Allied pilots.


George W. Puryear sitting in the front cockpit of a Donnet-Denhaut DD-2 flying boat, France, 1918.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/7




George W. Puryear standing next to a Nieuport 28 fighter, France, 1918.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/9

George W. Puryear was a fighter pilot in the 95th Aero Squadron in World War I. Most of the aircraft flown by the U.S. during the war were of French design and manufacture. The French-built Nieuport 28 was a fast and nimble fighter plane, but it had the unfortunate habit of shedding the fabric of its top wing during a steep dive.


Unidentified Army Air Service pilot standing next to a Voisin V bomber, France, 1918.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/9


Packard-Le Père LUSAC-11 fighter plane in flight, March 15, 1919.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/27

The Packard-Le Père LUSAC-11 was based on a French design but was built in the U.S. during World War I. The Army Air Service had ordered 3,525 of the airplanes built but the order was canceled at the end of the war. Only 30 were actually built. On Feb. 27, 1920, Major Rudolph W. Schroeder set the flight altitude record in an LUSAC-11 by climbing to 33,113 ft.


Unidentified Army Air Service observer pilot sitting in the rear cockpit of a JN-4 in flight, San Diego, Cal., 1919

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/27

North Island, Coronado, and the San Diego Bay are visible behind the tail of the airplane.



Three Fokker D.VII fighters being prepared for takeoff, Crissy Field, Presidio, San Francisco, Cal., April 12, 1919.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/31

George W. Puryear was a pilot with the No. 3 (Far West) Flight of the Victory Loan war bond drive during April-May 1919. The Far West Flight traveled through California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona putting on air shows to encourage people to buy war bonds. Its commanding officer was Carl Spaatz (who would later become the first Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force in 1947). On April 13, 1919, a photograph of Puryear flying a Fokker D.VII in the air show appeared in the "San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper.


Lt. Leland Miller, a photographic officer for the Far West Flight of the Victory Loan war bond drive, standing in the front seat of an airplane and holding a box camera used for aerial photography, April-May 1919

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/32


U.S. Army Airship TC-3, Brooks Field, San Antonio, Tex., November 1923.

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/118

The TC-3 entered service around late September 1923 and was stationed at Scott Field, Belleville, Illinois, it left for Brooks Field Nov. 16, 1923, to participate in the Kelly Field Air Carnival for Army Relief and arrived at Brooks Field Nov. 17, 1923. Alfred I. Puryear was a student pilot aboard the TC-3 for the trip. He completed his initial pilot training at Ross Field, Arcadia, Cal., in July 1921 and was transferred to Scott Field in August 1922.


The Dayton-Wright RB-1 at the 1920 Gordon Bennett Cup race, Étampes, France, September 1920

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/126

The Dayton-Wright RB-1 (or Dayton-Wright Racer) was developed specifically to participate in the 1920 Gordon Bennett Cup Race and was piloted by Howard Max Rinehart. It had several design features which were advanced for its day. It had a monocoque fuselage (in which the skin of the airplane provides the main structural support) and retractable landing gear. It used a 250 horsepower Hall-Scott L-6A motor and had a maximum speed of 190 mph. It was forced to withdraw from the race due to mechanical problems.


Verville-Packard R-1 Racer at the 1920 Gordon Bennett Cup race, Étampes, France, September 1920

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/126

The R-1 Racer was piloted by Rudolf W. Schroeder (visible standing on the other side of the fuselage). Printed on the tail is: "U.S.A. Verville Racer Air Service U.S. Army McCook Field Dayton, Ohio." It was forced to withdraw from the Gordon Bennett Cup Race due to an oil pump failure. Alfred I. Puryear served as the supply officer on Schroeder's team.


