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Date: October 25, 2018
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Collaborates with New State Museum to Tell the Story of Tennessee

Tennessee State Museum Building

The new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville, TN.

The new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville has a rich story to tell. The permanent exhibits cover the history of Tennessee from First Peoples beginning around 13,000 BCE to the present. “This kind of multifaceted storytelling requires an enormous amount of assets, imagery, and imagination” noted Carly Swaim, VP of exhibits services at History Associates.

Leading design firm Gallagher & Associates designed the 49,000 square-foot exhibit space and engaged History Associates to collaborate with Museum staff and provide exhibit content development support, including script writing, artifact label writing, historical research, image research and high-resolution image acquisition for the museum’s exhibits.

Because of the diverse subjects covered in the permanent exhibits, historians researched a wide range of sources from state and local libraries, university collections, media outlets, art galleries, historical societies, government agencies, national archives, and even private citizens. “The process for finding just the right picture or story can be complicated,” said Ms. Swaim. “Sometimes, you need quite a bit of detective work to find the original source.” The team drafted over 350 text panels and thousands of captions and labels to help tell the story of Tennessee up to the present day.

History Associates worked in close collaboration with the designers from Gallagher & Associates and the Museum staff throughout the design process to ensure that historical content and selected images were accurate, worked within the desired design, and were suitable for use. As the exhibit design came together, the Museum identified the need for more than 500 images that were outside of its collection. Historians from History Associates fanned out across the U.S. to acquire the assets needed, ultimately securing use rights from more than 80 sources in the U.S. and overseas.

The Museum is comprised of six permanent exhibitions, six temporary galleries, a Children’s Gallery, a Digital Learning Center, and more. The Museum’s centerpiece is the Tennessee Time Tunnel, an innovative overview of the state’s history told through a mix of artifacts, images and text panels. Visitors can enter the various exhibits from the tunnel if they want to delve deeper into specific time periods and topics.

The Museum previously occupied the lower floors of the Polk State Office Building. The new building opened on October 4, 2018, only two and a half years after its groundbreaking and three and half years since the Tennessee General Assembly appropriated funds to build it. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free. For more information, visit

About History Associates

For more than thirty-five years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated the value of history in the marketplace. They provide professional organizational histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

History Associates Collaborates with New State Museum to Tell the Story of Tennessee
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History Associates Collaborates with New State Museum to Tell the Story of Tennessee
History Associates provided exhibit content development support for exhibits at the new museum, working closely with designers from Gallagher & Associates and Museum staff.
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History Associates Inc.
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