We’re on a worldwide search to bring historical photographs and other artifacts to the surface, leveraging the far-reaching influence of the Internet to share Chattanooga’s past with everyone. Not since Paul A. Heiner’s work in the 1950s with his publications, ‘Chattanooga Yesterday and Today,’ has an aggressive and organized attempt to crowd-source a new layer of Chattanooga’s legacy been attempted. It’s in Mr. Hiener’s spirit that the Chattanooga Historical Society endures.
Most of our collected items were acquired with the help of public support through crowdfunding. It started with the crowdfunded glass plate negative collection from the turn of the last century in 2015, and since, the archive has grown exponentially.
We challenge the public to donate their historical items to us. Some of our most significant finds have been locally sourced, and we know there are thousands of unique, unseen, and sometimes-endangered artifacts hidden in shoe boxes, old trunks, attics, storage lockers, or stuffed in an old piece of furniture. Donated items will be researched, cataloged, digitized, added to our online catalog, and offered as a free and open educational reference for generations to come.
Click the tabs below to see the material we’re most interested in receiving. If an image, piece of ephemera, or 3D object isn’t adequately identified with provenance, it doesn’t matter. If you have a hunch that there’s a local connection, we’ll do the research.
Use the donation form and attach a quick cell phone photograph of the items you wish to donate. If you don’t see an item on this list above that you have to donate, please contact us.