Make Your Ancestor Part of the New Tennessee State Museum

Monday, March 13, 2017
Example of photographs sought by Tennessee State Library
Example of photographs sought by Tennessee State Library

The Tennessee State Museum is seeking family photographs of Tennesseans who fought during the Civil War. The images could become part of an exhibit in the new museum, currently under construction on the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Nashville. 

Both the State Museum and State Library and Archives currently have Civil War soldier photographs in their collections, but the museum’s curators would like to encourage  Tennesseans who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War to share any photographs they might have.

“Our goal is to feature the faces of Tennesseans who went to war — both Union and Confederate soldiers,” Richard White, museum curator, said.  “While we have photos as part of our collection, as we build the new museum and plan for the Civil War exhibit, we thought this was an opportune time to ask for submissions of photos that we may not have seen over the years.”

Submitted photographs do not need to show soldiers in uniform, but they do need to show them around the time of the war or right after the war (1861-1867). 

The images will be showcased in the new Civil War exhibit with the soldier’s name and county listed.  The museum hopes to include many of the photographs, but cannot promise to use all photographs it receives. 

The museum asks that only copies of photos are submitted, not originals. Entries may be submitted digitally or through the mail and should include the soldier’s name, the Tennessee county where he was from, and the unit with which he served (if known.) Please include contact information, email or phone number, in the event that the museum staff has questions. Documents will not be returned.  

Copies should be mailed  (no originals) to: 
Civil War Soldier Photographs
Tennessee State Museum 
505 Deaderick Street 
Nashville, TN 37243-1120 

To submit an ancestor’s photograph digitally, send the image to CWFaces@tnmuseum.org.
The digital image must be high resolution, at least 300 dpi.  

“If you don’t have a scanner at home, we recommend that you visit a nearby photo center and have the image scanned or copied there.” White added.

All entries, whether by mail or digital submission, must be received by April 25, 2017. For questions, email CWfaces@TNmuseum.org or call 615.253.0108.

 

About the Tennessee State Museum:

The Tennessee State Museum was established by law in 1937 “to bring together the various collections of articles, specimens, and relics now owned by the State under one divisional head,” and “to provide for a transfer of exhibits wherever they may be”    

Today, the Tennessee State Museum is housed in the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville, where it has been for nearly 35 years.   

Gov. Bill Haslam proposed and the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million in the FY-2015-16 budget to build a new home for the Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial

Mall to maximize the state’s rich history by creating a state-of-the-art educational asset and tourist attraction for the state.  The governor also announced that $40 million would be raised in private funds for the project. 

A 140,000 square foot facility is being built on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street to tell Tennessee’s story in a way that the museum is unable to do in its current and outdated location by showcasing one-of-a-kind artifacts, art and historical documents in an interactive and engaging way.  

Additional information on the Tennessee State Museum can be found at tnmuseum.org  and the new museum can be found at tnmuseum2018.org.


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