Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Digital Collection: Farms of Cannon County, Tennessee

MTSU's Walker Library has collaborated with the Arts Center of Cannon County to develop a new digital collection: Farms of Cannon County, Tennessee.

Ben Freeze checking his crop of sudan grass (1965)

This collection consists primarily of black-and-white photographs taken by Mr. William L. Clement, District Conservationist for the United States Soil Conservation Service in Cannon County, Tennessee from 1950 to the mid-1970s. Mr. Clement was a capable and consistent photographer of all aspects of his work in Cannon County. He carefully depicted the farmers who worked the land, the land itself, the crops that were grown and the equipment that was used. In the process he frequently captured images of home and community life and of the changing landscape of the county.

More than 400 images are included in the collection. The earliest is dated 1944 and latest is dated 1973, rounding out three full decades. Most were taken by Mr. Clement but nine were taken during the 1940s by his predecessors and others were taken by his assistants, often with Mr. Clement as a subject. These 400 were selected from more than 1000 images that were given by Mr. Clement to the Arts Center of Cannon County.

In addition to multiple search and browse options, the site has a image "slider" (or carousel) that presents highlights from the collection:
  • Photos of Mr. Clement and an oral history interview (audio) in which he discusses teaching in the farm training program for veterans, his work as a district conservationist in Cannon County, and a host of farming topics (tobacco farming, soil types, introducing new crops, no-till farming, etc.).
  • Tobacco farming - photos and a clip from the oral history interview.
  • Information about Cannon County "Century Farms" that are represented in the digital collection. Tennessee Century Farms,  (, a program of MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation, recognizes and documents the contributions of families who have owned and farmed the same land in the state for at least 100 years.

1 comment:

Monika Borua said...

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