Do you own a piece of history?

Historical objects are powerful connectors to the past. As educational tools from which we can learn about individuals and eras, these artifacts are a valuable historical resource for changing exhibits, research, education programs, and to preserve and illustrate the story of the region and its families.

Early 1900's photograph of 5 children in black and white.

The Museum of East Tennessee History opened in 1993 with a very small collection that has now grown to more than 16,000 artifacts. Objects donated to the collection form a valuable historical resource for changing exhibitions, for research purposes, education programs, and to preserve and illustrate the story of our region and its families.

The East Tennessee History Center, housed with both library and museum collections, is a popular depository for donors who want to keep family collections of papers and documents, as well as artifacts, intact in one place.

The East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum

The East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum collects three-dimensional items from across the region to illustrate everyday life and a diverse range of people and eras, from the Cherokee and frontier settlement to the twentieth century.  Decorative arts–paintings, furniture, pottery, textiles–also form an important part of our collection.

If you are interested in donating three-dimensional items (furniture, clothing, military, etc.) to the ETHS collections, please contact Rebecca P’Simer, curator of collections, ETHS, P.O. Box 1629, Knoxville, TN 37901, (865) 215-8829, or [email protected].  or complete our artifact donation offer form online.  You can also view a list of our “wish list” items.

The McClung Historical Collection

The McClung Historical Collection accepts one-dimensional items, such as correspondence and documents, as well as genealogical information and research, books, papers, manuscripts, ephemera, and photographs. To donate items, contact the McClung Collection manager, Eric Dawson, (865) 215-8808 or [email protected].

Have questions about donating to our collections? Contact:
Our Collections

View our Collections Online

First Families of Tennessee

When you learn about your ancestors, you also learn about yourself and the many ways in which the tapestry of their lives and experiences are a part of you.

Civil War Families

The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection of the Knox County Public Library System is able to share some of its photograph collections and other special materials.