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Tennessee

The great state of Tennessee has more lists of online archives than it has double-letters in its name. Might as well get right to it.

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The Tennessee State Library and Archives list of its key Digital Collections is actually a list of other lists, some of which I'll detail here:

Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) -- a very nice collection marred by a clumsy interface and a deliberate effort, all too common at some archives, to impose user-unfriendly limits on image access.  
  • Alvin C. York aka Sgt. York
  • Andrew Johnson Collection
  • Arts, Crafts & Folklife Photos
  • Bernhardt Wall Etchings
  • Chistopher D. Ammons
  • Civil War Maps
  • Civil War Military Records
  • Civil War Soldier Photographs
  • Civil War Visual Culture
  • Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Civilian Life in the Civil War
  • Dr. Harry Mustard Photo Album
  • Early 20th Century Schoolhouses
  • Fisk University Scrapbook
  • Hardy A. Mitchener, Jr. Journal
  • Historical Maps of Tennessee
  • Looking Back - The Civil War in Tennessee
  • Miers River Photo Collection
  • Nineteenth Century Agricultural Resources
  • Nineteenth Century Native American Prints
  • Quilts
  • Reconstruction and the African-American Legacy in Tennessee
  • Rose Music Collection
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Tennessee's Founding and Landmark Documents
  • Tennessee's School for the Deaf
  • Tennessee Centennial Exposition
  • Tennessee in World War I
  • Tennessee Postcard Collection
  • Tennessee School for the Deaf
  • Tennessee State Guard
  • The Beautiful Jim Key Collection
  • The Scopes 'Monkey' Trial
  • Throwaway History - The Broadside in American Culture
  • War and Reunion - The Lost Cause in Southern Memory
  • William Strickland Sketchbook, 1838

Nashville City Directories -- Complete directories, beginning in 1853

Tennessee's Landmark Documents -- Significant documents in the formation and early history of the state

Photograph Database -- An index to offline content 

Tennessee Government Web Archive -- Archived state government webpages. 


There are a number of excellent Civil War Resources:
Historical Newspapers (19th Century) has the unusual feature of being accessible only to residents of Tennessee (or at least, those who provide a TN zip code and phone number...hint, hint)

