About Our Collections
The Gore Center makes available a variety of collections on American political and policymaking history, Rutherford County history, the history of Middle Tennessee women’s organizations and education, modern military history, and the history and records of Middle Tennessee State University, among other subjects. We collect and preserve archival materials in many formats, including manuscripts, records, government documents, ephemera, photographs, audio and visual, and born-digital. We also house a select amount of artifacts.
All of our materials are non-circulating but may be accessed by the public through our research room. Read our Collections Policy for more information on what and how we collect. Read our Research Policy for information on how researchers can use and get reproductions of our materials.
How to Search Our Collections
Archivists create guides to archival materials called finding aids. What is a finding aid? The definition for the term finding aid, provided by the Society of American Archivists, is as follows: a tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records. Finding aids help users find information in a specific collection, record group, or series of archival materials. Finding aids typically contain an inventory or container list of the information inside each box or folder within a collection. They also provide a narrative for each collection that describes the individual or organization that created the materials, as well as an explanation of how the material is structured or arranged.
The Gore Center’s finding aids can be searched by keyword. For example, if you wanted to research the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you can search across all of our finding aids for collections containing information on “civil rights.” You can make your search as broad or as narrow as you like, depending on your research needs.
Search Our Finding Aids
Most of our processed collections have finding aids or container lists. Many of our unprocessed collections are open for research and may have container lists. The Gore Center houses some restricted material which should be noted in the finding aids. Guidance from one of our archivists is always available, and we encourage you to Contact Us before you begin research.