The Quilts of Tennessee

Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) serves as the public repository for the physical collection. TSLA holds a collection of materials relating to Tennessee’s people and history that serves as a major resource for the region, including books, journals, documents, microfilm, manuscripts, photographs, and other research materials. TSLA established a website in 1996 that includes an on-line catalog and a large number of pages devoted to providing easier access to its collections. Eventual mounting of the digitized images to accompany the databases is a long-range goal.

The Quilts of Tennessee survey began in late 1983, focused on documenting quilts made in Tennessee prior to 1930, and recorded 1,425 quilts. Only 30 quilts and their makers’ histories were included in a book and traveling exhibit, The Quilts of Tennessee: Images of Domestic Life Prior to 1930, which was designed to represent the state’s quilt types. Another 600 quilt forms and images have been added since 1984, bringing the total to 2,020. TSLA’s website includes a description and finding aid for the quilts documented through the Quilts of Tennessee. The original quilt documentation forms are available to researchers who visit the TSLA, but the collection is little used because its existence at TSLA and its scope and contents are not well known. In addition, the data themselves contained in the forms have not been adequately computerized, indexed, and analyzed. Through participation in the Quilt Index, the Quilts of Tennessee and TSLA will computerize the data and digitize the images of a subset of these quilts.

--Merikay Waldvogel

The Quilts of Tennessee Project includes collections from these museums:
Carroll Reece Museum
Clarksville-Montgomery County Historical Museum
Cocke County Museum
East Tennessee Historical Society
Magevney House, Pink Palace Museum
McMinn County Living Heritage Museum
Old Jail Museum
Tennessee State Museum

Project Website

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