Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Library & Archives Exhibit Offers Historical View of Children’s Lives

Here’s the thing about being a kid: We’ve all been there. Yet what it’s like to be a child has changed a lot throughout history. Now a new exhibit at the Tennessee State Library & Archives chronicles some of those changes.

The exhibit, called “Growing Up Tennessee,” traces the evolution of children’s lives through the 19th and 20th centuries. At one time, children were viewed as “mini-adults” expected to go to work on the farm or in mines or factories to support their families. In the 20th century, however, new laws freed them from lives of hard labor and eventually required that they receive an education.

The exhibit touches on how family life in Tennessee has changed, with children now being brought up with games, toys and family vacations.

William Harding Jackson, Jr. in a child-size carriage with miniature horse figures, in front of Belle Meade Mansion.
Library Collection Photo

“As Tennesseans, we love our children,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “This exhibit documents how much children’s lives have improved over the last two centuries. I encourage Tennesseans to come experience this exhibit for themselves.”

The exhibit, located in the lobby of the Library & Archives building, is free and open to the public. The Library & Archives building is at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville.

The Library & Archives is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with the exception of state holidays. A limited amount of free parking is available around the building.

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

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