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.
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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!
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.
Click HERE to search more than 30 years of Memphis and Tennessee history. NOTE: WE HAVE TEMPORARY ACCESS TO EXPANDED YEARS, 1894-TODAY!
- Coverage from 1990 through today, including full-text, web-only content and full-color image edition starting in 2018.
- Full-color image edition includes today’s current paper (select the Commercial Appeal image format starting in 2018, then select today’s date).
- Also, search obituaries by selecting “Commercial Appeal Death Notices and Obituaries”.
- Library Card is required when accessing outside of the Library. Sign up for one or renew your card online and use it immediately.
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.
Library Card Required | Getting Started Instructions | Mobile App Available
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.