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Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
The Friends of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) share a belief that the history of our state is worth preserving and that access to information is essential for thriving community.

We support the efforts of TSLA to fulfill its many missions and services for the benefit of all citizens of our great state.

Tennessee State Library and Archives Breaks Ground on New Building

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, along with Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill, officially broke ground on the new home of the Tennessee State Library and Archives Monday.

The new 165,000 square foot facility will include a climate-controlled chamber for safely storing historic books and manuscripts as well as a state-of-the-art robotic retrieval system. There will also be classrooms for teaching students and meeting space for training librarians and archivists.

“Tennessee has a strong and rich history and it is important to preserve our past to pass on to future generations,” Gov. Haslam said. “We have significantly outgrown the space that currently houses Tennessee’s most significant and historic documents and vital records, so I thank the General Assembly for working with us to make this much-needed new Library and Archives facility a reality.”

The site is on Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Sixth Avenue N and Jefferson Street. The facility will be a major upgrade in capacity, preservation and public access from the current 1950s era building which sits directly west of the State Capitol.

The $123.8 million project, which started in 2005, received substantial funding this year after being included in the governor’s budget and approved by the General Assembly. To date, roughly half of the project is funded and the remainder will be recommended in the upcoming budget.

“The new building ensures Tennessee’s history will be preserved for generations while making it more accessible. This world-class facility will blend the necessity of historic preservation with the ever-increasing demand for digital access. I applaud Gov. Haslam and the entire General Assembly for making this a reality so we can better serve Tennesseans,” Secretary Hargett said.

The new building will also feature a conservation lab for the treatment and restoration of books, photographs and documents. There will also be dedicated exhibit spaces for Tennessee’s founding documents and rotating exhibits, as well as a grand reading room with seating for 100 readers and scholars.

Other features include a vault for storing photographic negatives, an early literacy center designed specifically for children with a visual disability and a recording lab to produce oral histories and audio books on Tennessee history.

The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.

Intern or Volunteer at TSLA

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Whether you characterize TSLA as an unsung hero for rescuing communities across the state with through the public libraries and archives it supports and administers or describe TSLA as a treasure trove for historians, genealogists and researchers, TSLA’s resources and staff make a difference every day in the lives of Tennesseans.
Here are just a few of the ways:

Tennessee’s largest history and genealogy collection including important state documents and historical records, a wealth of genealogical resources that has been featured on national television (thank you “Do You Know Who You Are?”) and the Tennessee Electronic Virtual Archive TeVA) that gives students, enthusiasts and scholars immediate access to many of the gems of the collection. The photographs in this brochure are just a sampling of what can be found at TeVA.

TEL (Tennessee Electronic Library) is free to all Tennesseans includes is a collection of 40+ databases that provide access to over 400,000 magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, essays, podcasts, videos, e-books, primary source materials, and more

The Tennessee Regional Library System including more than 200 public libraries in 12 regions. In addition to providing administration and collection support, TSLA also provides training for library staff, resources for the successful summer reading programs.

The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides a free library program of Braille, recorded and large print materials is available to Tennessee residents who are not able to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability

• And much more! See
http://www.tngov/tsla for further information. 

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