New Library and Archives building to open April 13

A rendering of the Tennessee State Library and Archives Building (Image credit: Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office)

The new Tennessee State Library and Archives building is scheduled to open on April 13. Secretary of State Tre Hargett is organizing a parade for the transfer of Tennessee first three constitutions to the new facility on Monday.

The $124 million structure — which some critics have dubbed the Taj Ma-Hargett — has been under construction since 2017. It is located across from the new Tennessee State Museum on Bicentennial Mall.

The Archives are under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch of government, while the museum falls under the aegis of the executive branch.

Here’s the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Library and Archives, TSLA, is scheduled to open to the public on April 13, 2021, in its new location on the northeast corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Rep. John Lewis Way N. and Jefferson St.

“It is an exciting time for TSLA as we are only weeks away from opening the doors to this important resource for our great state,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “This state-of-the-art facility will ensure Tennessee’s history will be properly preserved and accessible for generations to come.”

After more than a year of preparation, TSLA staff started moving and installing collections and exhibits in the new building at the beginning of February.

“Countless hours of planning by our staff has gone into carefully and thoughtfully transporting our historical documents, manuscripts and collections,” said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist.

“Thanks to the dedication of our staff and the professionalism of our moving contractor, most of the 500,000 books and 40,000 boxes of archival material in our collection will be available for Tennesseans when we open our doors in April.”

The new 165,000 square foot facility includes a climate-controlled chamber for safely storing historic books and manuscripts with a space-saving robotic retrieval system. A new blast freezer will allow TSLA staff to help save materials damaged by water or insects following floods and other disasters. The new facility also has classrooms for student groups and meeting space for training librarians and archivists.

The larger and more technologically advanced building is a major upgrade from TSLA’s current 1950s era home. The new facility has the much needed space to properly house collections, improved climate controls and increased handicapped access. The extra space and efficiency will increase TSLA’s capacity by nearly 40 percent from 542,700 to 759,500 items.

The 110th General Assembly approved funding in 2017 and 2018 for the new facility. Although the project timeline was adjusted slightly after the March 2020 tornados, construction remained within the $123.8 million budget.

A ribbon cutting event will be held on April 12, with virtual viewing details forthcoming. The new building will open to the public with limited capacity due to COVID-19 safe precautions on April 13.

For the latest information about the new building opening, follow the TSLA’s social media channels: Facebook: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Instagram: @tnlibarchives along with the Secretary of State’s Twitter account: @SecTreHargett.

About the Tennessee State Library and Archives
The office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett oversees the operations of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. By law, it is required to preserve Tennessee’s legal and civic history by housing the archives of state government and collections of records from families, churches, businesses and organizations. TSLA is home to many notable historic documents including Tennessee’s Constitutions, letters from Tennessee’s three presidents, Civil War diaries, records of 55 past Governors of the State and original records and maps of the State of Franklin. The collections include copies of virtually every book published about Tennessee and Tennesseans. Original documents from court cases and legislation along with audio recordings of legislative proceedings since 1955 are preserved by TSLA. Copies of the records from every Tennessee courthouse and all surviving Tennessee newspapers can also be viewed in the library’s collections.

26 Responses to New Library and Archives building to open April 13

  • Avatar
    David Collins says:

    Wonder what’s going to happen to the old Library and Archives Building? Sold to some private developer perhaps, who just happens to be best friends (read-contributor) to one of the big-wigs on the hill?

    • Avatar
      Martha Craig Daughtrey says:

      The original plan was to have the appellate courts move next door from their current offices in the Supreme Court Building. The space there has been severely overcrowded for decades. But, it’s been a while since that expansion was proposed — I have no idea what the current plans might be.

    • Avatar
      Beatrice Shaw says:

      Maybe Mayor Cooper can get it from them to create a museum for Nashville. We need a good one to showcase the role played in civil rights movements by Tennesseans.

  • Avatar
    Not that Stuart guy says:

    I fully understand the need to preserve our history, including the documentation of our government in action. I also fully understand the need for this to be a secure facility, as well as one that highlights critical historical documents and such. And I fully understand the need for such a facility to physically manifest the importance of the documents within and represent the state in a positive way to the nation and world.

