Knox County Archives Policies
The purpose of the Knox County Archives is to receive, process, and preserve the non-current, permanent records created by the Knox County, Tennessee, government from 1792 to present. The Knox County Archives provides information on the origins and history of the court systems, court records, genealogy, and history of Knox County, Tennessee. The Archives provides public access to all holdings, with the exception of juvenile records and those restricted by Tennessee laws. It provides local government source material to court officials, genealogists, legal professionals, historians, and the general public.
- The Guide to Records in the Knox County Archives, located in the search room, lists the court and agency records held by the Archives. Please note the ending dates of the Archives' holdings for each court or agency. Some records may still be in the Knox County Courthouse or City-County Building on Main Street.
- State and federal laws prohibit public access to juvenile and adoption records without court permission. Tennessee Code 10-7-504 protects the records of students in public educational institutions. The Knox County Archives maintains the confidentiality of these records as well as other records deemed confidential by law.
- The staff preserves and provides access to the archived Knox County records. The staff is not responsible for the contents of the records or for records not transferred from courts or agencies in a given series.
- The staff is trained to assist patrons in using the Archives' materials for research but cannot perform extensive research projects for patrons.
- Microfilm protects the original documents and preserves them for posterity. Records that have been microfilmed should be viewed on microfilm unless concerns about the legibility or quality of the microfilm arise. Questions concerning the legibility of documents on microfilm, missing pages, or illegible text should be addressed to the Archivist.
The Archives' records must be handled with care. For this reason, please keep in mind the following:
- Please keep all documents in the order in which you receive them.
- When using original records at the document table, please use pencil only and one notebook. Ink may permanently damage these irreplaceable records.
- Upon completion of your research, the Archives staff may search your materials. Contents of records will be counted before and after use.
- According to Tennessee Code 39-16-504, it is a Class A misdemeanor to intentionally destroy, conceal, remove, or impair the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record. Violators will be prosecuted.
- Staff may restrict the use of fragile documents, and fragile documents will not be photocopied. If a document is determined to be too fragile for use, a staff member may be able to read and transcribe the document for the requesting patron.
Staff can make copies of records for patrons. With this in mind:
- Please make all copy requests before 5:15 pm.
- The staff may not be able to complete large copy requests on the same day they were made.
- The staff can certify microfilm copies and photocopies of original documents. Certified copies are admissible in federal, state, and local courts, and can be used as proofs for genealogical organizations.
- Please note the fee for copies, which is posted in the search room.