The list of Research and Collections at the archives is too long to go into full detail here, but here are the main headings:
  • African American Records
  • Bibliographies
  • Birth and Death Records
  • Census Records
  • County Records
  • Early Legislative Records, Acts & Petitions
  • Governor's Papers
  • Manuscripts
  • Military Records
  • Native American Records
  • Newspapers
  • Place Names and Maps
  • State Records
  • Supreme Court
  • Tennessee Postcards
  • Additional Resources
and here's the breakdown of the individual collections (told you there are a lot of lists!)
  • Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names
  • African American Collections of Note TSLA
  • Alphabetical  Listings
  • Bibliography  of Tennessee Local History Sources
  • Bibliography of  Tennessee Bibliographies
  • Burial Records of Federal Soldiers by W.R. Cornelius and Company
  • City Directories at  the Tennessee State Library & Archives
  • Civil War
  • Core List of  Tennessee Books
  • Courts Where Tennessee  Court Cases Were Tried
  • Davidson County  Death Records 1900-1913
  • Death Notices in Nashville Newspapers  1855-1907
  • Earliest County  Records
  • Early County Records  Available on Interlibrary Loan
  • Early Legislative Records
  • Early Tennessee Tax  Lists at TSLA 
  • Finding Birth and Death  Records in Tennessee
  • Funeral Home Records  at TSLA:  Books and Manuscripts
  • Genealogical  "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties 
  • Guide to African American Genealogy-Related Documents Prior to 1865 in the Collections of TSLA
  • Guide to Church Records at TSLA:  Manuscripts & Books
  • Guide to Manuscript Materials in the Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Guide to Manuscript Materials on Microfilm 
  • Guide to Maps in  the Tennessee State Library & Archives
  • Historical Maps of  Tennessee
  • History of Tennessee (from 
  • Index to  Letters of the Tennessee Governors
  • Index to Biographical  Sketches in The History of Tennessee by Goodspeed
  • Index to Brief Biographical Sketches of 30,000 Tennesseans
  • Index to Tennessee  Death Records 1908-1912
  • Indexes to Selected  Record Groups 
  • Inmates of the  Tennessee State Penitentiary, 1831-1850
  • Inmates of the  Tennessee State Penitentiary, 1851-1870
  • Inventories of  County Records on Microfilm
  • Korean War
  • List of  Governors' Papers
  • Listings by  Department/Agency
  • Lost Records: Courthouse  Fires and Disasters in Tennessee
  • Making the Best  Use of Tennessee Census Index Books, 1820-1840
  • Making the Best  Use of Tennessee Census Index Books, 1850-1880
  • Members of the Tennessee General Assembly 1794-2010
  • Microfilmed Military Sources
  • Nashville Obituaries  & Death Notices for 1913
  • Native American  Research (Cherokee) at the Tennessee State Library & Archives
  • Newspapers on  Microfilm at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Past Governors of Tennessee  (from 
  • Scanned Copies of Nashville City Directories
  • School Census Records  at TSLA
  • Search Supreme Court Cases
  • Selected Bibliography of African American Genealogical 
  • Selected Bibliography of African American Genealogical Resources in TSLA
  • Spanish American War
  • Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records (1914 - 1933)
  • Statewide Tennessee Census  Records  at TSLA
  • Telephone Books at the  Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Tennessee's Constitutional Officers
  • Tennessee  Archives Directory
  • Tennessee  Newspaper Obituary Indexes in Public Libraries
  • Tennessee Authors of Adult Fiction, Poetry and Drama 1970s - Present
  • Tennessee Blue Book
  • Tennessee Census Availability at TSLA and Online
  • Tennessee Constitution
  • Tennessee County  Historians
  • Tennessee Legislative Petitions  1799 - 1850
  • Tennessee newspapers in the Chronicling America digital collection 
  • Tennessee Place  Names and Post Offices
  • Tennessee Postcard Collection 
  • Tennessee Symbols and Honors  (from 
  • This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee
  • TSLA Resource Guide 09. African American Genealogial Resources @ TSLA
  • Using Tennessee  Census Records 1880-1940
  • Vietnam War
  • War of 1812
  • World War I
There's a lot of material in those collections for family history researchers, such as the Davidson County Death Records 1900-1913 and the Index to Tennessee Death Records 1908-1912.


Over on the Exhibits page, you'll find brief, informative write-ups and some interesting archived materials on a variety of topics (another list coming...):
  • The Saloon and Anarchy: Prohibition in Tennessee 
  • Tennessee Outdoors: Parks, Conservation, and Wildlife 
  • The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans 
  • Tennessee Disasters
  • Tennessee Myths and Legends
  • Abraham Lincoln: Beyond the Penny
  • Family Business: How You Find It & How You Keep It
  • “Remember the Ladies!”: Women Struggle for an Equal Voice
  • Stirring Up the Past: Revolutions in Tennessee Cooking 
  • Got Mules? A Celebration of Mules in Tennessee History
  • A Monkey on Tennessee’s Back: The Scopes Trial in Dayton
  • The Happiest Days of My Life: Searching for Utopia in Tennessee
  • This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee
  • Kenneth Rose Music Collection
  • John T. Majors: A Tennessee Football Legend As Player and Coach
  • Wish You Were Here: Retreat to Tennessee’s Historic Resorts
  • History of Jews in Tennessee
  • Grey-Eyed Man of Destiny The Great Filibuster: William Walker

The Photograph and Image Search tool almost makes up for some of the other user-unfriendly content at the archives. This is an easy to use image search that offers up good quality images in the results. 

Lastly, the East Tennessee State University -- Archives of Appalachia is an extensive list of links to other TN archives with mostly offline content.


More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

 Historical Newspaper Archives          Ancestry.com       

 Genealogy Tools                                US Historical Newspapers        


Court Record Searches                        Public Records Searches