Monday, April 16, 2018

Meet the Staff... Patsy Mitchell

Meet Patsy Mitchell. She is an archivist with Archival Technical Services.

How long have you worked here?

Since 2014.

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

I am primarily responsible for processing and preserving our born-digital materials and creating catalog records for all of our collections. I also represent the Tennessee State Library and Archives in the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Collaborative.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love making our collections easier to find through good metadata, catalog records and simple but clear organization. I just wish I were this organized at home!

Do you have a favorite collection?

I’m most interested in the history of the state parks and outdoor recreation in Tennessee, so I would probably choose the Department of Conservation Photograph Collection, 1937-1976. It offers more than 11,000 photographs and 21,000 negatives, not just of parks, but also folklife and historic sites. It’s also a great collection if you like pictures of cute animals, and who doesn’t? As far as digital collections go, I really love the Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee collection available in the Tennessee Virtual Archive. It includes digitized versions of materials from a lot of different collections but focuses on the theme of women’s suffrage. It’s especially relevant as we begin to approach the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. We are also hoping to add more materials to this collection before the end of the year, so keep an eye out!



What makes libraries and archives relevant to modern society?

As someone who is responsible for our born-digital materials, I think a lot about the roles that libraries and archives will be serving in the future. While technology has aided the creation and distribution of information, it hasn’t necessarily made it easier to preserve. Bit rot and obsolescence could threaten the integrity of our records as we continue to move away from paper and toward electronic media. Think of old files you can no longer open because the software or hardware doesn’t exist anymore. Sometimes the files can become damaged. Even if you can access the files, without good metadata to describe them, searching through hundreds of thousands (and eventually millions and billions) of files will be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Through best practices and continued research, however, archivists are addressing these issues to ensure long-term access to these records for posterity.


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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MLK50: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Former Rep. Tommie F. Brown (D-Chattanooga) hosted a Black History Month program before the 104th Tennessee General Assembly Feb. 23, 2005, to honor the many contributions made by African-American members.

Christian Suttles recited a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream…” speech by memory. King originally delivered his famous speech Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington.




Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis April 4, 1968. The motel is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum, which is honoring the 50th anniversary of his death.

Video Courtesy: Tennessee General Assembly. Audio of this message is also available from the Legislative History Unit of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.


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

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Hundreds of Students to Compete in Tennessee History Day Contest



Nearly 300 students from across Tennessee will compete in the annual Tennessee History Day state contest in downtown Nashville Saturday.

The competition allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing projects with historical themes. The students with the best-judged projects in the statewide competition will advance to the National History Day finals in College Park, Maryland, June 10 through June 14 with top finishers earning prestigious awards and scholarships.

Middle and high school students created projects based on this year’s theme, “Conflict and Compromise in History.” Students compete in five categories: papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances. Tennessee History Day helps participating students learn the importance of history and critical thinking through the use of primary source documents, in-depth research and analysis.

“Students who make it to the state competition represent the best our state has to offer. I hope these bright young men and women are learning valuable lessons on civility,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I wish all of this year's participants the best of luck in what I'm sure will be an exciting competition on the state and national levels.”

The Tennessee Historical Society has sponsored the competition since 2009 with grant support from the Secretary of State’s office and Humanities Tennessee.

“These stellar students have advanced from more than 7,500 sixth through 12th-graders who participated in History Day this year,” said Ann Toplovich, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Society. “Their projects display a solid grounding from research in primary sources, critical thinking skills and presentation of their ideas, and they show how understanding history connects to the responsibilities of citizenship. It will be a tough job for the judges choosing the next round of winners at the state contest.”

Each fall, students and teachers nationwide begin work on the yearlong curriculum, which starts with competitions held in individual schools. The winners there advance to district, state and eventually the national competition. Nationwide, the History Day program includes more than a half million students annually from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools.

For more information about Tennessee History Day, please visit tennesseehistory.org/tennessee-history-day


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

New Language Learning Resource Now Available to Tennessee Residents Free Through TEL

Tennessee residents can now access a new language learning resource for free through the Tennessee Electronic Library.

Transparent Language Online (TLO) is an innovative language learning system for learners of all levels looking to build their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. TLO is packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing and vocabulary building lessons. With over 100 languages to choose from, including English for non-native speakers in over 26 languages, there is something for every learner, including children! Kidspeak is a fun, easy to use language learning program for ages six and up, available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Learners can access TLO anywhere - at home, in the library or on the go at any time. Sign up for a free account and start learning!

Which languages are included in Transparent Language?

https://home.transparent.com/transparent-language-online-available-languages

Learn a new alphabet: Full-length alphabet courses are available for 18+ languages to familiarize you with new writing systems, including Mandarin Chinese, Hindi and Arabic.



Essentials Courses: These courses guide you through 30+ lessons of language fundamentals, including meeting and greeting, expressing wants and needs, planning for a trip, dealing with money, asking for help and beyond.



Supplemental Vocabulary: Hundreds of vocabulary lists will teach you thousands of new words and phrases through a completely redesigned suite of fun, interactive activities.



Start learning a new language using Transparent Language today by visiting your local library website or TEL at http://tntel.info/.


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

Monday, April 2, 2018

From the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files... The Theory of Superposition of History

By Caleb Knies

Too often the thought is to first “make” the history without understanding or appreciating the theories that guide well-crafted, balanced and fulfilling definitions of history. Bits of historical evidence, like Supreme Court records, photographs, even things as unexpected as landscapes, soundscapes and most other quanta of historical data are used as evidence to support a particular historian and the narrative he or she is weaving; However, those same items of historical quanta can also be used to evidence new theoretical constructs. Searching for evidence to support a new historical theory can be taxing, however, on occasion, a bit of evidence fits the model so adeptly it is impossible to stifle. A letter drafted by Lytle “Boss” Bingham, connected to four Supreme Court records, is that piece of evidence.

