Collections

  • Art & Artifacts

  • Books & Printed Materials

    Books, serials, city directories, and other published materials.
  • Chattanooga Albums

    The Chattanooga Albums consist of eight large scrapbook albums containing approximately 1,331 images collected by three members of the Chattanooga Half-Century Club: Frank F. Stoops, Walter M. Cline, and Edward Young Chapin. The compilers began the collection in 1942. Images date from 1842 to 1960 and illustrate Chattanooga's history through portraits, photographs, illustrations, and ephemera.
  • Maps

    Maps available include Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, plat books, topographical maps, and other maps of Chattanooga and the surrounding areas.
  • Picture File

    The Picture File consists primarily of collected photographs and other graphic items such as illustrations depicting people, places, and things in and around Chattanooga, filed by subject.

Manuscript collections by title

  • African Violet Society of Chattanooga scrapbook, 1947-1956

    One volume scrapbook, 1947-1956. Gift of the society, Sept. 1957.
  • Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors records, 1911-2004

    Senior Neighbors began in 1960 with 80 senior Chattanoogans. The organization provided a variety of services to senior and elderly citizens. Trips, art camps, language lessons, computer lessons, financial planning, physical classes, art and music classes, meals, and personal development were part of the Senior Neighbors experience. The group met in the Frye Institute until they moved to 10th and Newby in 1963. In 2004, Alexian Brothers took over operation of Senior Neighbors and continued to offer the same services until the organization shut down in 2013. In the collection are Senior Neighbors’ photographs, slides, and scrapbooks as well as minutes and scrapbooks from activities at the Frye Institute prior to Senior Neighbors’ organization. Gift of Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors via Robin Baschnagel, July 24, 2013.
  • Cameron Hill Garden Club collection, 1922-1979

    Collection consists of minutes of meetings, newspaper clippings, photographs, yearbooks (1922-1978, with some gaps), and three scrapbooks (1927-1947, 1957-1961, 1969-1979). Gift of Mrs. Hugh A. Dodds, September 26, 1985.
  • Catharine Brown correspondence, 1818

    Collection consists of one four-page letter from Brown in Fort Deposit, Alabama, to Mr. and Mrs. William Chamberlain at Brainerd Mission, Cherokee Nation dated December 12, 1818. Brown mentions being homesick for Brainerd Mission, pities the “sinful” Cherokees, and is saddened at the possibility of moving to Arkansas. Gift of Mrs. Annie A. Pollard, July 27, 1953.
  • Chattanooga Automobile Club/Dixie Highway Association papers, 1907-1976

    Collection consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, minute books, membership lists, photographs related to the group's activities in promoting automobile transportation and highway development in the Chattanooga area and throughout the South.
  • Chattanooga Iris Society records, 1937-1974

    Scrapbook, 1937-1974, contains newspaper clippings, programs of exhibitions, letters, membership lists, photographs, yearbooks, and other miscellaneous items. Gift of the society through Mrs. J. W. Judd, 1976.
  • Chattanooga Punk Archive

    The Chattanooga Punk Archive was established in 2018 with the donation of the Tom Foote Punk Posters collection (Acc. 435), which documents the creative, political, and social activities of the local punk and DIY community. The collection consists of flyers and posters for local rock and punk shows in Chattanooga, Tennessee, circa 1997-2018. Content note: Some items in the Punk Archive contain strong language, depictions of violence or drug use, and other graphic imagery used in the context of artistic expression...it's a punk archive! Please view at your own discretion.
  • Chattanooga Rose Society collection, 1967-1982

    Scrapbooks of the society in two volumes, vol. 1 (1967-1974) and vol. 2 (1974-1982). Addition 1 contains 2 scrapbooks, 1932-1954 and 1955-1960. The scrapbooks hold yearbooks, clippings, and some photographs. Gift of the society, July 1984. Addition 1 gift of Stephen Smith, November 5, 2007.
  • Chattanooga Times collection, 1870-1991

