History, Genealogy, Social Science
The Memphis and Shelby County Room
The Memphis and Shelby County Room is an area within the History/Social Sciences Department on the 4th floor of Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library where researchers may view items from the library’s archival and manuscript collections. This page provides an overview of the resources found in the Memphis and Shelby County Room including historical maps and photographs.
Add your voice to our collection of stories. Click below for more details:
Dig Memphis Digital Archives
Dig Memphis is the digital archive of the Memphis Public Libraries. We will showcase many of the treasures of the Memphis and Shelby County Room. As an ongoing project of the library, new items are added regularly, so check back frequently. Collections include:
- Benjamin L. Hooks Collection
- Civil Rights Collection
- Memphis Streetscapes
- Postcards from Memphis
- Restaurant and Menu Collection
- and more…
Visit Dig Memphis Mysteries to help us solve archival puzzles. Each week we’ll be posting images from Dig Memphis that are missing crucial details. See if you can help us fill in some of the gaps!
Memphis Bicentennial 1819-2019
In 2019, the Library celebrated the City and County’s Bicentennial with various programs and special online exhibits including a timeline of major events, a revamped Streetscapes collection, and the launch of “Memphis Then and Now”, a series of current-day replicated photos of some of the more iconic Streetscapes images. View the online exhibits and recordings of programs HERE.
Commercial Appeal Archives (1847-)
Search The Commercial Appeal and other variations going back to 1847, including The Appeal-Avalanche (1890), The Commercial Appeal (1894-2009), The Commercial Appeal (2010-), The Daily Memphis Avalanche (1866-1885), The Memphis Appeal (1886-1889), The Memphis Appeal-Avalanche (1890-1892), Memphis Avalanche (1885-1890), Memphis Bulletin (1863-1865), The Memphis Commercial (1891-1894), Memphis Daily Appeal (1857-1886), The Memphis Daily Avalanche (1858-1862), Memphis Daily Commercial (1890-1891), and The Memphis Daily Eagle (1847-1849)
Memphis Grit and Grind OverDrive eBook Collection
Visit this special collection of Memphis and Shelby County eBooks from our OverDrive eBook service. You’ll find all things Memphis in this collection, whether it’s our history, music, food, or fiction titles set in Memphis.
Other online Local History resources
Here is a collection of local history resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives, local universities, and more.
Of particular interest are these 1910 Haines Photo Company shots:
Also, J. C. Coovert Cotton Field Panoramic Photos:
And sheet music of blues and jazz classics:
The National Archives holds a couple of items of particular interest including:
This is in the works and we will add more.