The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is 10 years old this October. TEL is a great resource for all Tennesseans to use to find information. It is a virtual library that gives access to over 400,000 electronic resources, and is available anywhere there is internet availability: at home, school, work, or even on your iPhone. (www.tntel.info)
In May 1997 TEL began with 18 databases, now there are 34 databases. They range from EBSCO’s Points of View Database, which includes essays and audio and video full text content on all subjects, to Tennessee specific databases. For research there are the Gale Databases that give people access to articles from both scholarly journals and popular magazines. Many of the articles contain the full text right in the database.
For finding out Tennessee news there is a link to newspapers that goes to NewsBank’s Tennessee Newspaper Collection. Right now it contains the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis newspapers. Up until July 1, 2009 the Tennessean was included, but now the Tennessean is only provided through ProQuest. The Tennessee State Library is working on getting the Tennessean back.
TEL does have a genealogy database through ProQuest called: Heritage Quest Online. It contains family history books, federal census records, Freedman’s Bank records and more.
There is also a test preparation site called Learning Express Library. Here you will not only find interactive practice tests for elementary through college students, but also exercises and skill-building courses. There is also a whole learning center devoted to helping you find the right job. You can create your own account in Learning Express Library so you can actually take practice tests.
For historical research check out Tennessee’s Landmark Documents, Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA), and Volunteer Voices. Tennessee’s Landmark Documents is a part of TeVA. It is a digital collection of Tennessee’s most significant historic documents taken directly from the originals. The documents can be browsed or searched by keyword. TeVA can be searched by keyword or by browsed by collection.
If you are having trouble deciding what to read next you might want to check out the Gale database What do I Read Next? Searchable by author, title or series. You can also browse the award winning books or search by genre.
Everything in TEL is provided free for all state of Tennessee residents, through the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The statewide password is: elvis. (This stands for: Electronic Library Virtual Information System.) Check it out! If you think it is useful thank your legislators.