Breguet 14.T with the call sign F-CMAI belonging to Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes, Étampes, France, September 1920

http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll20/id/126

Looking like a shipping crate with wings, the Breguet 14 was a French bomber and reconnaissance airplane produced from 1916 to 1928. The 14.T was produced after the war and was a variant modified to carry 2 passengers. Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes was a French airline founded in February 1919 by Louis-Charles Breguet. The airline merged with Grands Express Aériens to form the Air Union January 1, 1923. On Oct. 7, 1933, Air Union merged with four other French airlines to form Air France. According to the Sept. 16, 1920, issue of "Flight" magazine, this particular Breguet 14.T was flying between Paris and Cricklewood Aerodrome (located in northwest London adjacent to the Hadley Page aircraft factory).


To learn more, visit the Finding Aid to the Puryear Collection, and discover even more images from the Puryear Family Photo Album on the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA).


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Monday, August 14, 2017

Meet the Staff - Trent Hanner

Welcome to "Meet the Staff," our newest feature on the Library and Archives blog. Today, let's meet Trent Hanner. Trent is a reference librarian and supervisor with Public Services.

How long have you worked here?

My first day at the Library & Archives was Sept. 25, 2006.

What are some of the things you do as a librarian/supervisor?

In addition to my supervisory duties like scheduling our librarians and attending meetings, I spend at least half of each day working on one of our public desks: the Tennessee Room, in Legislative History or on telephone reference. I also serve on our Collection Development Committee, which selects books to purchase for the library.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love working with the public. It’s fun and a joy to field questions from folks who visit us in person, online or on the telephone. My fellow reference librarians and I delight in helping individuals discover their lost ancestors or hidden family secrets. Working in Public Services also allows me to build relationships with staff from other state agencies and with people in the local history community. I enjoy fostering those connections.

Do you have a favorite collection?

My colleagues in Public Services know that I’m proud to oversee our massive surname and subject vertical file collection. Since the 1920s, our librarians have been collecting clippings and ephemera to facilitate research for genealogists and other seekers of the past. We have over 6,000 files on Tennessee families and prominent people, and over 2,000 files on places, events, and other subjects unique to the Volunteer State. Although the internet has made clipping newspaper articles nearly obsolete, our backlog of files contains a wealth of information that’s not available anywhere else. And these files continue to grow. Today I focus on adding pieces of ephemera that I think will be of interest to researchers in the future, but which may not be collected anywhere else. For instance, I’ve recently created files on hot chicken and on the new 505 skyscraper in Nashville. We’re always happy to accept family Bible records and other uncatalogued genealogical donations for the surname files as well.




What makes libraries and archives relevant to modern society?

I’m grateful we have a Secretary of State and a legislature that recognize the vital role the Library and Archives plays as a cultural center and repository of state history. Like other libraries and archives across the country, our presence symbolizes the value we place on preserving and providing access to our history. Our new home on Bicentennial Mall will serve as a state-of-the-art destination for Tennesseans to gather in a dedicated place to discover that history. But just as important as the physical structure, our team of librarians and archivists serves as expert resources for the Tennesseans who are researching their history. As information continues to be digitized, the public will increasingly need professionals to help navigate that information. Librarians and archivists are trained and experienced in knowing exactly where to find information, and we know how to discern what is true and authoritative and what is not.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tennessee State Library and Archives Services

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has an important job, but offers a lot more services than some people realize. This video, produced by the Tennessee Secretary of State's office, highlights some of its many services.




The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Remembering Jane Austen...

By Ruth Hemphill

The 200th anniversary of the death of world-renowned novelist Jane Austen is July 18, 2017. Author of only four novels published in her lifetime, her impact on Western culture is phenomenal.

The Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) has all of Austen’s major works available in audio, braille and large print formats. TLBPH also has many of the lesser-known works in audio and braille format, some of which are incomplete and were found in her papers after her death.

Adaptations of Austen’s work continue into the 20th and 21st century, including popular movies, starring well-known names such as Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightly, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. In addition, the 1995 movie, “Clueless,” set in modern Beverly Hills, is loosely based on Austen’s book, “Emma.”

