Tennessee Newspaper Project

The Tennessee Newspaper Project (TNP) is part of the United States Newspaper Program, a national effort to locate, catalog, preserve on microfilm, and make accessible, newspapers published in the United States from the earliest colonial days to the present. Grant funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and technical support is provided by the Library of Congress. Tennessee's project is based in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee Libraries.

The project does not have any newspapers. It maintains a database of information of American newspaper holdings in the state of Tennessee and has access to information on the holdings in libraries across the country. Some papers can be borrowed through interlibrary loan; contact your local interlibrary loan department or the holdings institution listed in the database here for more information on accessing a newspaper.

TNP - Newspaper Holdings Survey Search

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Survey Explanation and Background Information

The Tennessee Newspaper Project sent a newspaper holdings survey to almost 900 Tennessee institutions (libraries, historical societies, court houses, newspaper publishers offices, museums, etc.) in 1994. The survey was conducted to begin gathering information on American newspapers held in Tennessee. Information collected from the survey was entered into an in-house database and most of the information is available to public through a searchable version of the database on the web. The survey information is used by project staff as a planning tool for our cataloging and preservation efforts and also to help researchers locate newspapers held in Tennessee. Project staff are currently working on creating more complete, accurate, and detailed holdings and bibliographic catalog records in OCLC (an international bibliographic database) for these papers.

The survey resulted in finding about 10,370 newspaper holdings across the state. Although many repositories hold the same titles, approximately 6000 unique titles were identified. As we travel around the state cataloging the newspaper collections we expect to find even more. Until the project's cataloging phase is done, this survey database will probably remain the single most comprehensive source for locating American newspapers in Tennessee institutions.

The newspaper information, in most cases, is as reported by the holding institutions. Newspaper titles may vary somewhat from the actual titles, for example, one institution may report holding The News-Sentinel whereas another may report similar holdings underThe Knoxville News-Sentinel. Titles are as reported except that beginning articles have been removed for alphabetization. When survey respondents listed titles of microfilm reels instead of actual newspaper titles they were entered in the database preceded by an asterisk (such as: *Blount County Misc. Papers.) An institution may have copies of the same title in various branches and/or formats and, therefore, a single institution may come up under a title more than once.

Many records do not include complete information about the newspaper. For example, if no publication information was given by the survey respondent none is in the database. There are many records that do not have county of publication information; also the county names and boundries are often not the same now as when the paper was published.

The detail of the holdings dates varies significantly from institution to institution and record to record. Some institutions provided dates for each issue held while others only gave a date range (but often have many missing issues). When the holdings dates were too long to fit in our database, we entered a date span within parentheses which indicates that more detailed information is available. Researchers should be sure to contact the holding institution when looking for specific issues.

Some of the holdings dates for the Tennessee State Library and Archives newspapers include the following codes (although not all issues with these problems are so marked):

M = mutilated issue
* = missing issue
NP = not published

Also, the call numbers on the State Library holdings are for the master negative microfilm only. The microfilm copies available for public use are housed by publication location not this call number.

Most of the information in the database was provided a couple of years ago so holdings and other information may have changed since then. We are making corrections as we learn of them and as time allows. At the time of the survey the telephone area code for part of middle Tennessee was in the process of changing from 615 to 931. This change has not been made in the database yet.