Category Archives: Books

Guide to World War I Resources

In recognition of the centennial of the First World War, Librarian Robert Cruthirds has created a pathfinder for WWI-related materials here at the Central Library.  Thanks, Robert!

WWI Page Onepage-1We expect to add other pathfinders in the near future, so you can also use the “Pathfinders” link in the menu bar above.


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Filed under Books, Military History, Pathfinders, Resources

Bolton, Dickens & Co. Record of Slaves, 1856 – 1858

Cover of Document

This document, created by Shirley Neely, is an oft-requested resource in the Memphis Room.  Featuring a transcription and compilation of the records of one of the largest slave dealers in Memphis during the middle part of the 1800s, this manuscript is now available in its entirety in the archive. Pages 1-38 are a day-to-day accounting by Isaac Bolton for the months of March and April 1865. Pages 39-79 list the names of slaves, purchase prices, etc. Pages 80-91 include entries for sale of slaves. Pages 92-99 are transcriptions of correspondence and the last section includes newspaper articles and advertisements.


Filed under Black History, Books, Civil War, Digital Archive, Genealogy, Memphis History, Resources, Volunteers

Bits and Pieces

Happy New Year!  I’ve been a bad, bad blogger…

It might seem like we’re not doing much here in the Memphis Room, but the truth is we’ve been doing too much!  We’ll have other updates soon, but first a few things we need to catch up on:

Memphis Movie Theatres


Many congratulations to our volunteer Vincent Astor on his new book.  Nobody knows more about Memphis theaters than Vincent.  Pick up a copy – it’s available everywhere!



ScheidtDonelson MoweryNew episodes of The Memphis Room are available in the archive and on our Vimeo page.  Enjoy interviews with Honey Scheidt, Lewis Donelson and Father Don Mowery.


Finding Aids

It’s been a long time since we last did an update of new collections.  The following collections have been added to the Memphis Room:

Joe Bennett CollectionTennessee Children’s Home Society CollectionHotel Greeters of America – Women’s Division Delta Chapter No. 59 Collection, J.B. Mann Suffrage Collection, John Ford Canale Collection, Rowlett Paine Collection, W.C. Handy Beale Street Collection, Emma K. Meacham Collection, Beebe Woodside Collection, Gerald & Barbara Dowdy Collection, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Collection, Bryan Eagle Family Collection, Gwen R. Awsumb Collection, Ronco Spaghetti Company Collection, Awsumb Architectural Collection, Reverend Eron M. Sharp Collection Addendum, Memphis Architectural Collection, United Daughters of the Confederacy – Mary Latham Chapter Collection, Charles A. McVean U.S. Engineers Collection, Beale Street Blue Light District Collection, Mary Snowden Collection.



Filed under Books, Collections, History Department, TV, Volunteers

A Brief History of Memphis

Book Cover

This week we celebrate the release of History Senior Manager Wayne Dowdy’s latest book.  We will, of course, have a copy here in the Memphis Room, but the book will also be available from local booksellers.  Don’t forget to take a look at other books from current and former staff members – They make wonderful Christmas presents!

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Filed under Authors, Books, History Department

Coming Soon: Miriam DeCosta-Willis

On Saturday, February 26th, join us at 2:00 pm in the Memphis Room to celebrate the release of Miriam DeCosta-Willis’ new book, Black Memphis Landmarks.  At the same time, the Miriam DeCosta-Willis Collection will be made available to the public for the first time.

Mrs. DeCosta-Willis has had a remarkable career as a scholar, a writer and as a civil rights leader, and the collection will include materials from all aspects of her life and career.

Until then, let us tease you with some of the photos from her collection.  Approximately 30 photos from the Miriam DeCosta-Willis Collection have been added to the Civil Rights Photograph Collection.  Enjoy!


Filed under Authors, Black History, Books, Buildings, Civil Rights, Collections, Events