Shortly after the May flood waters subsided, the Main library staff retrieved an array of items that document the historic aspects of the event. Over the next 9 months, the Special Collections Division, in partnership with institutions throughout the city, will expand this effort by collecting oral histories, still images, text, audio video and documents of the aftermath. The library’s existing oral history and digital collections are exemplary in content, and the scope of this effort will help expand that reach.

Project Timeline

Fall 2010: Find institutional partners

Dec 2010-Jan 2011: Train volunteers

Jan 2011-Feb 2011: Phase I
Interviews of city officials and first response teams

Mar 2011-Apr 2011: Phase II
Interviews of businesses and community members

May 2011- : Phase III
Interviews continue

July 2012: Digital delivery of oral history excerpts through the library’s Digital Collections


Andrea Blackman, Special Collections Division Manager
Nashville Public Library


Mayor’s Office
United Way
Metro Arts Commission
Metro Archives
The Brentwood Library
Metropolitan Historical Commission
Antioch Restore the Dream Center
Impact Nashville
Aerial Innovations
Williamson County Public Library
Neighborhoods Resource Center
Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center
North Nashville/Bordeaux Restore the Dream Center
Fisk University
Lipscomb University
Nashville State Community College
Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives
Gentuso Photography
Greater Bethel AME Church of Nashville
Bellevue Family YMCA & FiftyForward J.L. Turner Center