Tennessee Room

Monday-Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm 
(731) 300-3980
The Tennessee Room staff can assist patrons with use of the collection.
Visitors are asked to sign the guest register upon entering. 
Minors are required to be accompanied by a parent.

About Us

The Tennessee Room houses a non-circulating special collection devoted to genealogical and local historical research.
In addition to over 5,000 books, there are over 1,945 microfilm rolls containing Madison County Records, Tennessee Census schedules (1810-1930), Jackson, TN newspapers (various dates beginning in 1823), Tennessee Death Indexes (1908-1957), Tennessee Death Certificates (1908-1957), and other records .

The collection includes maps, Jackson city directories, funeral records, vertical files, special collections, and photographs.

The Tennessee Room also serves to pay tribute to Emma Inman Williams (1906-1992), teacher, writer, editor, historian, and the first Tennessee Room librarian (1972-1986). "Miss Emmy", as she was often called, served as Madison County historian for many years. Her book, Historic Madison was published in three editions (1946, 1972, 1986) and still serves as the primary introduction to Madison County's early history.

The Tennessee Room maintains a close working relationship with the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society and has a complete set of back issues of their publication, Family Findings.

Genealogy & Local History Holdings


The Tennessee Room has a collection of photographs and postcards pertaining to Jackson's past.  The  photographs are mostly copy prints provided by various donors.
A selection of photographs from the Jackson Business History Collection can be viewed here.

Obituary Index

The index, beginning with 1936, follows the most consistent sequence of The Jackson Sun publication dates. Issues prior to 1936 have been indexed in other sources.
This index was conceived by Jimmy Wilkins, Tennessee Room volunteer and part-time employee, who spent countless hours reading The Jackson Sun over many years. 


Once there, you can search for a certain year or newspaper by pressing Ctrl + F on your keyboard to bring up a search box. Once you have the search box you are able to type in the year or title of the newspaper you are looking for.

From the Vault - TN Room Virtual Archive

2003 tornado damage assessment

Jackson Sun Newspaper, May 5, 2003 page A1
On the morning of May 5th, 2003, The Jackson Sun newspaper groaned the news of widespread damage throughout the city. Subsequent newspapers tracked the extensive damage and slow recovery.  The Tennessee Room stores a collection of print media articles about the Jackson, Tennessee tornadoes.   Recently, Tennessee Room staff member, Brendan Rowe, worked on identifying properties in a group of photographs transferred from the Madison County Archives.  These photos, two of over 700 in the TN Room special collection, represent only a small percentage of the actual widespread damage.  
Lisa Malhomes, a Jackson Madison County Library staff member, recalled her experience:
“It seemed like a normal, stormy night.  I was 16 and mildly irritated that the storm caused a power outage.  I went to bed early and was later awakened that night to a pounding roar outside.  I barely had time to find my mother and scream for my cousin before the tornado hit our home.  We all fell to the floor and were instantly covered with insulation and debris.  It seemed to last forever, but it only lasted for a couple of minutes.  The tornado had ripped the roof off our house, and we could see the sky above us. We slowly picked our way through the debris and huddled in a bedroom closet all night until the next morning, when our neighbors helped us escape our house. It was a truly horrible, life-changing night.”

Although it is painful to remember the loss of lives and property, the area’s recovery is tribute to many individuals, disaster response teams, and agencies.