On the dark and snowy night of Jan. 14, 1931, Lytle “Boss” Bingham, cashier at the Hardin Co. Bank, phoned his assistant and brother, James “Jiggs” Bingham, telling him to withdraw all cash-on-hand at the bank and bring it to Boss’s home. The state bank examiner was coming the 15th or 16th, and Boss needed to make sure the cash was deposited with the Federal Bank in Jackson. Boss left home in Saltillo around 9 p.m. heading toward Jackson on TN 5/US 45. In the early morning hours, a car was heard speeding down the highway. A short time later, a warm glow emanating from the horizon sparked little interest in a farmer, but soon his son would find the cause – a burning car with a body in it. The body, believed to Boss’s, initiated a chain of events that led to the discovery of the letter from Boss on the desk of the bank president and the four state Supreme Court cases for Boss’s insurance payouts.

Somewhat like Boss’s letter, these photos are re-creations of the accident scene where Boss’s burned car was found in the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 1932, with a body inside. The original accident scene “lives” in the superposition history - it both exists and does not exist. It clearly happened, but being in that moment again is impossible. Therefore, crime scene photographs and illustrations seek to re-claim any essence of originality left, but will always fall short of being able to capture the ‘reality’ of the scene. Photograph from Mary L. Bingham v. Modern Woodmen of America, Tennessee Supreme Court Records, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Boss’s accident occurred on a dark and snowy night, these photographs show no signs of snow. The testimonies from the cases all detail the damage to the car, yet the car in this image is undamaged. A person’s sport coat replaces the lap blanket found intact over the hood of Boss’s car. But, these pictures help us (and the courts) collapse the wave function of Boss’s accident into observable bits of historical quanta/evidence/data/etc. It is the observer then, who creates the particle or wave narrative for the quanta. Photograph from Mary L. Bingham v. Modern Woodmen of America, Tennessee Supreme Court Records, Tennessee State Library and Archives.


Before going much further, it is pertinent to introduce the theory. Quantum history is the growing historical field that uses the theories and principles of quantum mechanics to guide the theories and principles of the historical method. One of the key points of quantum physics and quantum history is the appreciation for the state of superposition. For physicists, this is the state of unmeasured particles - both everywhere and nowhere at once, operating as both individual particles and particle waves (also at once). Measured particles only act as particle or wave depending on the observer, any measurement ends the superposition state which is known as “collapsing the wave function.” For quantum historians, history exists in superposition. It is both alive and dead, past and present, yours and mine, ours and theirs - all at once, all in superposition; However, measuring history, like measuring photons, collapses the wave function and bends history to the want of the observer/historian. Unless, as is thought to be the case with the letter, observation/measurement is impossible.

Boss’s letter lives only in historical superposition. The physical letter is missing from the historical record, but the text is held within witness testimony of three state Supreme Court cases (mentioned in the testimony of the fourth, but the actual text of the letter was not entered as evidence). The letter “exists” in the fact that it was a verified piece of evidence in a state court case, and the text of it was entered as testimony in the case; however, the letter itself as mentioned, does not exist. Boss’s letter both exists and does not exist, depending on how “existing” is appreciated and understood by the observer. Interpreting Boss’s letter as either existing or not collapses its wave-function and eliminates its state of superposition.



This is the text of the note written by Lytle “Boss” Bingham to his boss at the Hardin County Bank. The note was found the morning a body, many thought to be Boss’s, was found burning in a car outside of Saltillo. The note itself is missing, but the text was entered into Supreme Court records through the testimony of Dr. L. A. Parker, president of the Hardin County Bank, and finder of the note in question. Image from Mary L. Bingham v. Modern Woodmen of America, but the text also appears in Mary Bingham v. Business Men’s Assurance Co. of America and Verna Bingham, guard. v. Business Men’s Assurance Co, Tennessee Supreme Court Records, Tennessee State Library and Archives.


This ephemeral state of superposition adequately describes the aforementioned letter, and the whole of historical data. It shows that the observer is in control of the outcome of the evidence, to control the outcome of the historical narrative. The historical observer “measuring” historical quanta collapses his or her wave function(s) into existing as either “particle” or “wave.” Erwin Schrödinger was one of the foremost quantum physicists, actively creating, researching and developing the field long before many others even accepted its findings. Well-known, but misremembered, his cat/box paradox was a thought experiment to show the absurdity of quantum physics. Despite memetic errors, it still functions as an appropriate model for understanding how Boss’s letter, and all of history, “lives” in superposition until measured/observed by us, those seeking to interpret its information.

On one hand, the letter may be understood to not exist; the historical implications for that allow for a distinct narrative in which word-of-mouth, oral histories, and the like might fill the gap of the nonexistent letter and create a history where the meaning comes from some of the gaps in the narrative. On the other hand, the letter could be understood as existing; which creates a different narrative than a nonexistent letter, because the evidence is interpreted differently by the observer. The implications for this interpretation may be a disregard for the context surrounding the note and taking it at face value, a reliance on “factual” history and creation of historical narratives where evidence is assumed unquestionable. While interpreting the letter as either existent or not is a minor part of the larger whole of Boss’s story, the way historians interpret historical evidence deeply matters to the histories we use, create and assemble. Not unlike scientific quantum physics, Quantum History analysis can adopt and adapt the thought experiment to analyze itself and historical information.

One of the deeply intriguing collections at the Tennessee State Library and Archives is the Tennessee Supreme Court Records, home to all of the cases heard by the state Supreme Court. Scores of records (due to volume only 19th and early 20th century cases) are cleaned, folded, and ready for the public - with more added daily. The Tennessee Supreme Court Records includes cases concerning debt owed on livestock purchases, land and title debates, murders and even insurance suits. Four cases out of the many thousands held at the Library and Archives revolve around the mysterious disappearance and supposed death of Lytle “Boss” Bingham. While the full details of the Bingham cases warrant their own forthcoming blog post, a key piece of evidence in the trial is also the key piece of evidence for understanding a new historical theory.

