The archives may be filled with records, but it is an empty place without people. There are few people more important to the department than volunteers. The archives cannot function at its best without them. If you have an interest in volunteering, an interest in meeting and helping others, an interest in helping preserve old documents, please consider working with us in the archives. We think you will enjoy the experience.
There are opportunities to work in the Reading Room where you can help researchers. Here you will have the chance to meet people from all over the country. If you prefer working behind the scenes, there are many things you can do. Experience some time travel in working with documents from another century.
Tennesseans are not citizens of the “Volunteer State” for nothing. So we hope you will consider volunteering in the archives. If you are interested, please contact Ned Irwin by phone at (423)753-0393 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see photographs of the volunteers and staff at work, click here: Volunteers and Staff
Georgia and County Archivist Ned Irwin have worked together for a long time. Their association began in 1994 at the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Georgia was the department’s secretary and Ned was the University Archivist until 2012, when he left to establish the Washington County Archives. Following her retirement from ETSU after 25 years of service, Georgia rejoined Ned as a volunteer at the county archives, beginning in November 2016.
Georgia Housewright was born in Hawkins County at her maternal grandmother’s log cabin, the daughter of John Wiley Housewright and Ella Grace Holt. She graduated from Church Hill High School and later Hiwassee College and ETSU. She married her high school classmate C. Andrew (Andy) Greer. Andy became a Methodist minister riding circuit in the Holston Conference, serving churches in Virginia and East Tennessee. Georgia assisted him in the many ways a pastor’s wife does. They have two children, Dawn and Jeff. Andy passed away in 2011.
She loves to type, and this special ability has been an important contribution to the work of the archives, as she types the many guides to collections as these sets of county records are processed. These guides are posted on the archives’ website and are invaluable to researchers. “Without Georgia’s guides, no one could find anything in the archives,” Irwin noted. Guides have been completed in the past four years for marriage records, wills, Chancery Court, and numerous other court records. She is currently typing guides for the judicial case files of County Court and Circuit Court.
When asked what she likes most about working in the archives, Georgia says “I enjoy entering electronic documentation and seeing all of the names of people in the county, and meeting the people who volunteer with me.” One of the most interesting things she found working here was the marriage record of her paternal grandfather to his first wife and also the marriage record of her aunt’s husband’s first wife. These were things she had not known before.
Georgia is an active member of the ETSU Chapter of the Tennessee State Employees Association and the ETSU Retirees Association. She enjoys crocheting, quilting, sewing, typing, reading, working puzzles, and genealogy. She maintains a database of over 6,000 names in her family research and with two cousins wrote a book on the Housewright family history.
Volunteer Spotlight – Betty Jane Hylton