In 2009, a parody of Austen’s most famous novel, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” by Seth Grahame-Smith, was published, starting a trend of “mash-ups” of classical works or historical figures with horror, including “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” by Ben H. Winters, and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” also by Seth Grahame-Smith. TLBPH has these parodies available in audio format, plus “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is also available in large print.

For a woman who only lived to be 31 years old and died 200 years ago, Austen’s work fulfills the definition of a classic that “withstands the test of time.”

For information on who can borrow audio, braille and large print books from TLBPH, see the library’s website at: http://sos.tn.gov/tsla/lbph.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Immaculate Mother Academy

By Zachary Keith

Plate 131 of 1897 Sanborn Atlas of Nashville (updated 1911) that shows Immaculate Mother Academy, including the 1907 addition.
Tennessee State Library and Archives Map Collection



Nashville’s street names reveal much about its past. Drexel Street, a seemingly insignificant side street that runs between Seventh and Eighth avenues, is a remnant of an important half-century of our city’s history. It was named for Saint Katharine Drexel, founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and the second American canonized by the Catholic Church. After a plea from the head of Nashville’s Roman Catholic Diocese, Bishop Thomas Byrne, Drexel agreed to establish a private Catholic school for Nashville’s African-American youth. In February 1905, she purchased the property between Stevenson (Seventh Avenue) and Ewing streets across from Central Street (Drexel Street) from Samuel J. Keith for $25,000, without disclosing her purpose.

The Nashville American, Feb. 14, 1905.

Samuel J. Keith, Colonial Dames of America Portraits in Tennessee Painted Before 1866
Tennessee State Library and Archives Photograph Collection




Keith discovered Drexel’s plan for the property from the Nashville American article. Outraged, he attempted to buy back his land and house from Drexel, even offering a $2,500 charitable donation in addition to the purchase amount. The white neighbors also reacted poorly to the idea of an African-American school nearby, ardently protesting its construction and nearly filing an injunction in the county court.[1] The residents petitioned the city council to open Central Street (present-day Drexel), effectively condemning the purchased building, stating “that they would do all in their power to prevent the establishment of the school.”[2]

Drexel stood her ground and the Academy of the Immaculate Mother opened Sept. 5, 1905, to a class of 50 female students. In 1907, the student population grew to 195 and the school needed to expand, thus a new building was constructed next to the original house. By 1908, over two hundred students packed the halls and by 1921, the then coed school boasted eight grade levels, 4 teachers and 235 students.[3]

From 1905 until 1954 the Academy of the Immaculate Mother served as an educational institution for African-American boys and girls as well as a normal school for aspiring African-American teachers.  In 1954, Nashville Catholic schools became some of the nation’s first to adhere to Brown v. Board of Education and the students of Immaculate Mother Academy transferred to Father Ryan and Cathedral School and the school closed.[4]   Immaculate Mother’s alumni included Robert E. Lillard, one of Nashville’s first African-American city councilmen, lawyer and judge.[5]

Addendum: The back of a postcard of the academy owned by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament contained the inscription "Our first Im. Mother's convent (the frame bldg.). It had been a slave market, as shown by sign-boards we found in the cellar." However, an exhaustive search has not been able to corroborate this fact other than uncited mentions in various publications.

Immaculate Mother Academy students sitting on the front steps of the 1907 addition
Courtesy of the Archives of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament


1907 addition to the Immaculate Mother Academy
Courtesy of the Archives of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

Students standing in front of Immaculate Mother’s Academy, approximately 1941
Courtesy of the Archives of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament



For further reading on Drexel see Katharine Drexel: The Riches-to-Rags Life Story of an American Catholic Saint by Cheryl C. D. Hughes.

