The Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting an open house on Tuesday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT in their new building on Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Rep. John Lewis Way N. and Jefferson St. in Nashville. Library and Archives staff will be available to explain the building’s new features and work done in each area as visitors take self-guided tours.
"We are excited to welcome visitors from across our state starting next week. Our new state-of-the-art facility will allow more Tennesseans to access and interact with the historical resources in the Library and Archives' collections and will better equip us to preserve these items for future generations," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.
The Library and Archives, a division of the Department of State, collects and preserves a wide range of original historical documents, focusing on items related to Tennessee. It is also the state's premier historical research facility and supports Tennessee's local libraries and archives.
"The previous Library and Archives building was the oldest in the country that had not been significantly expanded or renovated," said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist. "Our staff is excited to show off this beautiful new building and the additional space and technological advancements that will help us better serve our guests."
The new facility has much-needed space to properly house the Library and Archives' extensive collections, improved climate controls and increased handicapped access. The larger 165,000 square foot building and the latest technologies to improve efficiency will increase capacity by nearly 40 percent from 542,700 to 759,500 items. The new building also has classroom, meeting and research space for students, historians, librarians, archivists, genealogists, lawyers and groups of up to 300.
The new Library and Archives building is fully ADA compliant and has many accessibility improvements for Tennesseans with disabilities. As the home of Tennessee's Library for Accessible Books and Media and Early Literary Resource Center, the Library and Archives is a resource for adults and children with disabilities. The Library and Archives offers more than 240,000 book and magazine titles found in a traditional public library in audio, braille, or large print format through these programs.
The Library and Archives is hosting a virtual ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony at 1 p.m. CDT on April 12. Watch the livestream on the Secretary of State's Facebook page: bit.ly/TNSOSFacebook or YouTube Channel.