    Collection includes 461 photographs of well-known Chattanooga area citizens of the 19th and early 20th centuries; a record ledger of the "Timesville" land development on Signal Mountain-Walden's Ridge organized by Adolph S. Ochs, c. 1890-1925; newsletters, financial records, etc. of the Kiwanis Free Milk Association, c. 1951-1953; advertisement on Charles A. Lindbergh visit to city in 1928 and the promotion of airport bonds for a municipal airport; advertisement promoting "The Colored Orphanage Holiday Appeal". Addition 1 consists of 52 letters from area residents giving personal reminiscences of the events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), December 7, 1941. The letters were used in a 1991 Times series on the 50th anniversary of the attack. Unpublished finding aid includes index to photographs. List of contributors for Addition 1. Gift of Mrs. Ruth Holmberg, June 22, 1987. Addition 1 gift of the Chattanooga Times, Dec. 12, 1991.
  • Chattanooga Times Free Press photographs, 1946-2004

    Collection contains photographic negatives generated primarily by Chattanooga Free Press photographers during 1946-2004. Bulk dates are 1970-1990. Gift of Chattanooga Publishing Company.
  • Chief John Ross correspondence, 1830

    Ross served as Principal Chief of the Cherokees from 1828 to 1866. Collection consists of one letter, December 10, 1830, from Ross to Georgia Attorney General George Crawford advising him of Ross’ efforts to stop Georgia from enacting or enforcing its laws in the Cherokee Nation. Gift of the Chief John Ross House Association, November 14, 2008, via Larry Rose.
  • Cotton Ball collection, 1933-2007

    The debutante Cotton Ball has been an annual social and charity event in Chattanooga since its founding by Zella Armstrong in 1933. This collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, notes, newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, periodicals, scrapbooks, and ephemera related to the event for the years 1933-1963. Most of the 150 photographs are of Cotton Ball queens and kings and of activities during the event. Gift of the compiler, Mrs. Sherman L. Paul, July 29, 1987. Addition 1 gift of Mrs. T. W. Bridge, 1993. Addition 2 gift of Ms. Mary Helen Bailey, 1994.
  • East Lake Garden Club records, 1930-1981

    The club was organized in 1928 and met at the East Lake Methodist Church for several years. Last known activity was in 1992-1993. Collection contains minutes, bank statements, receipts, yearbooks, and miscellaneous correspondence.
  • Emma Bell Miles papers, 1879-1919

    Emma Bell Miles was a nationally known Chattanooga artist and poet. Papers include correspondence, manuscripts of poems, photographs, illustration covers from Miles' books, a copy of Chords from a Dulcimer by Miles. Addition 1 consists of eight hand-painted postal cards by Miles of Signal Mountain and Walden's Ridge circa 1906. Gift of Miss Edith Guerrier, niece of Anna Ricketson, January and March 1949. Addition 1 gift of Mrs. Alice Bates Walker, June 1992.
  • Hamilton County Historical and Architectural Survey, 1976

    In 1976, the Regional Planning Agency decided to identify and record historic structures and sites in Hamilton County. They photographed and wrote identification forms for businesses, hotels, restaurants, houses, churches, theaters, government buildings, etc. and sites such as bridges and markers. The survey did not cover Red Bank or East Ridge or some parts of the county. Some of the findings were published in Chattanooga-Hamilton County Landmarks Survey & Preservation Plan in 1977. Each photograph is numbered and labelled. Gift of Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission, December 26, 2002.
  • Highland Park Garden Club collection, 1927-1985

    Collection consists of loose papers, including minutes, correspondence, recognition citations; five project books (1959, 1961, 1963-1965); four scrapbooks (1928-1950, 1951-1956, 1956-1965, 1959-1974); and 37 yearbooks (1929-1934, 1936-1944, 1946, 1948-1956, 1959-1965, 1967-1971). Gift of Mrs. Hugh A. Dodds, September 26, 1985.
  • James W. and Julie Powell Collection of Fort Oglethorpe photographs, 1900-1990

