Tennessee State Seal
Capitol Documentary Wins Award from National Conference of State Legislatures
(Published: August 20, 2014)

A documentary produced by the Tennessee State Library and Archives staff has earned national recognition from a group that serves state legislators and their staff members.

The Legislative Research Librarians section of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will officially announce a Notable Documents award today for the documentary titled, "Tennessee State Capitol: Grounded in Tradition." The announcement will occur during the Legislative Research Librarians' business meeting in Minneapolis.

According to NCSL's website, awards are given to governmental, quasi-governmental and private nonprofit organizations for "excellence in documents that explore topics of interest to legislators and staff, and present substantive material in an outstanding format."

The documentary was one of two winners this year in the group's "historical and cultural resources" category.

The documentary traces the Tennessee State Capitol's history from its construction through its use in the present day. Copies of the documentary have been distributed to schools throughout Tennessee.

"I was honored to sponsor such a thoughtful piece of legislation," said Rep. Jim Coley, a civics instructor. "As one of the oldest state capitol buildings still in use, it's witnessed events of great historical importance. I was happy to have a part in helping preserve and share the Capitol's story and after watching the documentary for myself, it really validated the work we did to get the bill passed."

"I was pleased to serve as the Senate sponsor of the bill which led to the creation of the Capitol documentary," Sen. Ken Yager said. "Our beautiful state Capitol has a rich and interesting history and this documentary will preserve its story for the next generation."

"I congratulate our staff at the State Library and Archives for the work they did to earn this award," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "Thanks to Sen. Yager and Rep. Coley for sponsoring the legislation that authorized the documentary project - and to the other members of the General Assembly who voted to approve that legislation. This documentary will help preserve the history of one of our state's most important buildings."

"The Library and Archives staff enjoyed its work on this project," said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. "We found new and little-known material that shed light on this grand building's history. Weaving it all together into a narrative for the video was challenging. I wish we could have included everything we found."

NCSL is an organization that studies and shares best practices and provides support for state legislatures across the country.