    However, considering the growth of digital (as opposed to physical paper) storage solutions, the need for such a large and expensive facility eludes me. $124m seems a tad high. I’d love to see that $124 million invested in the people of the state instead. One wonders what the legislature would have said/done if such an expensive facility would have been proposed by someone from the minority party.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Indeed NtSg, I wonder what those who complain about a $124 million structure “seem[ing] a tad high” feel about a $1.9 trillion “Covid Relief Bill” that only spends about 9% of that money on anything that can reasonably be considered “Covid Relief” and the fact that only about 10% of the money can even be spent in 2021? The rest is the usual assortment of Democratic boondoggles like bailing out bankrupt liberal run states, a very expensive bridge that Schumer really wants, a very expensive tunnel next to Madame Pelosi’s district etc. etc. and we here in Tennessee who live in a state well run by conservative government get to pay our share for it all.

      • Avatar
        Beatrice Shaw says:

        We MUST have Covid relief!! People are somewhat ignorant because they believe this country will run out of money. That is physically IMPOSSIBLE!! We control how much we spend and can make as much as we need…just a little balancing. It is old world, rich-man thinking and nothing but a control mechanism to keep people powerful by limiting money so much.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Need “Covid relief” Beatrice? Why don’t you get in touch with your friend the demented President Big Guy and tell him there is still $1.5 trillion unspent from the previous five covid relief packages that were passed by Congress. Or better yet, why don’t you simply say “My name is Beatrice and I’m a far left wing enthusiast so I’m simply giddy at the prospect of the government spending money unlimited amounts of money to bailout mismanaged states addicted to leftist government and anything else the Democrats running the government damn well pleases to do.”

          • Avatar
            Beatrice Shaw says:

            Are you Cryan? So mean spirited.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I know you leftists don’t like see or hear opinions that differ from your own. The price of your success in getting opinions that you don’t agree with “canceled” leads you to believe that such opinions are somehow “mean spirited” when they are allowed to appear. Actually, that’s not correct.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            B wants what Trump wanted…..a $2000 per person helicopter drop regardless of whether it is NEEDED or not. A couple who never lost their jobs, who were making $187K and had limitless assets were the stated recipients Trump (and B) wanted to air drop unnecessary checks to.

          • Avatar
            Eddie White says:

            Trump Derangement Syndrome

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      NTSG, we need to preserve the actual documents and books. Remember it is to the Victor goes the History and it will be easier to remove ‘incorrect’ history if it is all digital.

      • Avatar
        Perry Aubric says:

        I actually totally agree with James. Original documents should be preserved for history’s sake and for accuracy’s sake. This is a worthy project and a responsible use of pubic funds.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Stop the Squeal!

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Remove Nashville Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle from her court. Impeach if needed.

    • Avatar
      Perry Aubric says:

      And that’s the end of my agreement with James. Removing judges because you don’t like a ruling is a dangerous path. Certainly not what the founding fathers had in mind, and not a responsible way to handle the judiciary. It would just make judges subject to the political whims of the majority party.

      • Avatar
        James White says:

        The Legislative branch writes the voter laws, not the Judicial and not the Executive.

        • Avatar
          Perry Aubric says:

          And courts interpret them. Not conspiracy theorists and crackpots like James.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            When the judges do not follow the constitution then they should be removed. That is one reason that the legislature has the authority and responsibility to to discipline the court.
            Judges are NOT the last authority on the constitution, the people are (through the legislature).

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            And if you would ever read a history book you would see that conspiracies are common all through out history.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            Perry, I just finished a book called “Seeds of Treason” about Chambers and Hiss. Tell, me, was Alger Hiss and what he did a ‘conspiracy theory’?

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    Having spent a lot of time in the old archive building, I am glad to see this. Money well spent!

  • Avatar
    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Tre Hargett deserves all the accolades he has earned. A true Tennessee Statesman

  • Avatar
    Donna Locke says:

    I recommend copying all the records and hiding the copies, because all of American history is going to be revised or otherwise destroyed.

  • Pingback: Monday, March 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *