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Journeys of Discovery: Robots rule at Tennessee’s new State Library & Archives

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the Tennessee State Library & Archives in Nashville, Tennessee with State Librarian and Archivist Charles Sherrill. The new 165,000 square-foot, 3-story facility is a game changer for anyone seeking information about any nuance of Tennessee’s history via robotic access to historical documents.

The multi-story robotic retrieval system archives are so extensive that if all the historical documents were set on one linear bookshelf—it would be 26-miles long.

The Library and Archives' extensive and wide-ranging collections of books and original historical documents include state and county records, censuses and genealogical information, military records, penitentiary records, newspapers, city directories and telephone books, bibliographies, ledgers, manuscripts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, broadsides, prints, postcards, oral histories, films, sheet music and general reference materials.

The Library and Archives is home to several notable historical documents, including Tennessee's Constitutions, letters from Tennessee's three presidents, Civil War diaries, maps and original records of the State of Franklin.

The collections include copies of virtually every book published about Tennessee and Tennesseans. The Library and Archives preserve original documents from court cases and legislation, along with audio recordings of legislative proceedings since 1955.

Records from every Tennessee courthouse and all surviving Tennessee newspapers can also be viewed in the library's collections. For the latest information from the Library and Archives, follow their social media channels:

Facebook: Tennessee State Library and Archives

Instagram: @tnlibarchives

Secretary of State's Twitter account: @SecTreHargett.

Guests can visit the Library and Archives Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT by appointment. Email ask@tsla.libanswers.com to schedule a research appointment. Visitors are required to wear a mask.

Underwriting support for Journeys of Discovery provided by Nashville's Big Back Yard economic initiative focused on rural communities in the southwest quarter of Tennessee and the Shoals Region of Northern Alabama.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryiHeartRadioApple Podcast.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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