Historical photographs exhibited at the state library | Lifestyles

The exhibit Tennesseans Through the Lens: Portrait Photography in Tennessee is open now through the end of the year at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Guests can view this new exhibit and the permanent interactive exhibits in the lobby of the Library and Archives Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CT. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that saying is evident with our new portrait photography exhibit at the Library & Archives,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I encourage you to come see this exhibit that tells the stories of Tennesseans through the years.”

The new exhibition highlights images from the Library and Archives’ collection of over one million historic photographs. Visitors can explore how Tennesseans have used portraits to share photos of themselves, friends, family members, and even celebrities. Through the exhibit, one can trace the changing technologies that Tennesseans have used to document significant moments in their lives.

“We are excited to welcome guests to share some of the most interesting and beautiful photographs from our extensive collections,” said Jamie Ritter, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist. “Through this exhibition, you will see the evolution of portrait photography from paintings to pocket photographs.”

To preserve Tennessee history for current and future generations, the Tennessee State Library and Archives—a division of the Department of State—collects and protects books, records, and other documents of historical and reference value, focusing on articles about Tennessee and Tennesseans.

The library and archives are home to many irreplaceable historical documents, including the three Tennessee constitutions, letters from three Tennessee presidents, records from 55 former Tennessee governors, a comprehensive collection of Tennessee newspapers dating back to 1791, and original records of Franklin State.

The library and archives are located at 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N. at the northeast corner of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, across from the Tennessee State Museum. Parking is available for guests in the Library & Archives parking garage on Jackson Street/Junior Gilliam Way.

For more information about the Library and Archives or to schedule a research appointment, call 615-741-2764, email [email protected] or the visit sos.tn.gov/tsla/plan-your-visit.

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