Written by Aja Bain, Graduate Assistant
Last Friday, the staff of the Albert Gore Research Center took a field trip to the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville. This institution is the site of several historical organizations, including the Museum of East Tennessee History, the Knox County Archives, the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, and the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS).
Officially we were there to pick up tapes that TAMIS had digitized for us. This organization seeks to preserve the moving image and audio heritage of the region by caring for everything from vintage local TV broadcasts to albums by regional bands (Hard Knox!). We toured their archives and lab and were amazed at what survives today from past East Tennessee pop culture!
We also took the opportunity to tour each department and learn about how regional history is preserved here. The Museum presents over three hundred years of East Tennessee history, from settlement to the Civil War to industrialization and beyond. One of our favorite artifacts was an original Knoxville streetcar!
The Knox County Archives preserves the permanent records of the county from 1792 onward. This includes court records, legal deeds, marriage and divorce records, and more. We got a tour from archivist Eric Head, who showed us some of the most interesting items, including original 1790s records!
All in all, we had a wonderful experience visiting Knoxville and exploring the East Tennessee History Center’s resources. This city is definitely worth a visit for those who want to learn more about Tennessee history and this unique area! As the AGRC’s only resident East Tennessean, I especially enjoyed sharing some of my heritage with staff from other regions and states.
That’s all for this edition of the blog, but as we say in East Tennessee:
“Y’all come back now!”