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 called 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.
Shirley feeds our sweet tooth in the archives. Her fudge is famous. She was one of the earliest volunteers, too, beginning in September 2016. Shirley developed a keen interest in the history of East Tennessee when she and her husband Ernie settled in Jonesborough in 1998.
But it was a long and circuitous journey getting here. Born in Washington, D. C, Shirley grew up in West Virginia and later Tampa, Florida. She and husband Ernie Hinds met there at Plant High School and married in 1968. Two weeks later, she found herself living in Maine, where Ernie served in the United States Marine Corps. Their son Robert was born there. He now lives in Fall Branch. The family also lived in Seattle and Chicago. In suburban Chicago, she served as director of volunteers at Friendship Village retirement community. So, she comes to volunteering naturally. Over the years, she was a long-distance telephone operator, investigator for C.T.I., and a secretary in the medical field.
Since coming to Jonesborough, Shirley has been active in several local historical and genealogical organizations, including the Friends of the Washington County Archives, Washington County Historical Association, and the Jonesborough Genealogical Society. In 2014, she was elected into the Hall of Fame of the latter group. In addition to her work in the archives, Shirley also volunteers at the Jonesborough-Washington County Library in the genealogy section, where she has worked on scanning the vertical files. When not volunteering, Shirley enjoys beading, calligraphy, crocheting, and ballroom dancing with her husband of 52 years.
At the archives, she has helped process loose wills, dowers, and Johnson City Law Court case files. She especially enjoys the ability to read first-hand historical documents and the history recorded in these documents found in the archives.