Tennessee Room Blog

Jackson & Madison County Book on Sale for Reduced Price
December 12th, 2023
For sale at the library for $20.00(cash or check only)Proceeds support the Friends of the Library From 2016:"What better way to start the new year than with a new book! Β The new pictorial history entitled, Jackson & Madison County: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow was published just before Christmas and is still available for purchase at the Jackson-Madison County Library. Its main feature is the super...
Mr. A.M. Pounds and his 90th Birthday
December 12th, 2023
Arlie M. Pounds, a former Tennessee Room assistant, celebrated his 90th birthday on January 25, 2012, with a small ceremony hosted at the Jackson-Madison County Library. Although he is no longer with us, Mr. Pounds is remembered not only for his contributions to the Tennessee Room, but also for his participation in Dixie League baseball and his time served as a veteran of World War 2. A truck and ...
Marathon Motor Works
December 12th, 2023
The Rise and Fall of Marathon Motor Worksby D. Phillip Kaiser and Diane Kurek Kaiser This exciting new addition to the Tennessee Room is the first book of a projected trilogy concerning the automobile manufacturing Β company Β known as the Marathon Motor Works and its parent company, the Southern Engine and Boiler Works, along with the men who were instrumental in its creation and its demise. Β In ad...
Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
December 12th, 2023
Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Tradeby David Eltis & David RichardsonThis atlas includes 189 maps, many illustrations, a timeline of the slave trade,and a glossary of terminology, along with an authoritative text, all providing a detailed examination of this abysmal economic system that formed from greed and fostered racism. It describes in detail the dark side of a world in which all of our anc...
The Tigretts of West Tennessee
December 12th, 2023
The Tigretts of West Tennessee and Their Familiesby Gwendolyn McCaffrey McReynolds When spurred by a passing remark made by her grandmother, Grace Truman Edwards Loggins, Gwendolyn McReynolds embarked on a research discovery to trace her connections to the Tigrett family. The end result, The Tigretts of West Tennessee and Their Families, is part genealogy and part narrative, following the research...

Genealogy Related Websites

  • Ancestry Library Edition 
    • To access Ancestry Library Edition, you must either be using the library's WIFI (JMCL GIG) from your own device or the computer in our lab. This is IP address specific, meaning this resource is not available off-site.
  • HeritageQuest
    • HeritageQuest Online includes all of the images, and extensive indexing, from the 1790 - 1930 U.S. federal censuses. It offers more than 20,000 book titles, including nearly 8,000 family histories and over 12,000 local histories. Additionally, there are more than 250 primary-source documents such as tax lists, city directories, probate records, and more. Researchers can use HeritageQuest Online to find their ancestors, trace their paths across America, and learn what life was like in the areas where they settled.
      To access HeritageQuest through the JMCL Library you would Enter your Library Card number when prompted.
  • Tennessee Records Repository - Madison County 
    • The primary entry point for on line genealogical research for Madison County is located on the TNGenWeb. The Tennessee Records Repository has been established as an additional resource in support of the Madison County TNGenWeb. The Co. TN genealogical records held here are for use by the general public. These records have been donated to TNGenNet Inc. for permanent online free-access.
  • TNGenWeb Project 
    • We, the volunteers of the TNGenWeb Project, are committed to maintaining and enhancing this FREE online genealogy project for the benefit of the public good. All Tennessee counties will have an area for you to post queries and to access county information. Additionally, we will offer related Tennessee historical information and also, some historical information relative to adjoining states.
  • US GenWeb Project  
    • We are a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone. Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state genealogy websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties. The USGenWeb Project also sponsors important Special Projects at the national level and this website provides an entry point to all of those pages, as well.
  • World GenWeb Project 
    • The WorldGenWeb Project is divided into 11 World Regions. Each region is divided up by countries and each country is divided into individual provinces, states, or counties (terms vary depending on administrative divisions).
  • RootsWeb
    • More than 10 billion historical records and more than 136 million photographs, scanned documents and written stories have been uploaded
  • Family Search 
    • Records span billions of names across hundreds of collections—including birth, marriage, death, probate, land, military, IGI extracted, and more.
  • Cyndi's List 
    • Cyndi's List has been a trusted genealogy research site for more than 15 years. Cyndi's List is free for everyone to use and it is meant to be your starting point when researching online.
  • GenForum 
    • Over 14,000 online forums devoted to genealogy, including surnames, U.S. states, countries, and general topics.
  • Steven Morse's One Step Portal for Genealogy Searching 
    • In the “old days” genealogical research was done by traveling great distances and then going through dusty archives or using microfilm readers. But the advent of the World Wide Web has changed that. Today much of the data useful to genealogists has been put on websites and can be accessed from the comfort of home.
  • Tennessee Vital Records 
    • The Shelby County Register of Deeds website provides indexes to Tennessee vital records, including a death records index 1949-2014, a divorce records index 1980-2014, and a marriage records index 1980-2014.
  • Helm's Genealogy Toolbox 
    •  Helm's Genealogy Toolbox is the oldest comprehensive genealogy and local history index, first appearing in 1994. The links on this site point to other resources available on the World Wide Web to assist your research.