From the Secretary's Desk

Scaling New Peaks
(Published: January 10, 2014)

In the Secretary of State's office, the process of evaluating and improving the services we provide is much like trying to reach a new mountain peak. When a peak is reached, the improved perspective from the top allows us to see new possibilities. I am excited about the many challenges our team is preparing to meet as we continue to raise the standard for what Tennesseans can expect from state government. Read More...


Passionate About Purpose – Serving Taxpayers
(Published: March 18, 2013)

Bringing culture change to government can be a tall order. It is exactly what I set out to do when I took office as secretary of state. In the department of state, our dedicated staff is providing a clear example to Tennesseans that government can deliver value to our customers each day. Read More...


Focused on the Taxpayers, Our Customers, Since 2009
(Published: March 28, 2012)

Thanks to the Tennessee General Assembly, I am now well into my fourth year as your Secretary of State.  During a recent visit to Smith County, I had an opportunity to reflect on the transformation of our department as a result of the efforts of my talented team of hard-working employees. Read More...


Mission Statement
(Developed in 2010)

Our mission is to exceed the expectations of our customers, the taxpayers, by operating at the highest levels of accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and accountability in a customer-centered environment.


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Secretary of State's Office Closed for Good Friday
(Published: April 15, 2014)

In observance of the Good Friday holiday, the Secretary of State's office will be closed on Friday, April 18. If you have business with the office or any of its operating divisions, please plan accordingly. The office will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, April 21.

April’s Business Spotlight: “Furred and Feathered Friends”
(Published: April 15, 2014)

Rebecca Brewer knows something about your dog that you may not: Your pet may not be the unabashed carnivore that you think it is.

"Dogs do love vegetables," Brewer said. "Dogs love fruits."

Brewer has learned this because her Newbern-based business, Farm House Barkery LLC, produces baked doggie treats that are all fruit- and vegetable-based. While most regular dog food is meat-based, Brewer said pooches apparently like to switch things up when they're snacking.


Young Tennessee Historians Advance to National Competition
(Published: April 14, 2014)

Last year, three students from Clarksville and one from Memphis submitted history-themed projects that were judged to be among the country's best at National History Day. This year, a group of 62 students from Tennessee have earned the right to compete for similar national recognition.

Students qualified to compete in this year's National History Day by submitting projects that won first- or second-place medals at Tennessee History Day, which was held Saturday in downtown Nashville. About 450 students in grades six through 12 participated in the statewide competition.

History Day participants enter projects in five different categories: documentaries, exhibits, research papers, web sites and live performances. The projects can be on various historical topics of the students' choosing, provided they relate in some way to the annual theme. This year's theme was "Rights and Responsibilities in History." Ninety students received medals for their efforts, 14 students were awarded special prizes, and two educators were recognized as teachers of the year.


Learning the Basics for Preserving and Storing Documents
(Published: April 14, 2014)

Preserving important family records will be easier than ever for people who attend the next in the Tennessee State Library and Archives' (TSLA) series of workshops. Carol Roberts, conservation manager in TSLA's Preservation Services Section, will host the workshop on basic cleaning, repair and storage techniques people can use to extend the life of important family papers, collections and scrapbooks.

The workshop will be held Saturday, May 3 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the TSLA Auditorium. TSLA's building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville.

"This workshop is a great opportunity for people to learn how to take care of family heirlooms," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "It will be time well spent for those who have an interest in maintaining archival collections, but need a little help getting started."


Students Set to Compete in Tennessee History Day Saturday
(Published: April 10, 2014)

At first blush, College Park, Maryland might not seem like an extremely popular summer destination spot for Tennessee teenagers. Although for those who participate in History Day, it's the place to be: That's where the competition's national finals are held each year during the month of June.

In order to get there, the top competitors from our state must first qualify at Tennessee History Day, which will be held this Saturday at the Legislative Plaza, William R. Snodgrass Tower, and Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville.

During the daylong event, competitors will be judged based on the quality of projects they have submitted on a variety of history-related themes. Nearly 450 students in grades six through 12 from public, private, and home schools across the state will be participating.


State Archivists to Visit Sevierville in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: April 3, 2014)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Sevierville on April 17th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for an exhibit titled "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee."

Archivists will be at the King Family Library, 408 High Street in Sevierville, on April 17 from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.


State Library and Archives Receives Papers Detailing Civil War Love Story
(Published: April 2, 2014)

He lovingly called her "Toad." She affectionately referred to him as "Oll." And although they shared political views that were out of step with many of their East Tennessee neighbors, Oliver Caswell King and his sweetheart Catherine Rebecca Rutledge managed to keep their romance alive through the hardships imposed by the Civil War.

Thanks to a generous donation by the Sullivan County couple’s descendants, Olivia King Inman and Judge Dennis H. Inman of Morristown, love letters between King and Rutledge will soon be available for public viewing at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The Inmans are donating the papers during a brief ceremony at the State Library and Archives building Wednesday.


State Archivists to Visit Newport in Search of Civil War Memorabilia
(Published: April 2, 2014)

Representatives from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Newport on April 16th to record and digitize Civil War memorabilia owned by local residents for an exhibit titled "Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee."

Archivists will be at the Stokely Memorial Library, 383 East Broadway in Newport, on April 16 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. During that time, they invite area residents to bring in original photographs, documents and other artifacts related to the Civil War.

The archivists will scan or take digital photographs of the materials, some of which will be featured in the exhibit, located online at The archivists will not actually take possession of the items from their owners.


March's Tennessee Business Spotlight: "Going Green"
(Published: March 6, 2014)

For Trey Palmer, president of Palmer's Turf Nursery in Dunlap, sod farming isn't just a business – it's a way of life. A way of life that conjures up memories of an older time in our country's history, when farms and farmers were more numerous.

"I love the scenery, the tractors, the simplicity of life, the kids running around on the sod farm," Palmer said.

Palmer's Turf Nursery was founded in 1994, when Palmer's father decided to get out of the landscaping business and concentrate on producing turf. Palmer followed in his father's footsteps, earning a degree in turf grass science from Penn State University.


State Library and Archives Showcases Stories from 'Women in the Civil War' Collection
(Published: March 5, 2014)

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War offers an extended opportunity to commemorate all aspects of one of the country's most significant historical events. And because March is Women's History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be highlighting the stories of women from our new digital collection, "Women in the Civil War," on our Facebook page at

Some historians have argued that women's experiences during that time were even more varied than those of the men who served on the front lines. Women of all social classes experienced the war in some way, whether through deprivation, loss of loved ones, disintegration of social norms, or - in at least a few hundred documented cases - actual battlefield experience.



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