If you are interested in researching Tennessee Supreme Court cases, check out our online index: http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/tennessee-supreme-court-cases.


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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Gets New Name



The Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is now the Tennessee Library for Accessible Books and Media. The name change became official March 9.

The library often leads the nation in how it reaches patrons who sometimes need more specialized service than their local library is able to provide.

“Our commitment to reaching Tennesseans with disabilities is unparalleled. This new name focuses on our mission of serving patrons without using outdated language to define them solely by their disabilities,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I look forward to seeing how the Library for Accessible Books and Media will continue breaking new ground.”

In 2016, library staff received national attention for developing a first-of-its-kind “Virtual Story Time” program as a way to reach people with disabilities who may never visit a public library.

"Working with the Secretary of State's office we have renamed the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. As society evolves so does the language we use and how we think and speak about people with disabilities. The antiquated language no longer reflects the citizens that utilize this wonderful community resource. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Tennessee Library of Accessible Books and Media," said sponsor Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory).

The library offers a collection of more than 150,000 recorded, large print and braille materials to Tennessee residents who cannot use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability. The library partners with the National Library Service at the Library of Congress (NLS) to administer the free service.

In 2017, 350,696 items were loaned out to Tennesseans living with a visual impairment.

“I am happy to sponsor this change in the law that removes antiquated language and updates the name of the regional library for persons with disabilities,” said co-sponsor Sen. Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville). “This change not only aligns our language with the Library of Congress but is also indicative of the respect we have for persons with disabilities.”

The Library for Accessible Books and Media is part of the Tennessee State Library and Archives located at 403 Seventh Ave. N in downtown Nashville, just west of the State Capitol. Both will move to a new facility in late 2019, which is currently under construction on Bicentennial Mall. The new building will be much more accessible for patrons with disabilities.


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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sgt. Helen Gill Moon, World War II hero...

By Ellen Robison

Photograph of Sgt. Helen Gill Moon. Supplemental materials. World War II Veteran Surveys, RG 237.
Tennessee State Library and Archives



Common belief is that United States women in the military during World War II served in protected positions away from combat. In practice, however, this theory proved difficult to maintain. Sometimes the combat came to the women. The World War II Veteran Survey collection at the Tennessee State Library and Archives contains personal examples of women who were closer to combat than comfort. One of those women was Sgt. Helen Gill Moon, who served with the Women’s Army Corps in England and France.

Page 1, Helen Gill Moon veteran survey. World War II Veteran Surveys, Record Group 237.
Tennessee State Library and Archives



Helen Gill enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps in 1943, after working in a civilian job as a Dictaphone operator and secretary. She likely had no idea at the time of enlistment that she would serve overseas by the end of World War II. When the Women’s Army Corps was created, women were originally limited to positions within the United States and its territories. As the war continued and the need for soldiers grew, many high ranking officers, including General Eisenhower, specifically requested WACs to serve overseas to fill noncombatant positions, allowing men to move to the front lines. Gill rose to the rank of Sergeant working in the Public Relations Office for the U.S. Headquarters in Europe. One of her primary duties in the P. R. O.’s newsroom was taking quotes of bomber pilots returning from their bombing runs. In her survey, Gill recalled hearing these “emotionally affecting” reports as the pilots would relay the casualties sustained as being one of the most vivid experiences of her service.

Page 2-3, Helen Gill Moon veteran survey. World War II Veteran Surveys, Record Group 237.
Tennessee State Library and Archives




Sgt. Gill came even closer to the combat in 1944 when Germany developed the V-1 guided missile, dubbed the “buzz bomb” because of the buzzing noise the bomb made before falling silently to the ground. In her survey, Gill explains that the WACs were required to stand outside in the streets for their daily formations until a buzz bomb injured several women. She recalled watching a department store in London “turn orange and crumble, and be knocked down by the blast” of a German rocket.

WACs were not the only serving women who saw combat. The veteran survey collection is full of stories about nurses who worked in field hospitals in all theaters of operation and in all climates, from deserts to jungles. Some even lived in mud floor tents and sheltered their patients with mattress from strafing gunfire. You can read about their service and many more in the World War II Veteran Survey collection: http://tsla.tnsosfiles.com.s3.amazonaws.com/history/state/recordgroups/findingaids/WORLD_WAR_II_VETERANS_SURVEY_1996.pdf.


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

Monday, March 26, 2018

"Locked Up" Workshop Explores Tracing Ancestors in Prisons and Asylums



Following the trail of an ancestor in trouble with the law or plagued with mental illness is often difficult. On April 14, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will host a free workshop entitled “Locked Up: Finding Ancestors in Prisons and Asylums.”

Using examples from actual records in Tennessee and elsewhere, State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill will discuss how to locate the records, what to glean from the information and how to deal with confidentiality restrictions.

“Learning from Chuck Sherrill, who has written and edited 21 books on Tennessee genealogical records, will be a valuable tool to anyone interested in genealogical research,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I would encourage anyone interested to reserve their seats for this fascinating event as soon as possible.”

The workshop will be 9:30-11 a.m. CDT Saturday, April 14, in the Library and Archives auditorium. The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. N., 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://prisongenealogy.eventbrite.com.


Chuck Sherrill has served as State Librarian and Archivist of Tennessee since 2010. He has a unique combination of skills as librarian, archivist and genealogist. His education includes master’s degrees in History and Library Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Sherrill has been active in genealogical research and publishing since he was a teenager. He has written and edited 21 books of Tennessee genealogical records. Among them are “Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary,” and “Tennesseans in Court.”



