STATE PENITENTIARY RECORDS / STATE AGENCY RECORD GROUPS
Photocopies of items in record groups, including the State Penitentiary records, can be ordered, if the location of the information is provided (volume and page or box and folder number). The Index to Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1831-1850 and Index to Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1851 - 1870 are available on the Library and Archives web site.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives will search the two published volumes of Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary, 1831-1870 for a listing of a name. The entries in these two volumes are verbatim transcripts of the original records. If the individual was in the state penitentiary during 1831-1870, visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and we will check to see if there is a listing for the subject in the index. There is no charge to check this published index, and the Library and Archives will notify you of the cost to make a copy of the record if found. The Library and Archives will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.
If the individual was in the state penitentiary after 1870, you will need to submit a written request with the following information: name of individual and a five year date range. You can visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives about inmates held after 1870.