The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)

The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) is an organization dedicated to the history of East Tennessee. In addition to presenting and preserving the heritage of the area, the ETHS also collects and preserves historically significant artifacts and educates the community on about East Tennessee and its surrounds. Established 1834 just 38 years after the state of Tennessee was founded, the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) recorded, interpreted and presented the history of the development and settlement of the area. The educational mission of the ETHS is also to engage the public and highlight the importance of history.

The East Tennessee Historical Society is made up of the East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum, the Know Country Archives, the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, and the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, all of which are headquartered together in the East Tennessee History Center in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)


»Museum of East Tennessee History

Museum of East Tennessee History


Located at the East Tennessee History Center in the heart of Knoxville, the Museum of East Tennessee History showcases the heritage of the area and highlights the generations-old traditions and way of life of the local community. The Museum is open daily and features a variety of interactive displays and changing exhibits, including the signature exhibition, Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee.

The Natalie L. Haslam Signature Gallery features the signature exhibit, Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee, which tells the story of three centuries of life in the mountain and valley land through an array of artifacts, images, and modern technology. The Rogers-Claussen Gallery features a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the year that explores a variety of historical topics about the local region and further afield. East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee - Photo: The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)

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»Museum Collection

Museum Collection


The Museum of East Tennessee History’s collection features more than 13,000 artifacts and objects of material culture that were either used or made in the region. The Collection aims to interpret, preserve and promote the history of East Tennessee's 35 counties and illustrate life in East Tennessee in the past. Highlights of the Collection include paintings, decorative arts and furniture, textiles, quilts, and Civil War items from both the Confederate and Union armies. Traveling Exhibits at the Museum are presented from time to time and focus on themes with broad, regional appeal, such as ‘Reading Appalachia,' and ‘Made in Tennessee.’

The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee - Photo: The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)

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»Education & Events

Education & Events


The East Tennessee Historical Society offers a variety of educational and creative programs that aim to inspire and encourage students and visitors with interest in the history of East Tennessee. Programs include workshops, lectures, homeschooling programs, scholarships, and the sponsorship of National History Day.

The East Tennessee Historical Society also hosts and supports an array of functions and events throughout the year, including the East Tennessee History Fair, Awards of Excellence, the Blue & Gray Reunion, Civil War 150 Programs, and the East Tennessean of the Year. East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee - Photo: The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)

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»Visitor Information

Visitor Information

The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) is located at 601 South Gay Street in Knoxville and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Museum of East Tennessee History is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

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601 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901-1629, Phone: 865-215-8824 East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee - Photo: The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS)

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East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee