Resources for Research to Create Authority Records and Headings for Tennessee Materials
Creating useful authority records often requires a cataloger to consult biographical,
historical, geographic or other reference sources. Not all authority records require
extensive research, but making the fullest use of sources available creates better
authority records, which ultimately helps get patrons to the library resources they
want and need.
The following bibliography is oriented towards sources that may help in forming headings
for persons, places, and organizations related to the State of Tennessee. Many catalogers
of Tennessee materials will likely find some of the entries quite familiar, but hopefully
it will lead others to new and useful sources. This bibliography is not intended to
be exclusive or static, we hope that participants in the Tennessee NACO funnel will
add to it as we find particular sources useful.
General Works on Tennessee
West, Carroll Van., ed. The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture. [Nashville]: Tennessee Historical Society, 2002-
A comprehensive work on the history and culture of Tennessee. It includes many biographical
entries. A print version is available, but not does include material added to the
website since the print version's publication.
Tennessee Electronic Library
Tennessee. Department of State. Tennessee Blue Book. [serial] Nashville: Secretary of State, 1938- (OCLC: 1253733)
The basic official handbook of the state government of Tennessee. It contains a wealth
of information on the organization of the state government, including legislative
bodies, the executive branch and executive agencies, and the judicial system. Sections
on major governmental departments contain brief historical summaries listing former
agency names and explaining reorganization, absorption of one body by another, etc.
The Blue Book also contains historical data on county names, and previous constitutional officers
of Tennessee government. Especially useful for authorities catalogers is the index,
which lists individuals and state agencies by name. Many of the state agencies are
listed under the heading "Boards and Commissions" in the index.
The Blue Book has been published biennially since 1938, and earlier versions can be especially
useful for older government documents and other materials. The current (2011-2013)
issue, however, is available online. Users should be aware that the online version can be more difficult to use if one
needs to consult the index, as the online version is available only in .pdf segments.
Tennessee Government Agencies
Tennessee Governor's Office
Tennessee Court System
Tennessee Administrative Register
Contents includes text of administrative announcements and rules, and archives of
past administrative rule filings; some of these can occasionally be useful for establishing
or verifying state government agency names or names and positions of public officials.
Sources for Personal Names
General sources for Tennessee-related personal names
Appointed and elected office-holders
Henry, Mary Ellen. Tennessee Government Officials Directory. [serial] Nashville: M. Lee Smith, 1985- OCLC: 12686389
A loose-leaf volume with updates, it lists officer-holders and other government personnel
in state and local governments in Tennessee. It also has lists government offices
and administrative bodies and is a useful supplement to the Blue Book. The index lists
only government bodies and jurisdictions, not individual people. Each volume also
contains supplementary material on local newspapers and some geographic information.
Some related similar works starting in 1981-82 may be available.
Tennessee. Secretary of State. Tennessee Open Appointments Annual Report [serial] Nashville: Secretary of State, 1993- (OCLC: 29345981)
While actually published to list vacant positions, this work is also useful to the
authorities cataloger because it lists current personnel on "boards, commissions,
councils, authorities, task forces or similar multi-member agencies." It is useful
both for its information about individuals and the corporate bodies on which they
serve, especially when used in concert with other similar directories.
Directory of Tennessee City and County Officials [serial] [Loudon, TN: IMAGES Publications,
1989- (OCLC 20795347)
Obituaries are often a useful source of birth and death dates often needed to break
conflicts between similar personal names. A number of obituary indexes for various
Tennessee newspapers are available. Some are accessible online, but many very useful
indexes are still available only in paper format. The list below includes only indexes
to Tennessee newspapers, but authorities catalogers are advised to remember that an
author of a Tennessee-related work who lived or achieved prominence elsewhere might
have an obituary in a newspaper from that locality or region of course. A listing
of national newspaper obituary indexes follows.
Index to the Memphis Appeal, 1843-1860 [online]
Compiled by Joyce McKibben, University of Memphis Libraries, this index includes listing
of named persons mentioned in the Appeal. Only the index is online; the entries with the actual biographical information must
still be consulted on microfilm or paper copies of the newspaper itself.
