Press Releases

TSLA’s ‘Heritage Project’ Finalist for National Award

Press release from the office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; February 19, 2015:

A program launched by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) to produce short documentaries of the people, places and events that make Tennessee distinctive is one of four finalists for a national award. TSLA’s Tennessee State Heritage Project is in the running for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) IDEAS Award.

IDEAS is an acronym for “innovation, dedication, excellence and achievement in service.” The award is given annually to one department of state in recognition of an outstanding program or achievement.

The Heritage Project was launched in 2013 to produce short video documentaries on topics of historical interest in Tennessee. The initial documentary focused on the history of the Tennessee State Capitol, while the project’s second documentary focused on the career of Sen. Douglas Henry, who until his recent retirement was the longest-serving member of the Tennessee General Assembly.

“I congratulate our staff at the State Library and Archives whose tremendous work on the Heritage Project is being nationally recognized,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “These documentaries will complement the vast collection of documents and online resources available at TSLA. It is a great honor to be be among the deserving finalists for the IDEAS Award.”

“NASS members are thrilled that we are once again able to showcase the diverse array of secretary of state office functions through this association award,” said NASS President Elaine Marshall, who also co-chairs the NASS Awards Committee. “We are looking forward to our summer conference in Maine, where the finalist offices can showcase their innovative approaches to governing.”

NASS is the oldest, nonpartisan professional organization of public officials in the United States. Members represent the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between its members and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy.

Press Releases

Hargett Premiers TN Capitol History Documentary

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; July 3, 2013:

It has endured an army occupation, the interment of two of its founding fathers, and a car cruising through its hallways. Not to mention its role as the site of many of the most important events in Tennessee’s history. The Tennessee State Capitol building has many great stories to tell – and some of those stories were revealed in a documentary about the building that premiered last week. In attendance were state legislators, department commissioners, representatives from preservation groups and others.

The documentary was created by the staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. It is the first part of a project that will eventually include a virtual tour of the Capitol building and its grounds, and feature stories about the building and influential people in Tennessee history.

When completed, the entire project will be burned onto DVDs that will be distributed to schools throughout the state.

The project is a result of the Tennessee General Assembly’s approval of Public Chapter No. 557, sponsored by Representative Jim Coley and Senator Ken Yager.

“I appreciate the support of the Tennessee General Assembly in the passage of Public Chapter No. 557, which has led us to the creation of a comprehensive digital record of the Tennessee State Capitol’s history,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “That history will be available to people now and in the future – 24 hours a day, seven days a week and free of charge – over the Internet. There are many things about the Capitol’s history that will surprise people. This building doesn’t have its own Trivial Pursuit game, but it could.”

“The mission of the State Library and Archives is to preserve Tennessee’s history for everyone,” State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill said. “This video draws on some of the vast treasures contained in our archives to tell the story of the Capitol building.”

The original cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid on July 4, 1845. In the 14 years that followed, architect William Strickland – with assistance from Samuel Morgan, Francis Strickland and Harvey Ackroyd – designed and oversaw the building that is still in use today. Although the Capitol has gone through various renovations over nearly 170 years, many of the building’s original characteristics are unchanged. This historical national landmark is one of the nation’s oldest working statehouses still in use.

The documentary and information on the images used in the film are available at Additionally, the virtual tour, mini-features, and fun stories about the Tennessee State Capitol will be available soon.