The Archive of Folk Culture holds approximately 2700 collections consisting of more than 150,000 sound recordings and 3 million items. At this time only a portion of them have catalog records and finding aids. Contact the Folklife Reading Room for additional information about collections.
The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied materials from Maryland that document the diversity of the state's folk traditions. Tennessee's Local Legacies projects, an exploration of local traditions and celebrations, is available from the Center's Web page.
America's Library is especially designed for elementary and middle school students.
Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. A list of Tennessee digitized newspapers is also available.
The Guide to Law Online, prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, is an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for Tennessee legal information.
Examine the interplay between national, state, local, and personal history. Students produce a digital collection of primary sources from their family or local community based on the Digital Collections.
Students explore the local history of the community in which they live through written and spoken stories; through landmarks such as buildings, parks, restaurants, or businesses; and through traditions such as food, festivals and other events of the community or of individual families.
Students create their town’s history for coming generations and place themselves on the map in a literal as well as figurative sense, by producing portions of an updated version of an early twentieth century panoramic map from the Digital Collections.
On May 5, 1925, high school science teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in one of Tennessee’s public schools. On May 4, the day before Scopes’s arrest, the Chatanooga Times ran an ad in which the American Civil Liberties UnionExternal offered to pay the legal fees of a Tennessee teacher willing to act as defendant in a case intended to test Tennessee’s new law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in its public schools.
Tennesseans voted in favor of secession by a large majority—102,172 to 47,238—on June 8, 1861. In the mountainous eastern part of the state, however, where few people owned slaves, voters opposed secession by a margin of more than two to one.
Mary Church Terrell—educator, political activist, and first president of the National Association of Colored Women—was born on September 23, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee. An 1884 graduate of Oberlin College, America’s first college to admit women and amongst the first to admit students of all races, Terrell was one of the first American women of African descent to graduate from college. She earned her master’s degree from Oberlin in 1888.
John Ross, long-time leader of the Cherokee Nation, was born on October 3, 1790, in Cherokee territory now part of Alabama. He grew up near Lookout Mountain on the Tennessee-Georgia border. Ross served as president of the Cherokee’s National Committee (their legislature) from 1819 to 1826, as delegate to the Cherokee constitutional convention in 1827, as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1828 to 1839, and finally as principal chief of the United Cherokee Nation from 1839 until his death in 1866. In these roles, he successfully led the Cherokee people through some of their most difficult circumstances.
On the afternoon of December 16, 1864, Union troops led by General George H. Thomas devastated Confederate forces at Nashville, Tennessee. The battle had begun the day before when Thomas initiated an attack after waiting some two weeks for troop reinforcements and favorable weather.
Andrew Johnson, the seventeenth president of the United States, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808. His father’s death when the boy was three left the family in poverty. From age fourteen to age seventeen, young Johnson was apprenticed to a tailor. He then moved with his mother and stepfather to Greeneville, Tennessee, where he established himself as a tailor. Johnson never attended school but taught himself to read and write—he all but memorized the U.S. Constitution—and after his 1827 marriage to Eliza McCardle, a shoemaker’s daughter, acquired a good common education under her tutelage.