Maps are invaluable components of historical and genealogical research, and documentary records often cannot be fully understood without referring to maps. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has the largest and most significant collection of historical maps in the state available for public use. We hope to increase utilization of this tremendous research resource by digitizing original manuscript maps and making them available in our Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA). These digitized maps appear in the JPEG2000 format, which means that you may view them in greater detail simply by clicking on a particular area of the image. We will continue to add maps to this digital online collection to bring more of them to a wider public.
Anyone looking for other maps should pursue the following avenues: consult the online TSLA Map Database, the map index in the Manuscript Section, and talk with an archivist. The database entries will provide certain information about what one may expect to find on a particular map, and both the TSLA catalogue and the Manuscripts staff should be consulted to try to determine the right map. Be aware that many important maps are not in the TSLA Map Collection per se, but are part of individual manuscript collections and record groups--hence, the need to consult an archivist and finding aids. Most of TSLA maps are originals, but some have been photocopied. Many are encapsulated, but others remain untreated and in fragile shape. Individual maps taken from atlases and other published sources have been copied or removed from their binding and put in the collection; they are integrated into the Map Database. Those seeking more information on TSLA's Map Collection should consult our Guide to Maps.
Read more about the Civil War Maps and Historical Maps. For additional assistance, please consult the Manuscripts staff.