After more than a decade of planning, the state of Tennessee has started construction on a new Library & Archives building, as officials formally broke ground Monday at the corner of Sixth Avenue North and Jefferson Street.
The 165,000-square-foot facility will house government records, photographs, books and other documents. The building has been budgeted at $123.8 million and will feature a climate-controlled chamber and robotic retrieval system.
More From the Tennessee Secretary of State:
The $123.8 million project, which started in 2005, received substantial funding this year after being included in the governor’s budget and approved by the General Assembly. To date, roughly half of the project is funded and the remainder will be recommended in the upcoming budget.
“The new building ensures Tennessee’s history will be preserved for generations while making it more accessible. This world-class facility will blend the necessity of historic preservation with the ever-increasing demand for digital access. I applaud Gov. Haslam and the entire General Assembly for making this a reality so we can better serve Tennesseans,” Secretary Hargett said.
The new building will also feature a conservation lab for the treatment and restoration of books, photographs and documents. There will also be dedicated exhibit spaces for Tennessee’s founding documents and rotating exhibits, as well as a grand reading room with seating for 100 readers and scholars.
Other features include a vault for storing photographic negatives, an early literacy center designed specifically for children with a visual disability and a recording lab to produce oral histories and audio books on Tennessee history.