For further reading on Immaculate Mother Academy and development of that neighborhood see Steven Hoskins dissertation: A Restless Landscape: Building Nashville History and Seventh and Drexel


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett


ENDNOTES

[1] “Ready for opening.” The Nashville American, Sept. 4, 1905.
[2] “Petition Council: Neighbors want Central Street opened through Keith land.” The Nashville American, May 26, 1905.
[3] Ryan, James. Directory of Catholic colleges and schools. Washington: National Catholic Welfare Conference. Bureau of Education, 1921.
[4] Hoskins, Steven (2009). A Restless Landscape: Building Nashville  History and  Seventh and  Drexel  (Doctoral dissertation) Middle Tennessee State University.
[5] Wynn, Linda T. “Robert Emmett Lillard” Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Library and Archives Hosts Free Workshop on Historic Photo Collection

Photographs are a critical part of learning and understanding history. On July 22, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will host a free workshop entitled "From Farm Boy to Tomahawk Warrior: David Franklin Brock Korean War Photograph Collection."

David Franklin Brock posing in front of a chestnut orchard in Kumhwa. Brock's company was attached to the 72nd Tank Battalion. Spring/Summer 1953.
David Franklin Brock Korean War Photograph Collection


In January 1952, David Franklin Brock left behind his Van Buren County home and his sweetheart, and found himself a world away. In a newly expanded Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) exhibit Brock traces his progress from combat engineer training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to his time with the famed Second “Indianhead” 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. Using his photographs, an interactive story map, and Brock’s oral history, this exhibit, highlighted by Brock’s daughter Darla, provides a window into a war often described as “forgotten.”

Darla Brock, Library and Archives manuscripts archivist will conduct the workshop featuring her father's photographs and oral history in the broader context of the Korean War. The workshop will be 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. July 22 in the Library and Archives auditorium.

"The David Franklin Brock photo collection allows us to see history from Mr. Brock’s unique viewpoint. These photographs of the Korean War era will serve as a valuable resource for generations of Tennesseans," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "I look forward to this event and encourage people to reserve their seats as soon as possible."

The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. North, directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available around the Library and Archives building. Although the workshop is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations. To reserve seats, please visit: https://tslabrockcollection.eventbrite.com

The Brock collection was originally launched in November, as a part of the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA). To view the current collection, go to: http://bit.ly/BrockKoreanWar. Additional images are being added by the Library and Archives in July.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Maryville Students Win Big at National History Day

Five Tennessee students received medals last week during the 2017 National History Day Contest.

(L to R) A.J. Camacho of Clayton-Bradley Academy; Tate Greene and teacher Liz Shugart of Clayton-Bradley Academy


In all, 58 middle and high school students represented Tennessee in the competition, where students prepare documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances and websites with historical themes. The overall theme of this year's contest was “Taking a Stand in History.”

Tennessee's students, some working in groups and some working individually, submitted a total of 35 entries. The students earned the right to compete at National History Day by winning medals on the state level. Tennessee History Day is organized by the Tennessee Historical Society and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Secretary of State's office and Humanities Tennessee.

The honorees from Tennessee are:

Best Entry in Civil War History, Junior Individual Documentary

  • Tate Greene
  • Maryville, Clayton-Bradley Academy
  • Entry: “Dissidents of the Rebellion: The Hidden Stand and Sacrifice of the East Tennessee Bridge Burners”
  • Teachers: Liz Shugart, Nicole Whitecotton


Outstanding State Entry, Junior Group Performance

  • Eden Hutchinson, Isabella Miya, Hannah Robbins
  • Maryville, Clayton-Bradley Academy
  • Entry: “Lowell Mill Girls: The First Union of Working Women”
  • Teachers: Liz Shugart, Nicole Whitecotton


Outstanding State Entry, Senior Individual Performance

  • A.J. Camacho
  • Maryville, Clayton-Bradley Academy
  • Entry: “Clarence Darrow: Taking a Stand for Truth”
  • Teacher: Liz Shugart


“Our students tackled difficult subjects, like the Civil War, workers’ rights and academic freedom, in their research this year. They also overcame personal obstacles to compete, but rose to the occasion with their impressive entries. We were all impressed with their grace under pressure,” said Tennessee History Day coordinator Jennifer C. Core.

