The theme of this year’s Tennessee Archives Month is “Three Part Harmony: Archives, Genealogy, and You.” In that spirit, here are some of the resources that Special Collections has to offer for those conducting genealogical research focused on families and individuals in the greater Chattanooga area:
- Chattanooga City Directories
- These books, originally intended to serve as a listing of area residents, businesses, organizations, etc., also function as an invaluable resource for those with local roots to learn more about their ancestors’ occupations and places of residency. In addition to the City Directories in the rare books collection, a number of earlier Chattanooga City Directories are available on microfilm on the ground floor.
- Local Histories and Biographies
- There are several titles in our rare books holdings about early European settlers in the Hamilton County area, most of which have full indexes for looking up surnames.
- Civil War
- For those interested in genealogical research on Civil War-era persons, the General John T. Wilder Memorial Collection of rare books contains numerous items of interest including regimental histories, battle narratives and personal memoirs.
- Manuscript Collections
- Several of our manuscript holdings contain genealogical information on Chattanooga area families. Check out the online finding aids for the Andrews Family correspondence, photographs, and papers collection for biographical information on the Andrews, Ball, Beirne, Bowen, and Lenoir families, or the Penelope Johnson Allen research notes, correspondence, and photographs collection for information on families in the Brainerd area and individuals buried in the Brainerd Mission Cemetery. If you see any materials of interest in these finding aids, make a research appointment to visit the Special Collections reading room and view the physical items.
- Microfilm Newspaper Holdings
- In addition to rare book, manuscript and digital collections, the library also holds a number of local newspapers on microfilm on the ground floor that are great places to begin searching. Newspapers contain a wealth of information about individuals – look for engagement and birth announcements, obituaries, and other articles in our local newspapers holdings.
While by no means exhaustive, this list is an excellent starting place for conducting genealogical research in the UTC library. To make a further inquiry on a specific subject please use our Ask-an-Archivist service. Happy researching!