Tennessee Valley’s Archaeological Images Online at UT

KNOXVILLE — Depression-era images from archeological sites flooded by Tennessee Valley Authority are being archived at a University of Tennessee Web site.

UT Library and Frank H. McClung Museum are creating an online database describing archaeology

WPA crew at the Fain’s Island site, Douglas Reservoir.
(Photo available at: www.lib.utk.edu/announce/WPAcrew.jpg)

projects undertaken by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s before TVA dam construction flooded them.

The project, funded by a $245,772 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, includes 7,500 photographs from UT’s McClung Museum, the University of Kentucky’s William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and the Alabama Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama.

“The combined collection will be an invaluable resource,” Dr. Lynne P. Sullivan, McClung’s archeological curator, said. “Not only do these photos document important Native American sites that now are under water, many photos show numerous people from the region who worked on these Depression-era projects.”

The collections, among the most heavily circulated in each museum, have been used by students, scholars and institutions ranging from the Heritage Museum of McMinn County, Tenn., to the Chicago Art Institute.

The images, field notes and artifacts comprise a unique, comprehensive prehistoric record of Native American habitation in the Southeast, she said.

They will be available next year at a Web URL to be named later as part of UT’s Digital Library.

“The Digital Library is an excellent way to bring these three separate collections together and make them widely available to interested citizens
and scholars alike,” UT Libraries Dean Barbara Dewey said.

More information on UT’s Digital Library can be found at: http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/dlc/.