The Commercial Appeal Archives Will Be Preserved in UofM's Special Collections

The Commercial Appeal's photo and article archives, which chronicle the city's triumphs and tragedies, now have a new home at the University of Memphis Ned McWherter Library's Special Collections department.

With the newspaper's move from 495 Union Ave. to smaller quarters this spring, Special Collections has acquired thousands of photo negatives, article clippings and other materials. Topics include everything from Elvis to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Beale Street, Stax, politics, sports, downtown development, the growth of eastern suburbs, culture and food.

The archives date from around 1920 to about 2000 and fill 60 filing cabinets, and are accessible to the public.
"It's important to preserve The CA's archives and materials because they tell the story of the region and Memphis' evolution and chronicle the triumphs and tragedies," said Mark Russell, the newspaper's executive editor. "We want to ensure that the material is available to the public, including researchers, academics, book authors and freelance writers, for decades to come.
"As we have increasingly digitized our archives, we no longer need to have a big library that contains photo negatives and clippings dating to the early 1900s. But we want our journalists – and the public – to have access to those files. Having that material at the UofM's Special Collections accomplishes that goal."