Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Library and Archives Hosts Free How-to Workshop on Using Historical Newspapers for Research

Newspapers are some of the most valuable resources for piecing together history. On Jan. 26 the Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting a free workshop with tips and tricks to make your newspaper research more fruitful.

Attendees will watch Old News is Good News: Using Historical Newspapers for Your Research presented by Genealogist Taneya Koonce, MLS, MPH. Koonce is an avid genealogist with more than 18 years of professional experience in information organization and management. Koonce is also the State Coordinator of the TNGenWeb Project, is a Board Member of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, and is President-elect of the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.

“The Tennessee State Library and Archives has one of the largest collection of Tennessee newspapers in the country,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I’m glad this workshop will highlight the newspaper collections and records available to the public and teach how to use them most effectively. There is a vast amount of information waiting to be re-discovered.”

Koonce will navigate attendees through the benefits of using historical newspapers and highlight strategies to make the newspaper research process even more successful. Improve your skills, speed, and accuracy when searching newspaper collections and learn more about the print, microfilm, and digitized formats available through the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The workshop will be held 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Library and Archives auditorium. The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. N. Free parking is available around the Library and Archives building.

Although the presentation is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium. To reserve seats, please visit newspaperresearch.eventbrite.com.

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

Meet the Staff - Jessica Opalinski

Meet Jessica Opalinski. She is a Micrographics Technician with Preservation and Digitization.

How long have you worked here?

I started in June 2016 as a micrographics imaging processor. (It took me several months to memorize that job title!) In August of 2018 I moved into the micrographics technician position. What are some of the things you do as a Micrographics Technician?

Our section of the preservation department is focused primarily on managing the microfilm collection. We process raw film that the microfilmers shoot, make duplicate copies for orders, and store the original reels in the vault. We work with public services to ensure their microfilm collection is up-to-date and available to patrons.

Recently our department acquired two digital cameras for filming documents. We can keep the images as digital files or convert them to microfilm. My time has been split between the physical process of processing and quality checking microfilm, and transitioning projects onto the new cameras. It’s quite a change from the old microfilm cameras, but it gives us much more control over the quality of the final product.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy seeing the final results of the images I’ve taken. It’s so fascinating to watch the images suddenly appear as the film runs through the processor. I particularly like when we have to film unusual items. One time we had to film a car key as part of the governor’s papers!

Do you have a favorite collection?

I love the Grassmere Collection. As a huge fan of the Nashville Zoo, I was excited when this collection was first put together to explore the history of the five generations that lived at the Grassmere Farm and how the land eventually became the zoo as we know it today. The family’s connections and travels in Cuba were something I’d never heard of before and added an interesting layer to their history. It’s a great collection to look through if you love animal photos!

What makes libraries and archives relevant to modern society?

Before I started working here, I didn’t realize how much valuable information we record and store! From vital records such as birth certificates and marriage records to political documents and key information about Tennessee history, this building is a treasure trove of knowledge. It allows people to research their genealogy and discover parts of their family history they may have been unaware of. Often we don’t realize just how important a record is until someone needs it. And with so much data available, our staff is crucial for sorting through it and helping to make sense of it all.

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How to use TEL to improve Health and Wellness in 2019!

By Andrea Zielke

Making a resolution for the New Year? Want to start off 2019 with improved health and wellness? There are many resources on Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) that can help you find vetted, reliable health information. Even better, these resources are free for Tennesseans! Of course, no online database should take the place of expert advice from a qualified physician. These resources can help to prepare you to have informed conversations with your health care provider. There is no such thing as too much information when it comes to health and wellness!

Health and Wellness Resource Center

One of TEL’s most popular resources is the Health and Wellness Resource Center. The Health and Wellness Resource Center provides authoritative information on a full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative and complementary medical practices. Inside you’ll have access to full-text medical journals, magazines, reference works, multimedia, and much more! One of the best features of this database is that Gale publishes their information in plain, easy-to-understand language!

MedLine Plus

Another great, free resource that provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues is MedLine Plus. MedLine Plus is a free, public online source provided by the National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus offers health information in non-technical, understandable language. You can easily look up prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbs and supplements. Find out why your doctor orders various laboratory tests and what the results may mean. You can even watch surgical videos so you are fully prepared for any surgical procedures. You do not need to be a health professional to use MedlinePlus, although it is used by many health providers.

Health Reference Center Academic

If you are looking for the latest information published in peer reviewed journals, you may want to check out Health Reference Center Academic. This database provides up-to-date information on the complete range of health care topics for students, consumer health researchers, and health care professionals. Health Reference Center Academic includes full-text periodicals, reference books, pamphlets, and hundreds of videos demonstrating medical procedures and live surgeries to ensure that researchers get current, scholarly, comprehensive answers to health-related questions.

These are just a few of the databases on TEL, don’t forget to check out the other Health resources available at https://tntel.info/general-public/health.

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