Connecting the Region and Its History

Geography defines East Tennessee and has dictated a history and heritage apart from the rest of the state. The East Tennessee History Center recognizes this distinctiveness with services and programs tailored to the region.  

Visitors can attend workshops and conferences, enjoy lectures, research family history and historical topics, participate in student and teacher education programs, and explore three centuries of life in our mountain and valley land through an award-winning exhibition, Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee. A Museum Shop offers a wide variety of books, crafts, and gift items.

The East Tennessee History Center is a public/private partnership between the Knox County Public Library and the non-profit East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum that works to the benefit of the entire region.

The East Tennessee History Center Houses the Following

East Tennessee Historical Society

The East Tennessee Historical Society is the public programming and educational outreach arm of the East Tennessee History Center and operates the Museum of East Tennessee History. ETHS has served as an adjunct to the McClung Historical Collection for almost 90 years.   

Established in 1834, ETHS is a private, non-profit, regional organization with 45 affiliate chapters and more than 2,000 members and subscribers.

Museum of East Tennessee History

The Museum of East Tennessee History's signature exhibition, Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee, explores three centuries of life in the region. Visitors will walk through time with the Cherokee and pioneers and then travel through the divided loyalties of the Civil War to industrial growth, women’s suffrage, the hillbilly stereotype, mountain crafts, African American contributions, the beginnings of country music, the upheaval of families relocated due to a national park, TVA lakes, and the “Secret City” and Manhattan Project of World War II. Changing feature exhibitions highlight local, state, and national topics. 

The Museum of East Tennessee History is a program of the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The Museum Shop features a wide selection of books, crafts, and history-related items. Members of the East Tennessee Historical Society receive a 10% discount on purchases.

Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection

The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection is one of the finest regional history collections in the Southeast. Visitors will find a focus on East Tennessee but with strong resources for the entire state, as well as research for all 50 states. The collection includes genealogies, manuscripts, county records and histories, access to national computer databases and census records, resources for African American and Cherokee history, military records, land records, and more.

Knox County Archives

Knox County Archives houses the early public records of this historic county. Established in 1792, Knox County was later carved to form parts of several new counties. Hence, researchers may find early marriage, deeds, wills, and court records from these counties recorded here as well.

The East Tennessee History Center is located at 601 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901.
For additional information, give us a call, 865-215-8824.