Kingsport: A Tour for Archives Month

October is American Archives Month! At the Archives of the City of Kingsport, we have several activities going on, including four new exhibits to see, the Friends of the Archives Annual Meeting and Lecture on October 29, and big additions to our History Pin channel later this month. In the mean time, how about a free tour of the archives!

Welcome to the Kingsport Public Library! The archives is in the basement. Come on in.
The exhibit case in the library entrance lobby is dedicated to Archives Month. Read the two trivia posters near the top and test your knowledge of Kingsport history.
The two archives cases on the main floor of the library currently house an exhibit that features the Kingsport Fire Department’s history.
Here is the main exhibit case in the archives’ lobby. It honors some of Kingsport’s most creative citizens.
My favorite part of the archives’ lobby is J. Fred Johnson’s partner desk. I swear it has magical powers. If you have an essay to write, take a seat and get to work. It is the quietest place in the entire library and there is an outlet to charge your laptop! Moving on.
Once you have passed through the archives door, you are greeted by our most recent soap box derby car acquisition!
Just a few steps down (or take the ramp) and you are in the patron reading area. The items in this case and the car are all from the Sobel’s Store Collection.
In the reading room, researchers can examine primary documents from the archives and enjoy two more display cases. The current exhibit highlights Girl Scouts.
These items are from a wonderful scrapbook and Girl Scout collection.
Here is the processing area. At the far end, I am currently working on the Sevier Terrace  Swimming Pool Records. In the foreground are two small collections ready for labels and shelving.
Behold, the computer/scanner/photo printer station! I am currently digitizing a scrapbook from the LeRoy Sprankle Collection. This is the most amazing album.

One of my favorite photos from the album. Actually, it is hard to choose from over 70 pages of wonderful photographs.
This space is used to organize incoming collections.
Right now, the desk is also safekeeping the super-cool poster Brianne Wright made for our Annual Meeting, featuring guest speaker Pete Lodal presenting on “The Eastman Aniline Explosion.” You should definitely come.
Lest you think we are all caught up on collections awaiting processing, I introduce you to the Altrusa Records!
Here is a view from the back of the archives looking forward.
Here is the entrance to the cage where the stacks of processed collections are stored. The first aisle contains the reference library.
Opposite the cage door is the storage room where empty archival boxes and enclosures are kept. It’s cold in there.
Flat storage for maps and oversized materials are inside of the cage.
These aisles expand and collapse to allow the archivist access to the collections. Oh, look. It’s the Spoden Collection down on the right.
Some of the oldest records in the archives are in this aisle.
All of these light grey and buff colored boxes represent the enormous Swann Studio Collection. Negatives, anyone? Gratefully, some wonderful volunteers are helping weed these files.

Well, that is the tour. Not so scary, right? We’re pretty friendly. Come do some research in the Kingsport Archives and we will go on an Archiventure, together!

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