Project News

List of Tennessee Newspapers on Chronicling America

Lady on a question mark. Baking powder ad.
Camden Chronicle. June 11, 1915

Although it is possible to view a list of Tennessee newspapers on the Chronicling America website, the arrangement of the titles makes the list a little awkward to read. To make it easier, we’ve created a list organized by town. Use this link to open and download the spreadsheet: TNDP_TitlesOnChronAm_list

A list of essays about the Tennessee newspapers featured in Chronicling America can be found here:

TNDP Batch Names 2014-16

Batch names - Tennessee musicians
TNDP batch names – people with a Tennessee music connection. How many can you name?

The first batch of microfilm for the TNDP 2014-16 award cycle is now with our digitization vendor, iArchives. We send microfilm to them in small batches and they return the digital images and metadata for each reel. The Library of Congress requires each of these batches to have a name. The choice of names is entirely up to each awardee. Here’s how LC explains it:

“Referring to a batch as “last month’s batch” or even the “fifth batch” can leave room for interpretation. The fifth hard drive sent in is not always batch 5. To accomplish this clarity, what evolved in NDNP is a standardized way of naming batches using a word unique among that awardee institution’s batches. For example, a series of data could use the names of aliens (e.g. “alf,” “beeblebrox”). Different institutions have pulled their lists of names from various sources. Some have used alphabetical lists of cities within their state, or a list of philosophers, or foreign countries or musicians.
We ask that the NATO radio alphabet no longer be used. Repeated use has caused confusion. See this page for existing naming schemes: .”

For the previous two award cycles (2010-12 and 2012-14), TNDP used Tennessee musicians, or people with a strong Tennessee music connection. We’ve decided to keep that theme going through 2014-16. Pictured above are the new inductees into the TNDP batch hall of fame. How many did you recognize? (answers below)


Answers: Anita Kerr, Bertha Walburn Clark, Carla Thomas, Dinah Shore, “Smilin'” Eddie Hill, Fred E. Smith, Gus Nennstiel, Harry Nides, Ira Louvin, James D. Vaughan, Kathy Hill.


Ida B. Wells & Beyond

Announcing the inaugural Ida B. & Beyond Conference to be held at the University of Tennessee, March 26, 2015

Ida B Wells Barnett
Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Source: National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

“The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. in UT’s Black Cultural Center, 1800 Melrose Avenue. It is open to the university community and the public. During the daylong event, attendees will learn about the life, work, and legacy of daring anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells-Barnett and other like-minded social justice campaigners from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

The keynote speaker for this event will be Mia Bay, the director for the Center for Race and Ethnicity at Rutgers University, who recently released her second book about Wells-Barnett. Read more about the event in Tennessee Today.

The conference is part of the Ida B. Wells Initiative, spearheaded by UT’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media professor (and TNDP Advisory Board member!), Amber Roessner. Dr Roessner and her students have created an open access resource providing information about Wells and her work as a journalist, civil rights advocate, and suffragist.

Lost Newspapers: Wells spent several years as journalist and co-owner of the Memphis-based Free Speech and Headlight. Sadly there are no known extant copies of this paper. If you know of any, please contact us here at TNDP!

Dwight Teeter

Dwight Teeter — journalist, professor of journalism, former dean, and friend of TNDP — passed away last week.

Details of Dwight’s extraordinary life and career can be found in the University of Tennessee’s Tennessee Today. Dwight was a great supporter of TNDP. He served on our Advisory Board and provided some of the newspaper essays for Chronicling America. He also shared numerous anecdotes with us about his life in newspapering. Dwight’s laughter and sense of humor will be foremost in our memories of him; it was an honor to work with him.

Thank you, Dwight Teeter, for your contribution to making Tennessee’s historical newspapers accessible to a wider audience.

TNDP Update – Sample Batch Accepted

The 2014-16 sample batch has been accepted by the Library of Congress, so we have the green light to proceed. We are currently preparing the first batch to send to our digitization vendor at the end of this month. If all goes well, it should be available on Chronicling America this summer. We plan to submit one batch of microfilm per month, which is equal to around 10,000 pages.


TNDP Phase III Titles Selected

 Here it is … the much anticipated title list for Phase III

As with the first two phases, the selection was made by the TNDP Advisory Board. Given the forthcoming centennial anniversaries of two historic events – the First World War and the 19th Amendment – the Board decided to focus on the years 1914-1922. As you will see from the map, we have once again striven for broad geographic coverage.

There are a couple of newspapers that fall outside of the chosen timeframe: the Tennessee Staatszeitung, and the Chilhowee Echo. The Staatszeitung was a German language paper published in post-Civil War Nashville, and the Echo was a newspaper published by women in turn-of-the-century Knoxville. On a personal note, I’m looking forward to the challenge of digitizing some non-English content, especially the technical issues which are bound to come up when working with the Fraktur type!

Click on the map below for a PDF of the map and table.

TNDP 2014 Title Selection MapTNDP 2014 title list

Trench Newspapers in WWI – Lecture Thurs Jan 22 ’15

Trenches, Women, Jokes, and the Enemy: German, British, and French Soldier Newspapers during the First World War

The 2015 Charles Johnson Memorial Lecture presented by Prof. Robert L. Nelson (University of Windsor, Canada)

This lecture is free and open to the public. It will be held at 4pm in the UT’s Haslam Business Building, Room 303. For more information visit the Center for Study of War & Society‘s webpage.

Some of Robert L. Nelson’s research on First World War newspapers:

  • Nelson, Robert L.: German Soldier Newspapers of the First World War, Cambridge 2011: Cambridge University Press.
  • Nelson, Robert L.: Soldier newspapers: a useful source in the social and cultural history of the First World War and beyond, in: War in History 17/2, 2010, pp. 167-191.

Click on the image below to explore the section on Soldier Newspapers that Prof. Nelson contributed to the International Encyclopedia of the First World War.


Santa in Sequatchie Valley, 1909

Santa delivering presents from a bi-plane
Sequachee Valley News. December 23, 1909.

In 1909, the Whitwell Drug Company (Marion County) was right on trend with this wonderful aviation-themed ad showing Santa delivering presents from an aircraft closely resembling the Wright brothers’ Kitty Hawk.

Click on the ad to see a list of gifts on offer for various members of the family.

Found Film – Horace V. Wells, Clinton Courier-News, 1968

A friend recently found a 16mm film reel at an estate sale. There was only a very small amount of film on the reel, and there were no labels or other identification.

Once the film was digitized, it was found to be a celebration of Horace V. Wells’ 35th anniversary at the Clinton Courier-News in 1968!

Wells founded the Clinton Courier in 1933. According to his entry in the Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame, Wells was a “a legend in Tennessee journalism, and he stood as a bulwark against injustice, tyranny and abuse of the less fortunate.” In 1941, Wells served as Tennessee Press Association president, and in 1976 he became the TPA Foundation’s inaugural president. In 1957, Wells received several awards for his editorial stance during the desegregation crisis. The award presented by the National Editorial Association was given “in recognition of his unsurpassed example in upholding the dignity of human rights and his fearless leadership in support of constitutional government.”

The footage is only 45 seconds long but it gives us a neat little snapshot of some of the newspapering people of the time. If you recognize anyone in the clip, please let us know.

Thanks to the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound for sharing this clip.

Horace Wells 1968 from TAMIS on Vimeo.