    Collection contains the scrapbooks for the 1981, 1988, 1991, 1996, and 2000 class reunions and the items generated in planning the reunions. Scrapbooks hold photographs, flyers, event schedules, and news articles. Joy Adams and Ramah Schier organized many of the class reunions. Gift of Joy Effron Adams, November 6, 2009.
  • Orgelsdorfer Eulenspiegel, October 1918-May 1919

    Shortly after the start of World War I, the United States Army constructed an internment camp at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. The camp housed 3,400 prisoners of war, both captured military members and civilians with suspected ties to Germany. The prisoners wrote, illustrated, printed, and distributed a camp magazine, "Orgelsdorfer Eulenspiegel," from October 1918- May 1919.
  • Paul A. Hiener collection, 1860-1984

    Collection contains over 3,000 photographs (mostly black-and-white) of various sizes, materials, and matting. Collection focuses on Chattanooga and surrounding area’s history, growth, economy, social life, political scene, and cultural life. Hiener began collecting photographs in 1947 and published several in a four volume set called Chattanooga Yesterday and Today (1951-1964). Gift of Minette H. Millwood, April 17, 1985.
  • Rice Carothers collection, 1933-1934

    Collection includes seven watercolor paintings and one pen drawing by Rice Carothers, a Black Chattanooga artist, from 1933 and 1934. Gift of Howard High School, circa 1934.
  • Ridley Wills postcard collection, 1880-2003

    Ridley Wills II, author, collector, and historian, gathered over 14,000 Tennessee postcards and has written over 12 books on Tennessee history, including Touring Tennessee: A Postcard Panorama. Collection contains single postcards and souvenir folders on Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and northern Georgia. Gift of Ridley Wills, December 7, 2010 and 2016.
  • Robert Sparks Walker papers, 1878-1978

    Walker was a noted Chattanooga author and naturalist. His papers include the following personal and manuscript copies of his publications including A Boy Like You, Animals on a City Lot, Torchlights to the Cherokees-the Brainerd Mission, A Forest of Poems, This Is Chattanooga, and others. Gift of the Elise Chapin Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Third District, Chattanooga records, 1949-1981

    Items include a club scrapbook, 1949-1955, two conservation awards given to Mrs. Claude Givens in 1957 and 1968. Another club scrapbook, 1979-1981, given in 2019. Gift of Mrs. Claude Givens, November 1968. Addition 1 given in 2019 as part of Hickory Valley Garden donation.
  • United States Pipe and Foundry collection, 1915-2006

    The foundry began in 1882 in Chattanooga as the Chattanooga Foundry and Pipe Co. In 1898, this foundry joined with others to form the American Pipe and Foundry Co., and later in 1899, the U. S. Pipe and Foundry Co. The plant ceased production in 2006 and was demolished in 2007. Collection contains photographs of plant operations, a compact disc showing the last casting, material on the plant’s 100th anniversary, and books on cast iron pipe. Gift of Robert Powderly, November 9, 2008.
  • Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant photographs, 1940s-1970s

    Jeffrey W. Cash collected and/or took the photographs of the plant in which he worked as a laborer (1942-1943), machine shop foreman and automotive equipment inspector (1954-1961), and mobile equipment inspector (1966-1973). The plant, known as the Volunteer Ordnance Works from 1942 to 1965, and later as Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, manufactured TNT for the Army. Contractors hired to run operations were Hercules Powder Company (1942-1945) and Atlas Chemical Industries (in 2004, ICI, Americas) (1965-2004). The site also held nitric and sulfuric acid production plants, and Farmer’s Chemical Association (now CFI) leased part of the land to make fertilizer. TNT production shut down in 1977, and all operations ceased in 1982. Plant site was developed for industrial parks, businesses, and recreational and educational uses. See library vertical files and VAAP environmental studies for more information. Gift of Sara Cash Roach, January 11, 2004.