West Tennessee Historical Society

Logo of the West Tennessee Historical Society

The West Tennessee Historical Society is the umbrella heritage organization for the Western Grand Division of Tennessee. Within its twenty-one counties, it supports historical programs, archives, publications, preservation, markers, museums, and other historical collections. Thus, the society promotes all aspects of state and local history.

History and Mission of the West Tennessee Historical Society

By-laws of the West Tennessee Historical Society

Contact WTHS

Click here to receive the WTHS E Newsletter


Join the West Tennessee Historical Society (WTHS) in Today for Tomorrow, a documentation project created to inspire young people in the 21 counties of West Tennessee to take an active role in preserving the region’s history. Participants are encouraged to taking digital photographs of their neighborhoods including buildings, historic sites, natural landmarks, bridges, railroads, family gatherings, and community activities.

The WTHS will collect the photographs which will become part of the WTHS archives housed at the Special Collections Department of the University of Memphis. These will be shared with universities, state, local, and school libraries available to researchers, historians, filmmakers, artists, and community members.photography_450 left

“The images generated by the Today For Tomorrow project will be an important and permanent enhancement to the holdings of the West Tennessee Historical Society and the Mississippi Valley Collection of the University of Memphis Library,” said Edwin Frank, assistant professor and curator of special collections. “I am pleased to be part of an endeavor that will help document our region’s history by drawing in young people as active participants.”

Today for Tomorrow is based on the Memphis Legacy Project created by Memphis author and filmmaker Willy Bearden, who has contributed over 7,000 photographs of present-day Memphis to the Memphis Public Library & Information Center’s digital archive.

Over 70 high schools in West Tennessee were invited to participate in the Today for Tomorrow project.

Although this project is suggested for high school students, anyone can participate individually or as a group, from student to adult, either as participant or supporter. The WTHS also encourages members of youth groups, community organizations, and summer camps to submit photographs. Consider sending your photographs to WTHS to be archived for future generations. For more details, contact Carol Perel Executive Director at 901.276.7154 or e mail through the following form:

Click Here for information on program, process, and contact information.

West Tennessee Historical Society  is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity chartered under the laws of the state of Tennessee.  WTHS activities are free and open to the public. The WTHS does not discriminate in any aspect of membership or participation on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.


An award is presented by The West Tennessee Historical Society to an individual or organization for outstanding contribution to the area’s history. The award is chosen by the WTHS Board. Past winners:

2011 Memphis University School

2012 Tom Leatherwood

2013 Willy Bearden

2014 Theodore Bradford “Tim” Sloan


Since 1973, an award is presented by The West Tennessee Historical Society to the contributor of the article chosen by the Executive Committee as being the best of those printed in each number of The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers. Click Publications and Papers at the top of the page to view past winners and their contributions.


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