Tennessee Stuff (Tenn-Share 4) (39)

July 14, 2008

Tennessee At Your Fingertips!

Nashville – Music City USA – home to the Grand Ole Opry and countless musicians in and out of Country – but how many Nashvillians go out to see live music? How many Chattanoogans really See Rock City? How many Memphians waddle around with the Peabody ducks or hold vigil at Graceland? Tennessee has such a rich history, but do we ever get to explore it enough?

In this week’s Tenn-Share Learn and Discover exercises, you will explore Tennessee resources, historic and current, that are only as far away as the click of a mouse.

News to You: Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) and Google News

If you’re trying to gauge Tennesseans’ reactions to newsworthy library issues and events, you  have several easy-to-use tools at your disposal.

TEL: Tennessee Electronic Library is a collection of databases available to all Tennesseans. It includes thousands of magazines and newspapers, test prep resources, and more.

Through TEL, you have access to the Tennessee Newspaper collection, which includes the current and archived editions of the state’s four largest newspapers; some back to 1990!

Google News offers access to a wider variety of up-to-the-minute sources. TEL might not show you the latest info on today’s biggest news story – it’s too new. But, a Google News search will. Google News also provides a simple way to limit your searches to Tennessee news sources. Include “location:tn” in your Google News search and you can get up-to-the-minute local news too. For example, “location:tn library” will bring back breaking newspaper, television, and wire news on libraries in Tennessee. You can even set up a News Alert to update you when new stories about Tennessee show up online. Remember those RSS feeds?

Have some questions? We’ve got answers:

How is the TN Newspaper collection different from Google News?

The TEL newspaper collection includes obituaries and editorial content which is often missing from other news searches like Google/Yahoo! News. So, TEL can help you discover the Tennessee perspective on national issues, like the Iraq War or the gas crisis. Remember that Tennessee newspapers in TEL can go back to 1990, so you’ll also find information on older topics that would be buried in Google News.

Why is TEL’s Tennessee Newspaper Collection better than the papers’ own websites?

Archived copies are FREE to view. Newspaper sites charge for back issue articles.

Wait! What if I am at home and want to check it out all of this cool content?

All TEL resources are accessible from your home! You will need a password. If  you don’t already know the password, call your local library.

Tennessee History & Primary Sources

Whether you are a history buff, a student with a history project, or a genealogist, the explosion of historic information on the internet through libraries, museums, and enthusiasts is bound to amaze – and maybe even overwhelm – you. If you freeze like a deer in headlights whenever a student asks you for a primary source, these resources will help!

Volunteer Voices is a grassroots effort to build a digital collection of Tennessee history from each and every one of our counties. Libraries, museums, historical societies, and individuals are working to create this online collection of primary source material.*

In Volunteer Voices, you’ll find resources that significantly relate to the K-12 Tennessee social studies curriculum and other related subjects. You’ll also find links to digital collections across the state. The photographs, letters, and other documents are being used by teachers to develop lesson plans and by students to incorporate primary sources in their research. But it has equal value for the curious who want to have a look at Colonel Tennessee, “the rustic older gentleman often used to represent Tennessee.” Really. He’s in there.

Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) is an online collection of historical records, photographs, landmark documents, maps, and postcards from the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ collections. These well-cataloged collections are complemented by TSLA’s online exhibits and massive photo database.

Tennesseans have a unique opportunity to share their personal histories through the Nashville Public Library’s StoryCorps installation. Make an appointment to interview your loved one – and have that interview archived at the Library of Congress and perhaps broadcast on NPR.

Whew! Lot’s of stuff!

Tennessee Stuff Activity:
Three excellent sources means a three-part activity. It may seem like a lot, but these are great sources. Have fun!
1. Tennessee Electronic Library: Find an article.

Local agriculture is a hot topic in the national news this year. Use TEL’s Tennessee Newspapers to find an article discussing local agriculture (Farmer’s Markets, CSA’s, “Buy Local” campaigns) in your area.

2. Volunteer Voices: Find a primary source.

Browse the collection and find primary sources that illustrate how Tennesseans participated in the Civil Rights Movement.

3. TeVA: Find the photo.

Dr. Mustard, in the school house, with the toothbrush. Seriously, find the photo!

Do you have any questions?
Get help in the Tennessee Stuff Forum.

*Participate in Volunteer Voices: If your library has an image, document, recording, or whole collection you know should be digitized, but you don’t know where to start, contact the Volunteer Voices director Tiffani Conner and let her help you share the stories your collections tell.

Contributed by Sue (TEL Girl), Tricia, and James Staub

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2 Responses to “Tennessee Stuff (Tenn-Share 4) (39)”

  1. angia jones Says:

    I didn’t find the Tennessee Electronic Library :find an article (local agriculture), Volunteer Voices: find a primary source (Civil Rights Movement ,Tennesseans), and TeVA: find a photo (Dr. Mustard, in the schoolhouse, with a toothbrush) resources to be too helpful. The information appeared to be minimum and required a lot of searching. Maybe I need to take another glance at them (all of the three sources).


  2. Hello, I just thought i’d drop you a line and inform you that your page layout is really messed up on the Firefox browser. Seems to work OK on IE though. Anyhow keep up the great work.


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