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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Meet the (former) staff... Mrs. John Trotwood Moore

By Darla Brock

I would like to introduce you to a former staff member and a remarkable woman—Mrs. John Trotwood Moore. Mary Daniel Moore took the helm of the Tennessee State Library and Archives following the unexpected May 1929 death of her husband, the noted poet, scholar, historian, and State Librarian and Archivist John Trotwood Moore. She used the knowledge she had garnered from 10 years working alongside her husband to pick up the mantle and guide this institution through the challenging years of the Depression and the Second World War.

Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Mrs. John Trotwood Moore (Mary Daniel Moore) pictured in 1938.


Left alone to nurture two college-age twin daughters, manage a large household, and care for elderly and ailing family members, every working day Mrs. Moore climbed the one hundred steps to the State Library’s home in the Capitol to undertake her awesome responsibility. She served patrons, historical societies and genealogical associations, the legislature, the judiciary, the governor and state government departments alike. Regardless of the stress involved or the political maneuverings she would have to endure over the course of her career, she remained a devoted state employee.

Mary Brown Daniel in 1888 at the age of thirteen.


Mrs. Moore, with the help of a small and dedicated staff, accomplished mammoth tasks. She utilized TERA (Tennessee Emergency Relief Administration) and WPA (Works Progress Administration) funds to index state records. She held a leadership position in the WPA's Historical Records Survey that preserved county records and so much more. She continued Dr. R.L.C. White's transcription of the Senate and House Journals of Tennessee for the years 1797 and 1798; she indexed them and had them published. This project and the transcribing of Tennessee militia commissions were done on her own time and did irreparable damage to her eyesight. She published scholarly articles about the history of the Tennessee State Library, the Tennessee Historical Society, and the history of libraries in Tennessee. She parlayed her social and professional connections into donations of numerous premier manuscript collections for the state. She served as the custodian of the state's Law Library in the Capitol, and in 1936 oversaw the transfer of 19,000 volumes to the Law Library in the new Supreme Court Building. She procured the first microfilm reader for the State Library and Archives through an exchange with the Genealogical Society of Utah. The Genealogy Department created by John Trotwood Moore flourished under his wife's hand. Authors and researchers from across the country were served on a previously unknown scale, and State Librarian and Archivist Mrs. John Trotwood Moore regularly welcomed busloads of school children to the Capitol and to their State Library.

Mrs. Moore working in her home away from home at the State Library in the Capitol.


But perhaps Mrs. Moore's greatest accomplishment was securing the funding in 1947 for our present State Library and Archives building. Governor Jim McCord proclaimed she “almost dreamed this building into existence.” In reality, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore had carried on the fight for new quarters for the State Library and Archives outside the Capitol Building for many years, as had her husband before her. In late 1946, Mrs. Moore galvanized Tennessee’s women’s organizations, which had long supported her and our institution, to take on this battle. These women had recently labored in support of the war effort, and they now stood shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for us. In December 1946, presidents of women’s statewide organizations came together to campaign for a new State Library and Archives building, as the State Library Building Society. When Governor McCord signed the appropriation bill March 12, 1947, the press gave these ladies credit for obtaining the initial legislative funding.

Mrs. John Trotwood Moore’s true home had been the State Library in the Capitol, a setting she likened to a Victorian parlor. She faced mandatory retirement in 1949. She maintained an emeritus status thereafter and remained a presence in the Capitol’s State Library to assist her successor, historian and Vanderbilt professor Dr. Dan Robison, as he took the reins of the institution. Mrs. Moore watched as Dr. Dan and architect H. Clinton Parrent designed our present facility, state-of-the-art for its time.

She submitted her official letter of resignation June 4, 1953. She wrote Dr. Dan, “The last load of books will be sent to the new State Library and Archives building today or tomorrow. I feel that my services should end with the closing of these doors.” A lovely little office was created for her in this building, but ill-health meant she seldom used it. Around this time, she wrote to a researcher, “I think it is time for the old lady of 79 to fade out of the picture.” But her heart remained with us until her death in August 1957. After that, not only the official papers of State Librarians and Archivists Mr. and Mrs. Moore took up residence here, but the family’s personal papers, as well.

It is hard to believe that one woman, one family, could have given so much, but their belief in the importance of the Tennessee State Library and Archives never wavered. For almost 18 years, I have searched her portrait for strength, inspiration and direction; I have researched her collections for wisdom and marveled at her legacy. Having been made an honorary member of the Moore family by her gracious descendants, I feel I can hazard a guess at her message for us today. To the staff, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore would say, “Serve this great state with all your abilities, and love your institution with all your heart.” To our patrons, she would repeat one of her favorite sayings, “The State Library is a library by the people, for the people.”

Portrait of Mrs. John Trotwood Moore painted by R. Gregory Gifford in 1946.



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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Library and Archives, Nashville Zoo Partner to Highlight Grassmere’s Unique History


The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is one of the most visited locations in Nashville, but the property’s historical significance is often overlooked. On April 5, the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Nashville Zoo will co-host a free program highlighting the history of the property and historic home through a new digital collection.

The program will show how two sisters’ love of animals led to the zoo's relocation. The collection includes photographs, letters, oral history audio excerpts, maps, memorabilia and land records.

The home, built in 1810, is one of the oldest residences in Davidson County open to the public. 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.

Margaret Croft (in black) with her sister Elise (in white).
Image from the Tennessee State Library and Archives Grassmere Collection.


“This program will highlight a true treasure of our state. Through this collection, we honor the legacy of two sisters who generously gifted their land, house and its contents for future generations to enjoy,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "We are grateful for the collaboration that is making this event possible."

Tori Mason, Historic Site Manager of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, will share some of the more than 250 items included in the new Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) collection curated by the Library and Archives staff.

“One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from visitors is, ‘Where can I get more information about this family and the property?’ Up to this point, we have not been able to guide visitors to a site to access more information other than the zoo's website and our social media pages,” Mason said. “Thanks to the Library and Archives’ staff, we now have the ability to direct those questions to the TeVA site and all of these wonderful documents, photos and oral histories.”

