The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture

Your Source for Tennessee History


The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture is a free, online reference source from the Tennessee Historical Society. Unlike crowd-sourced sites, with anonymous contributors and often suspect content, Tennessee Encyclopedia entries are reviewed by editor-in-chief Carroll Van West, PhD, and authors of the entries are identified. The website is presented in partnership with the University of Tennessee Press.


Tennessee Encyclopedia first appeared in print in 1998 and has been on-line since 2002. Containing approximately 2,000 entries on all aspects of Tennessee history, by almost 600 authors, The Tennessee Encyclopedia website will see new enhancements in 2018. Look for updated entries and new content in the months to come.


The content of The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture is copyrighted by the Tennessee Historical Society, unless otherwise noted. For information on permission for use or for questions regarding The Tennessee Encyclopedia, use the Contact section at the bottom of this page.

Construction Notice! The Tennessee Encyclopedia website is undergoing upgrades for its software, design, and content. It will be unavailable periodically into April 2018. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve the site.