“These are amazing achievements considering a half-million students entered the contest on the local level before advancing to the state and national levels. I’m thrilled all of the students represented Tennessee so well on the national stage,” Secretary Hargett said.

National History Day is a yearlong academic organization for middle and high school students focused on teaching and learning history. A recent study by Rockman et al found students who participate in National History Day develop a range of college and career-ready skills. They also outperform their peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science, math and social studies. The program engages 7,000 students across the state of Tennessee.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jay Guy Cisco Collection

By Megan Spainhour

Today we highlight the small yet mighty collection of the Jay Guy Cisco Papers (1894-1921). The Jay Guy Cisco Papers consists of biographical sketches of nine prominent Tennesseans, newspapers clippings, correspondence, publications and 12 scrapbooks.

Jay Guy Cisco (1844-1922) moved his family to Jackson, Tennessee, in 1875, where he became a sort of Jack-of-all-trades. He owned Cisco’s Bookstore in Jackson. He was also known as a historian, journalist, businessman, diplomat and archaeologist.

Through his research of West Tennessee, he obtained a great passion for Native American history and culture. He helped bring light to many Native American ruins in the Tennessee area, and drew interest because of his efforts. Many of the relics he found would be displayed in his small office museum.

Throughout his life, Cisco published numerous works pertaining to American history, politics and archaeology. For some time, he also ran a steam printing press when he was a member of the publishing firm Cisco and Hawkins. In 1883, Cisco established and edited the weekly newspaper The Forked Deer Blade out of Jackson, Tennessee. The Forked Deer Blade was known for its excellent writing and taking a stand on controversial topics, such as supporting prohibition. Cisco also became the Assistant Special Industrial and Immigration Agent for the L & N Railroad. He also accepted an appointment as U.S. Consul to Mexico during the Grover Cleveland administration.

The Jay Guy Cisco Papers collection covers a wide range of topics, from a biographical publication about the life of General James Winchester (one of Tennessee’s first senators) to several random newspaper clippings and images inside the 12 scrapbooks that Cisco kept. There are also several names featured in the correspondence kept in this collection. This collection would be very useful for genealogy purposes, history of Tennessee research between 1894-1920. And biographical research on prominent Tennesseans such as Albigence Waldo Putnam, Joseph Saudek, St. George Leakin and Susan E. W. Smith, just to name a few.

View the finding aid to this collection online and stop by the Tennessee State Library to check out this great collection!


Harriman Newspaper- Article from a Chattanooga newspaper, July 2, 1890, detailing the first four months after Harriman, Tennessee, incorporated in 1890. Box 1, Folder 11.


Tennessee Centennial Exposition Ticket, 1897. Box 1, Folder 1.


Lists of Revolutionary Soldiers buried in Tennessee. Each soldier is categorized by which county he is buried in. There are several pages of these lists. Box 3, Folder 4.


History of Madison County publication written by Jay Guy Cisco for “The Blade” (Forked Deer Blade newspaper?) in 1902. Box 3, Folder 5.


Map of “Old Haysborough and Surroundings,” showing where Haysborough Boulevard (known as Haysboro Avenue) in northeast Nashville was to be located. Box 3, Folder 8, Scrapbooks.


The Old Zollicoffer Residence- Newspaper clipping showing Home belonging to Civil War General Felix Zollicoffer. The house stood where the Andrew Jackson Hotel was erected in 1925. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) stands there now. Box 3, Folder 8, Scrapbooks.


Two images shown on this scrapbook page- First Presbyterian Church which today is known as the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. The other image is of “The oldest house in Memphis,” the Old Bell Tavern. Box 3, Folder 8, Scrapbooks.

Newspaper clipping of ‘Hundred Oaks’ mansion near Winchester, Tennessee, Box 3, Folder 10, Scrapbooks.


Map of Plan of Battle of Tohopeka, as prepared by Andrew Jackson (Also known as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend). Box 3, Folder 11, Scrapbooks.



The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State