Megan Spainhour and Jami Awalt from the Library and Archives will also present on how to browse the collection through TeVA, which is available at bit.ly/GrassmereTeVA.

This free program is open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. CDT Thursday, April 5, at the zoo’s Croft Center. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike in Nashville.


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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners Honored at the Tennessee State Capitol

The winners of our 2017 civics essay contest were recently honored in the Tennessee State Capitol. The students range from kindergarten to 12th grade representing school systems and programs across the state.




More on the winners here: 2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners Announced.


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

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Forgotten President

By Lori Lockhart

Can you identify all the presidents of the United States? You might start your list with George Washington. But, what about names like John Hanson, Elias Boudinot or Thomas Mifflin? They are often left off any presidential roll. Yet, all of them (among others) were selected to be presidents of the United States Congress under the Articles of Confederation. Take Elias Boudinot (May 2, 1740-Oct. 24, 1821) for example, he was elected to be the president of the Confederation Congress Nov. 4, 1782. This made him the presiding officer of the first formal national government in the United States when the Treaty of Paris was signed with England that effectively ended the American Revolution.


J. W. Paradise engraving of Elias Boudinot (1740-1821).
THS Picture Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives


Functioning as the head of the United States Congress wasn’t Boudinot’s only claim to fame. He also served on the board of directors of the College of New Jersey (Princeton), was a lawyer, a U. S. Representative, an author and a supporter of Native American rights. But, perhaps his greatest achievement was founding the American Bible Society (ABS) in 1816.


American Bible Society Lifetime Member Certificate for Rev. R. C. (Robert Clopton) Hatton, 1841.
Peyton Family Papers, Tennessee State Library and Archives


The British and Foreign Bible Society was formed in 1804. Four years later, the first Bible society in the United States was established in Philadelphia. Soon, similar Bible groups were being organized all over the Northeast. By June 1816, a published list would show the existence of 128 similar groups spread out over 21 U.S. states and territories. Tennessee was even home to several Bible societies.


Franklin County Bible Society membership list, ca. 1830s.
Carrick Academy Board of Trustees Minutes, Tennessee State Library and Archives


A plan for a national Bible society was suggested in 1815 by Boudinot, who was the head of the New Jersey Bible Society at the time. He thought a national society would unify the efforts of smaller local organizations and also be more effective at getting the Bible into unsettled areas of the U.S. that were still little more than wilderness.

According to “The Manual of the American Bible Society,” a convention was held May 8, 1816, in the “Consistory Room of the Reformed Dutch Church, in Garden Street, in New York” with 60 people from many different denominations in attendance. The meeting’s mission was established with harmony: “Resolved, That it is expedient to establish, without delay, a general Bible Institution for the circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.” The gathering was a success with a constitution being adopted and “Executive Officers” as well as a “Board of Managers” being selected for the new national group. (Boudinot would serve as the first President of the society.) With this illustrious start, “the American Bible Society entered at once upon its career of benevolence and Christian usefulness.”

The constitution of the ABS stated that “the sole object of the Institution is to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.” It was unsectarian and did not want remarks included in the Bibles it published to contain denominational bias. The ABS prided itself on being made up of members from many different denominations and also strove to “circulate the Scriptures among all classes impartially,” giving away Bibles to those who could not afford them and charging only what the Bible cost to manufacture to those who were more affluent.



Excerpts from the William Driver Family Bible. Driver (March 17, 1803-March 3, 1886) was a sea captain and longtime Nashville resident who coined the moniker “Old Glory” for the U.S. flag. He is buried in Nashville City Cemetery.
William Driver Family Bible, Tennessee State Library and Archives


The society worked with many different organizations to distribute scriptures, including the United States military. The ABS gave Bibles to sailors on the USS John Adams in 1817 and has supplied Bibles to soldiers in every American war since the Mexican-American War in 1846. In fact, many Civil War (both Union and Confederate) and WWI soldiers carried pocket testaments published by the ABS.


Title page of pocket New Testament (1861) given to Jasper B. Griffith, Co. E, 3rd Wisc. Inf. Regt., USA. He was from Font du Lac, Wisconsin and moved to Lawrence County, Tenn. after the war. He died at the National Soldiers Home in East Tenn. in 1915. This New Testament edition also went to World War I with one of Jasper Griffith's descendants, Pvt. Samuel F. Clifton.
Looking Back at the Civil War Digital Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives

Inside front cover of New Testament (1917) printed by the American Bible Society and given to Pvt. Euliss Grant Hallowell, 63rd Art. Brig., Coastal Art. Brig. He was assigned to Ft. Pickens and later Ft. Barrancas near Pensacola, Florida. Hallowell ultimately served in France beginning in September 1918. He remained overseas until March 1919. Hallowell farmed in Carroll County after the war and died in 1984.
Over Here, Over There WWI Digital Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives


Through the years, the American Bible Society has been a leading innovator in the publishing world. According to John Fea (author of “The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society”), the ABS was the “first publisher in the United States to use steam-powered presses.” The ABS also published the first braille Bible.

While the ABS’s mission/vision has changed slightly in recent years and their headquarters has moved from New York to Philadelphia, they continue to “make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford.” This continues the legacy started long ago by a largely forgotten president.

To explore items in the Library and Archives holdings related to the American Bible Society, browse through materials here.

To view more military memorabilia from the Civil War and World War I, please visit the Looking Back: The Civil War In Tennessee and the Over Here, Over There: Tennesseans in the First World War digital collections.


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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

African American music traditions recorded in the Tennessee Virtual Archive

By Heather Adkins

Music traditions are fundamental to record-keeping in African-American communities. Profoundly unique, these traditions take the shape of storytelling and shared experience across one of the largest cultural populations in the United States. They are often characterized by the use of polyrhythms and rhyme and are passed from generation to generation.

Oak Grove Church of Christ Gospel Group, Chester County, July 20, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.
Image online: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15138coll21/id/826/rec/104




Excerpt from Andrew Jones’ interview, relating a story about his Model T Ford, recorded July 14, 1981.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.


One such tradition is the “toast.” A toast is performed narrative poetry. Similar to tall tales and ballads, toasts celebrate heroic deeds. The tradition is mostly performed by men, and improvisation of stories is highly valued. The recitations can be traced back to the Reconstruction Era in both rural and urban communities. Toasts are considered a precursor of rap and hip-hop and are still performed today.



Toast “Boll Weevil” performed by Ed Harris at the Chickasaw State Park Festival, recorded May 6, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.


Another tradition, not necessarily including spoken word, is fife and drum music. Fife and drum bands became popular in black communities in the South after the Civil War. Loosely based on militia bands, fife and drum music is a fusion of the Euro-American military drum tradition and African polyrhythms. “Talking drum” influence and call and response patterns are characteristic of the music. Black fife and drum bands are still prevalent in the South, in areas stretching across Northern Georgia to Northern Mississippi and covering the southern border of Tennessee.



Unidentified fife and drum song, performed by Ed Harris and others at the Chickasaw State Park Festival, recorded May 6, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.


Call and response is also typical of spirituals. The tradition of spirituals is most closely associated with the enslavement of African people in the American South. Spirituals developed in the late 1700s and remained a unique form of expression up through the abolition of slavery in the 1860s. Introduction to and uptake of Christianity in the 1600s and 1700s by Africans enslaved in the American colonies was slow; however, the enslaved Africans eventually became fascinated by certain parallels drawn between biblical stories and their own lives. These parallels, combined with African traditions of music and dance, eventually resulted in the creation of spirituals. This “Africanized Christianity” expressed the community’s new faith, in addition to its sorrow. Spirituals are the precursor to African-American Gospel music, which became popular in the 1930s. Both spirituals and Gospel were significant vehicles of protest for civil rights activists.



Unidentified spiritual, performed by Ed Harris, Emmanuel Dupree, James Tatum and Annie Marie Valentine, recorded Aug. 6, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.


Blues is a secular African-American music genre that developed from earlier traditions such as work songs, field hollers, spirituals and minstrelsy. Noted for its focus on emotion and experience, blues derived from the American South by the 1890s. Memphis composer W.C. Handy lent the genre national (and eventually international) popularity when he began publishing sheet music adaptations of blues songs in 1912. Blues artists and musicians recorded and entertained regularly by the 1940s. Like spirituals and gospel, blues became another mode of protest over civil rights, war and prison labor. The genre also boasts its own dance tradition, complete with style-specific aesthetics. Modern blues includes a broad range of styles due to developments in technology and instrumentation (many developed by black blues musicians) and regional influences.


“Low down blues,” slide guitar and vocals performed by Lottie “Wolf” Murrell at the Chickasaw State Park Festival, recorded May 6, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.


If you are interested in these music traditions and more, check out the Tennessee State Park Folklife Project records, available on the Tennessee Virtual Archive: http://tsla.tnsosfiles.com/digital/teva/sites/tnstateparksfolklife/index.htm. The records include an invaluable array of images, oral histories and musical recordings.


“Milk Cow Blues,” vocals and fife performed by Ed Harris, Emmanuel Dupree, James Tatum and Annie Marie Valentine, recorded Aug. 6, 1980.
Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, 1979-1984.



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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

From the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files: Tempe Downs v. James C. Allen et al.

By Lindsay Hager

In 1883, the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled that Temperance “Tempe” Downs, “a free woman of color,” was entitled to a dower (one-third) of her deceased husband’s estate. Her suit, sensationalized in the Daily American (Nashville Tennessean), was considered “one of the most noted cases in the jurisprudence of Tennessee.” However, Tempe Downs’ recorded struggle to emancipate herself, remain in Tennessee and later receive her rightful inheritance as the widower of William B. Downs started over 45 years earlier when she saved the money to purchase her freedom.

Before Emancipation in Tennessee, enslaved and free black residents navigated state and local laws and customs, challenging the institution of slavery and laws that enforced white supremacy. In 1837, Temperance Crutcher (Tempe Downs) petitioned the state Legislature to allow her to remain in Tennessee upon her emancipation. Since about 1835, Thomas Crutcher, who purchased Tempe from James Barrett, had permitted her to “act as a free person” with the understanding that she “refunded” him the price of her purchase.





1837 petition to the Legislature submitted on behalf of Temperance Crutcher for permission to remain in Tennessee upon her manumission. It contains the signatures of 17 white Tennesseans who knew Tempe and the request of her enslaver, Thomas Crutcher. Part of the legislative petition collection in Record Group 60, Tennessee State Library and Archives.


Tempe paid Crutcher from money she earned working as a chambermaid at the Nashville Inn. It was there she met her husband, William “Billy” B. Downs, a free black man, who moved from Brownsville to Nashville with James B. Ferguson around 1832 to work as the steward for the Inn. Mr. William B. Downs, the son of an enslaved woman and a white enslaver, purchased his freedom in 1830 from William P. Downs, who had inherited him from his Uncle James P. Downs.

Unable to legally marry, Tempe and Mr. Downs cohabitated as man and wife and in 1837, with the consent of Thomas Crutcher, were married by Methodist minister Reuben P. Graham, “a free man of color,” who had a barber shop below the Inn. According to William P. Anderson Cheatham, employed at the Inn, “Nearly every respectable servant about town and nearly all the old settlers were there.” A reception dinner took place at the Inn following the ceremony. It was reported that from then on, despite the State’s denial of their marriage, black and white persons in the community of Nashville treated them as man and wife.



