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.


Looking For Robert Springer, Former Chattanooga Printer

I am looking to locate my grandfather who once worked for the Chattanooga News or the Chattanooga Times as a printer before WWII and after returning from the war.   His father was Charles Clinton Springer. His first wife was Barbara Nolan, both of Hamilton County. I am trying to locate family members from both sides.   Robert Springer later moved to Florida ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers UFOs

Yes, I've seen at least three or four UFO's, but they were totally un-dramatic and low-key. I was alive and in my early teens when, in 1947, the big (and now famed) “Roswell incident” occurred in New Mexico. Some kind of alien spacecraft had crashed there, and bodies had been removed; the U.S. Air Force knew all about it and refused to release details. Already an amateur astronomer ... (click for more)

Family At Bedside Of Legendary Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt

The family of legendary Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt was at her bedside on Sunday. Erin Freeman, of the Pat Summitt Foundation, released this statement: “On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Will George Go?

George Will, easily one of the most respected conservative columnists in America and a Republican commentator, was a guest on Fox News Sunday yesterday when he made a very revealing statement. He announced he has left the Republican Party “for the same reason I joined it” and that he is not only disappointed by the party’s actions but its increasingly-inept leadership as well. ... (click for more)