Tenn. State Library and Archives releases 3 black history collections

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives has posted new and improved versions of three important black history collections.

The collections are:

  • The Beautiful Jim Key collection, which documents the career of Dr. William Key, a former slave from BedfordCounty who worked as a veterinarian and horse trainer. Key used unorthodox training methods that helped one of his horses, named Beautiful Jim Key, learn skills associated with reading, writing, spelling, telling time and doing simple arithmetic. Dr. William Key’s work contributed to a national movement to treat animals more humanely.
The Gang, 1928
The Gang, 1928, from the Fisk University Scrapbook
  • The Fisk University Scrapbook: School Memories, William Henry Fort, Jr. (1911-1974), which provides details about life at the Nashville university during the 1920s, less than a decade before Fisk became the first black institution to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The scrapbook includes photos of various campus buildings, students, faculty and visitors. These include photos of famed writer and activist Langston Hughes and Thomas E. Jones, who served as Fisk’s fifth president.
  • Reconstruction and the African American Legacy in Tennessee, which describes life for black people in Tennessee after the Civil War.

“The State Library and Archives is full of terrific resources for people who are doing research for Black History Month,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “In addition to these re-released collections, we have many more that are free and available to Tennesseans during the library’s regular business hours or online, day or night.”

To learn more about significant black history collections at the State Library and Archives, go to http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/bibliographies/aa3.htm.

The State Library and Archives is at 403 7th Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. The library is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.