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Mayor Announces Community Meetings for Input on “Nashville Encyclopedia” Project

June 19, 2014

Online Collection of Nashville History, Culture in the Works by Local Historians
John Seigenthaler to Serve as Executive Editor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today announced a series of community meetings to solicit ideas from the public for an online encyclopedia of Nashville history and culture, which is scheduled to launch next year. John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center and former editor and publisher of The Tennessean, is serving as executive editor of the online project, called Encyclopedia of Nashville and Davidson County.

“This online encyclopedia is an opportunity to showcase our individual and collective knowledge and love of Nashville’s history and culture,” Mayor Dean said. “Nashville’s rich past merits a modern resource for students, residents and visitors.”

Community meetings will take place starting next week throughout Davidson County (schedule below). These meetings will provide citizens interested in the preservation of Nashville history with an opportunity to talk about the history and culture of their local area and suggest topics to be considered for inclusion in the encyclopedia.

Last fall, professional and hobbyist historians from Nashville nonprofits, universities and government agencies were invited to help create a single, user-friendly, engaging and high-quality inclusive compilation of Nashville’s history and culture. Their work is well under way.

Carole Bucy, who is the Davidson County historian, will help lead the project and serve as editor-in-chief.

“We are excited about the interest and promise of this project,” Bucy said. “This is a grassroots effort with hundreds of local citizens working together to produce this encyclopedia. We want all Nashvillians to be a part of sharing our history, and we hope that these meetings will provide additional topics that may have been overlooked.”

In 1980, the city of Nashville celebrated its 200th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the Century II project and the Nashville Public Library published Nashville:  The Faces of Two Centuries 1780-1980 by noted Nashville writer John Egerton. Egerton's history remains the most definitive chronicle of the city's first 200 years. Egerton's text, containing more than 800 names of people, places and events, will be used as the foundation of the Nashville Encyclopedia.  The goal is to have more than 1,500 entries by the time the encyclopedia goes live next spring.

Upcoming community meetings include the following:

  • Monday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. at South Police Precinct
  • Tuesday, June 24, 6:30 p.m. at Bordeaux Library
  • Monday, June 30 at 6 p.m. at Green Hills Library
  • Thursday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Goodlettsville Library
  • Monday, July 14 at 6 p.m. at Hermitage Library
  • Tuesday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. at Edmondson Library
  • Monday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Madison Library
  • Thursday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Casa Azafran
Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at Bellevue YMCA (Fifty Forward area)