Drawing of the courthouse in Nashville as it looked in 1832, including the Nashville Inn and the City Hotel. Tempe Downs lived at the Inn and tried her cases in the neighboring courthouse. Her 1837 legislative petition would also have been heard here before the construction of the Tennessee State Capitol.

Close-up of Nashville Inn, at the corner of Public Square and Second Avenue, where Tempe and William B. Downs lived and worked. The Inn was considered the gathering place for many Jackson Democrats. The image is a lithograph by T. Sinclairs announcing the leasing and refitting of the Nashville Inn by J. Mosher, late of Mammoth Cave.


Although she paid Crutcher her purchase price, an 1831 Tennessee Law required that all enslaved people leave the state upon their emancipation and any slaveholder intending to emancipate any person was required to provide bond for their hasty removal. Despite the requests of “a number of [white] ladies and gentlemen of the city of Nashville” to grant special permission to Temperance to remain in the state, the legislature denied her request, claiming they already rejected a bill that session on the subject and another could not be passed. In order to not “be driven from the home of her nativity kindred and friends, to seek a [sic] home in the land of strangers,” Tempe had to legally remain enslaved.



1838 response of Julian Frazier, Chairman of the Legislative Committee on Propositions and Grievances, to Temperance’s Dec. 2, 1837, petition to the state Legislature. Record Group 60, Tennessee State Library and Archives.



Tempe and William P. Downs lived and worked together at the Nashville Inn until the early 1840s when she started working as a chambermaid on the Steamer Nashville that traveled the rivers to New Orleans. The same year, Thomas Crutcher conveyed Tempe to John H. Eaton and James B. Ferguson (host of the Nashville Inn) in a trust that stated they set her free as soon as possible and until then, she was “to have and enjoy her own time and be subject to her own control without the interference of anyone.”

With the money they earned, Mr. Downs purchased several lots in Nashville, including one on College Street where they planned to retire. Betsy Craighead, Tempe’s friend since childhood, testified she had planted evergreen trees on the lot “at Billy’s request.” Tragically, in 1846, shortly before the completion of their new home, he was stricken with smallpox. Downs died within a few days and was buried in the Nashville City Cemetery. The State did not legally recognize their marriage or the life they built together. Therefore, Tempe’s right to his estate and status in Tennessee were equally untenable.

Not until after the Civil War and the amendment of the state constitution in 1865 was Tempe legally emancipated and free to personally file suit against James C. Allen et al., the heirs of William P. Downs, to recover the estate of her husband. In 1866, she first filed her suit with the Freedmen’s Bureau but their court dissolved leading her to refile in the state court in 1868. Tempe testified that she was paid the $550 with the threat from William P. Downs that any further claims to her husband’s estate through her legal emancipation would be met with her expulsion to Liberia.




Newspaper excerpts about the case of Tempe Downs v. James C. Allen et al from the Daily American, July 18, 1879, and March 6, 1883, respectively. Complete article for “Tempe’s Trouble” available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.



Though the laws at the time of the case entitled her to all the property of her husband, the law at the time of his death limited her to a claim of dower, despite her more than fifty-percent contribution to the estate. The Supreme Court of Tennessee declared that since she was functionally not “imprisoned,” though technically enslaved, before Emancipation, the statute of limitations barred her from collecting the entire estate.





Cover, cases style and parties of Tempe Downs v. James C. Allen et al. in the Tennessee Supreme Court Case files at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Check out our growing database: http://supreme-court-cases.tennsos.org/



In 1887, the last known record of Tempe places her at 502 Melvina [Malvina] Street (now 10th Avenue) between Gleaves and Division Streets. Tempe Downs v. James C. Allen et al., detailed in the Library and Archives historic Supreme Court holdings and Tennessee Reports, spanned from 1868 to 1883 and offers valuable insight into the lives of the Downs, other local persons and places and the legal history of Tennessee. Her story illustrates the strength and persistence of enslaved and free black men and women to build their lives in Tennessee despite state-sanctioned slavery and oppression.


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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Black Combat Units of World War I

By Allison Griffey

During World War I, options were limited for black men who enlisted or were conscripted into the military. The Army was segregated; only white men were allowed to serve in the Marines; and the Navy and Coast Guard offered only low level, unskilled positions to black men. The majority of African American men in the military served in non-combat positions such as stevedores, and some of these men were regularly exposed to the dangers of the front lines despite the fact that they were unarmed.

“Our Colored Heroes” was published in 1918 to celebrate the bravery of Sgt. Henry Johnson and Pvt. Needham Roberts of the 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division who defended themselves against at least 12 German soldiers during a raid. Sgt. Johnson managed to defend himself and save Pvt. Roberts using hand-to-hand combat and a knife and saved both men from becoming prisoners of war. Sgt. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for this courageous act in 2015.
Source: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15138coll18/id/2332/rec/1


The only combat divisions for black men at the time were the 92nd and 93rd Divisions. The 92nd Division, also known as the “Buffalo Soldiers Division,” was composed of drafted men from all over the United States. Most of the men in the 93rd Division were members of National Guard units in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts New York, Ohio and Tennessee or men drafted from South Carolina.

Service abstract of Pvt. John Tender of Union City, TN. He was a member of Co D, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division was severely wounded in action around October 20, 1918. The men of the 369th Infantry Regiment are famously known as the “Harlem Hellfighters” because the majority of the men in this regiment came from the militarized New York National Guard 15th New York Infantry Regiment.
Source: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15138coll38/id/6026/show/5991/rec/7


Black men in these combat divisions, like Sgt. Henry Johnson and Pvt. Needham Roberts of the 93rd Division, were initially celebrated for their heroic feats, but their fame faded quickly. A century later, these men are two of the most famous servicemen to fight in World War I. At this time, only two African American men have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their World War I service: Cpl. Freddie Stowers and Sgt. Henry Johnson, both of the 93rd Division. There are doubtless many other black servicemen whose stories of bravery are waiting to be told.

Photograph from the Gold Star Record of Pvt. Jim Granberry of Mt. Pleasant, TN. He was a member of Co L, 368th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division was killed in action on September 29, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Due to strictly enforced segregation during training and military official rivalries, the 92nd Division was given little to prepare them for their role in this offensive, especially the men of the 368th Infantry Regiment.
Source: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15138coll26/id/4860/rec/2


The Library and Archives holds gold star records for black servicemen who died during the war, as well as service abstracts for black Tennesseans who served during the war.



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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Obion River Regional Library Hosts 2018 Legislative Day

Representatives from nine West Tennessee counties gathered in Martin Feb. 2 to discuss a range of issues affecting the state’s public libraries. The event was organized by the Obion River Regional Library, which is part of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Attendees included Sen. Ed Jackson (R-Jackson) as well as many county and city mayors from across the region.

The meeting included a briefing by Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill about the need for the continuation of state dollars for the completion of a new Library and Archives building in Nashville. The modern facility will be co-located with the Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall creating synergies for visitors and school groups.

“I think this was a very productive meeting. Each year, the Tennessee Library Association hosts Library Legislative Day in Nashville while the General Assembly is in session. This year’s event is scheduled for March 14. While Library Legislative Day helps secure important library support from the state, most public library funding comes from counties and cities,” Sherrill said. “Holding events like these in the communities served by our local libraries get to the heart of what makes libraries important anchor institutions. I hope everyone who attended this event took away some useful information.”

The meeting also included a discussion of the importance of providing broadband internet access at libraries and the funding requirements city and county governments must meet in order to keep their libraries in compliance with state standards. The “Return on Investment” for each library was also highlighted as just one means of assessing the impact of public libraries on the communities they serve.

Photo Lineup - 2018 Library Legislative Breakfast


Benton County -- Left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Mary Lou Marks, Benton County Library Board; Alvin Smothers, Benton County Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.

Carroll County -- Back row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Jean Alexander, Director, McKenzie Memorial Library; Reggie Lawrence, Obion River Regional Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist. Front row left to right: Beverly Miller, McKenzie Memorial Library; Nikki Cunningham, Director, Carroll County Public Library; Mona Batchelor, Obion River Regional Library Board.

Dyer County -- Left to right: Robert Ell Hurt, Obion River Regional Library Board; Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Sylvia Palmer, Obion River Regional Library Board; Kathryn McBride, Director, McIver’s Grant Public Library; Lee Weakley, President, McIver’s Grant Public Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.
 
Gibson County -- Back row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Lindsey Ingram, Director, Gibson County Memorial Library; Dr. Beverly Youree, Obion River Regional Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist. Front row left to right: Kay Pounds, President, Gibson County Memorial Library Board; Missy Blakely, Director, Mildred G. Fields Memorial Library; Alderwoman Tammy Wade, Milan.

Henry County -- Left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Mayor Brent Greer, Paris; Connie McSwain, Director, W.G. Rhea Public Library; Susan Pemberton, Obion River Regional Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.

Lake County -- Left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Dr. Robert Shull, Obion River Regional Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Mayor Denny Johnson, Lake County; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.
 
Obion County -- Back row left to right: David Searcy, Obion County Public Library Board; Mayor Benny McGuire, Obion County; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.

Front row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Ellarine Moses, Obion River Regional Library Board; Carolina Conner, Assistant Director, Obion County Public Library; LeEllen Smith, Obion County Public Library Board; Michele Barnes, Director, Obion County Public Library; Mike Cox, Obion River Regional Library Board.

Weakley County -- Back row left to right: Deena Smith, Director, Sharon Public Library; Joyce Haworth, Sharon Public Library Board; Jerry Swaim, Dr. Nathan Porter Memorial Library Board; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist.

Middle row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library Board; Mary Ellen Harris, Sharon Public Library Board; Faye Kendall, Sharon Public Library Board; Lynn Alexander, C.E. Weldon Public Library Board; Mayor Cindy McAdams, Greenfield; The Honorable Tommy Moore, Obion River Regional Library Board; David McAlpin, Ned R. McWherter Weakley County Public Library Board; Jim Phelps, Gleason Public Library Board.

Front Row left to right: Nancy Hinds, Obion River Regional Library Board; Candy McAdams, Director, Ned R. McWherter Weakley County Public Library Board; Mike Rea, C.E. Weldon Public Library Board; Judy Paschall, Director, Gleason Public Library Board; Mayor Diane Poole, Gleason; Patsy Ezell, Gleason Public Library.
 
Library Directors -- Back row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library; Deena Smith, Sharon Public Library; Candy McAdams, Ned R. McWherter Weakley County Public Library; Lindsey Ingram, Gibson County Memorial Library; Senator Ed Jackson, District 27; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist; Michele Barnes, Obion County Public Library.

Front row left to right: Kathryn McBride, McIver’s Grant Public Library; Jean Alexander, McKenzie Memorial Library; Connie McSwain, W.G. Rhea Public Library; Missy Blakely, Mildred G. Fields Memorial Library; Nikki Cunningham, Carroll County Public Library.
 
Obion River Regional Board -- Back row left to right: Don Farmer, Chairman, Obion River Regional Library; Alvin Smothers, Benton County; Robert Ell Hurt, Dyer County; Reggie Lawrence, Carroll County; Dr. Beverly Youree, Gibson County; Senator Ed Jackson; Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian & Archivist; The Honorable Tommy Moore, Weakley County; Dr. Robert Shull, Lake County; Sylvia Palmer, Dyer County; Mike Cox, Obion County.

Front row: Nancy Hinds, Weakley County; Mona Batchelor, Carroll County; Mary Lou Marks, Benton County; Susan Pemberton, Henry County; Ellarine Moses, Obion County; Mary Carpenter, Director, Obion River Regional Library.


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