In addition to preserving the legal records of Hamblen County, the Hamblen County Archives also houses a growing genealogical/historical reference library collection. Since 2002, we have been open to the public, including non-residents of Tennessee. All resources and collections are non-circulating.

Hamblen County was formed in 1870, but it did not have an active records preservation program until 2002. As such, records were stored in less than favorable conditions and citizens were allowed to handle county records without supervision. Thanks to the work of three concerned citizens (Helen Danison, Barbara Baker, and Sally Bennett) along with the assistance of Tennessee State Archivist, Wayne Moore, and County Mayor, David Purkey, the groundwork for organizing the Hamblen County Archives began in January 2002.

In February 2002, the Hamblen County Commission unanimously passed a resolution which officially established an archive for Hamblen County. With five thousand dollars, space in the basement of the Hamblen County courthouse and a group of volunteers, the Hamblen County Archives began the important and very dirty work of cleaning and filing records with the purpose and mission of preserving the legal records of Hamblen County. The Archives opened its doors to the public in May 2002.

In order to prevent further theft of genealogical and historical resources, the Hamblen County Genealogical Society, the Morristown-Hamblen Library Board, and the Hamblen County government made a joint decision in 2005 to transfer the resources from the Meta Goodson Genealogy room at the Morristown-Hamblen Library to the Hamblen County Archives for safekeeping.

The Hamblen County Archives exists today because of the efforts and support of so many. Financial support has come from the Hamblen County government, patrons, grants, and the community. Thanks to donations and purchases, the collection of resources continues to grow and expand.

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, the Archives has operated and served the public. Many thousands of hours have been donated by many, including Helen Danison. She was instrumental in the Archive's creation and logged more than 9,700 hours serving as director from the beginning in 2002 until her sudden passing in January 2009 (five of those years she worked without compensation). Helen loved the Archives and her spirit lives on as volunteers continue to carry on the important work she started.

Thanks to the Hamblen County Archives, the history and heritage of Hamblen County is being preserved for future generations.

"People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors." -Edmund Burke

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Last revised: May 28, 2019