Tennessee State Library and Archives Celebrates Black History Month

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives has posted new and improved versions of three important black history collections.

The collections are: The Beautiful Jim Key collection; Fisk University Scrapbook: School Memories, William Henry Fort, Jr. (1911-1974); and Reconstruction and the African American Legacy in Tennessee.

The Beautiful Jim Key collection (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/JimK/index.htm) documents the career of Dr. William Key, a former slave from Bedford County who worked as a veterinarian and horse trainer. Key used unorthodox training methods that helped one of his horses named Beautiful Jim Key learn an amazing assortment of tricks. Beautiful Jim Key demonstrated skills associated with reading, writing, spelling, telling time and doing simple arithmetic.

Dr. William Key's work contributed to a national movement to treat animals more humanely.

The Fisk University Scrapbook (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/FiskScrapbook/index.htm) provides details about life at the Nashville university during the 1920s, less than a decade before Fisk became the first black institution to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The scrapbook includes photos of various campus buildings, students, faculty and visitors. These include photos of famed writer and activist Langston Hughes and Thomas E. Jones, who served as Fisk's fifth president.

The Reconstruction collection (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/Reconstruction/index.htm) describes life for black people in Tennessee following the Civil War.

"The State Library and Archives is full of terrific resources for people who are doing research for Black History Month," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "In addition to these re-released collections, we have many more that are free and available to Tennesseans during the library's regular business hours or online, day or night."

To learn more about significant black history collections at the State Library and Archives, please visit http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/bibliographies/aa3.htm.

The State Library and Archives is located at 403 7th Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. The library is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Parking is available in front of, beside and behind the building.


Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage Program is Monday, August 25

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History Department of the Public Library invites all to a talk by Dr. Clark White on "Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage."  The program will be on Monday, August 25th at 6pm at the downtown Chattanooga Public Library. See the accompanying flyer for more information. CAHA events are free and open to the ... (click for more)

Tunnel Hill Foundation Seeks Volunteers to Help During Re-enactment

The Yankees and the Rebels could use a few more good volunteers. No, they don’t need any more soldiers. But they could definitely use a few more hands to help during the 21 st annual Battle of Tunnel Hill Civil War Re-enactment coming up next month. Tunnel Hill Historical Foundation President Boyd Whitfield says  the foundation would appreciate having more community ... (click for more)

Greg Beck Asking County Commission Chairmanship; Others Seeking Post Behind The Scenes

Long time County Commissioner Greg Beck is seeking the chairmanship of the Hamilton County Commission, he said. Several other commissioners are working behind the scenes to try to get the top commission post. The job opened up after the unexpected defeat of Commission Chairman Fred Skillern in the August primary election. Larry Henry, who has held the chairmanship several ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 4 Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash At Soddy Daisy

One person has died in a wreck Sunday at Soddy Daisy in which four other people were injured. The wreck happened at 12:35 p.m. when a vehicle traveling north struck another vehicle that was pulling onto the highway. A small red truck was badly damaged in the crash. It happened at 12130 Dayton Pike near Tavern Sports Bar and Grille. One person was airlifted, while the ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)