Sources for Corporate Names
Tennessee state government bodies
The Tennessee Blue Book online (also listed above under General Sources) contains administrative histories of many Tennessee executive department bodies.
In the current edition of the Blue Book, entries for some major executive departments contain a statement of the full historical
development, name changes and reorganizations. Others give the history of the agency
or department only in its present incarnation. In the latter case catalogers may have
to consult older editions of the Blue Book to determine all the name changes through which an agency has gone. In cases where
the Blue Book mentions the existence of a board, bureau or other subordinate body but provides
no information about its origins, catalogers can try consulting:
Tennessee Code Annotated
Comprehensive resources for Tennessee laws provided through LexisNexis ; also includes
the Tennessee State Constitutions of 1796 and 1835 as well as the currently in-force
Tennessee Constitution of 1870 as amended. Useful for determining origin and history
of state agencies and government bodies created constitutionally or by statute. Also
useful for determining hierarchical relationships between government corporate bodies.
The Tennessee Code Annotated is searchable by keyword.
Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee
Available online from the 100th General Assembly (1997-98) to the present. Includes Audit
Reports of State Government Bodies
The audit reports issued by various state executive departments, agencies, etc. often
contain organizational charts and diagrams outlining their internal hierarchy and
organization. These can be quite useful for determining subordinate relationships
of document-issuing entities. Audit reports are usually titled "Audit Report, [name
of state agency]. Most OCLC records for audit reports of various departments consider
the author to be Tennessee. Division of State Audit; many are also entered under the
name of the state department or agency whose audit report the record describes. One
example of a state agency audit report with an organizational chart is:
Tennessee. Division of State Audit. Audit report, Department of Labor, Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville: Division of State Audit, 1985- (OCLC 13238566)
Rouse, Franklin O. "Historical Background of Tennessee's Administrative Reorganization
Act of 1923" in East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications, no. 8 (1936):104-120.
Late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Tennessee government body names
can cause considerable confusion for the authorities cataloger. Much of the twentieth-century
administrative structure of Tennessee government owes its foundations to a massive
reorganization of state agencies under the Austin Peay administration, codified in
the Administrative Reorganization Act of 1923. This law abolished and consolidated
a large number of state agencies, departments and offices, creating predecessor-successor
relationships that can easily confuse an authorities cataloger or library user. When
attempting to identify the relationship between a Tennessee government agency that
existed between the approximate dates 1870-1923 and a post-1923 agency, it is often
useful to consult sources about the 1923 act such Rouse's article.
In particular, Rouse's article contains a useful (if somewhat difficult to read) chart
showing the complex pre-1923 organization of executive, legislative, and judicial
The full text of the Act itself can be found in Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1923, Chap. 7, p. 8-44.
Sources for Geographic Names
A comprehensive sources for geographic names of all types of features (natural features,
populated places, etc.) in the United States developed by the USGS and the U.S. Board
on Geographic Names. A search interface is available from the main page. The data
for Tennessee place names (and place names in other states) is available for download
as a text file, for manipulation in spreadsheet programs, etc. The NACO Participants'
Manual, 2nd ed. (p. 59) prescribes consulting this source when available for creating
geographic name headings.
DCM Z1 ("yellow pages") 670 p. 9 prescribes adding GNIS "Feature Class Definitions",
coordinates, and variants. A list of the abbreviations used by GNIS for "Feature Class
Definitions" can be found here.
Rand McNally ... commercial atlas & marketing guide. Chicago: Rand McNally. 1983
MARC Code Lists for Geographic Areas
Geographic Sources Specific to Tennessee
Miller, Larry L. Tennessee Place- Names. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. (OCLC: 46564719 Available as e-book
While not as comprehensive as other sources, this work includes information on previous
place-names that may be helpful when cataloging and constructing geographic name authority
records for other material.
Rohen, Harold. The Tennessee Locator. Chattanooga: BudRo, 1992. (OCLC: 27116443)