Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Tennessee State Library & Archives Explores the Legacy of Tennessee’s State Parks with a Lunchtime Speaker Series

Tennessee State Library & Archives is excited to announce a new lunchtime speaker series as part of The Legacy of Tennessee State Parks exhibit, exploring the history behind one of the best park systems in the country. 

“Our state parks have a rich history of conservation and recreation in communities across the state,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I encourage anyone interested in Tennessee history and preservation of our parks system to join us for these free speaker series events.” 

The first Lunchtime Speaker Series event, Early Conservation Efforts in Tennessee led by Tennessee State Parks Cultural Resource Manager Hobart Akin, will take place Thursday, March 16, from Noon to 1 p.m. 

The other remaining speaker series events will take place on March 24, April 1 and April 14. Topics for these events include recreating the 1859 Port Royal General Store through records found at the Library & Archives, Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project and archaeology in Tennessee State Parks. 

A noted expert will lead each Lunchtime Speaker Series talk, including Akin, Doctoral Candidate in Residence Amanda McCrary Smith, Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park Manager Bob Fulcher and Archaeologist Aaron Dieter-Wolf. 

"We look forward to welcoming previous and new guests to the Library & Archives for this speaker series,” said Jamie Ritter, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist. “The lineup is full of interesting topics and extremely knowledgeable speakers.” 

This Lunchtime Speaker Series events will be in-person and live-streamed on the Library & Archives' Facebook page. In-person attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch. This series is free to the public. Seating is limited. To make a reservation to attend the Early Conservation Efforts in Tennessee talk on March 16, visit 

After each presentation, in-person attendees are invited to view the Library & Archives’ Legacy of Tennessee State Parks exhibit, which is open now until May 13, in the Lobby. 

The Library & Archives is located at 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North on Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Parking is available for guests in the Library & Archives garage on Jackson Street/Junior Gilliam Way. 

To attend The Legacy of Tennessee State Parks Lunchtime Speaker Series, reserve your spot for the March 16 talk at

To learn more about the Library & Archives or schedule a research visit, call 615-741-2764, email or visit

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