Photos, maps, and other unique resources of information about our city's past.
When scanned with today's digital technology, you may be amazed to see just how much detail was captured in photos over 100 years ago.
Commercial photographers first visited Chattanooga in late 1863, along with the Union Army during the US Civil War. From that point forward many views in and around the city were captured on glass plate negatives, and later film.
By the late 1800's photography was a hobby embraced by many - and was affordable to the middle class - whose parlors in 1900 typically included stacks of photos.
The treasures of a great grandfather’s photo hobby are easily overlooked in a closet, or tossed out during a move. Every photo on this site exists because it was kept and shared. The future of undiscovered historical photos rests on individual awareness and actions.
If you have unique photos that include Chattanooga scenes, please share them by donating or digitally donating (I scan, then return).
NOTE: Only true photo prints (non-digitally printed), film and glass plate negatives are suitable for scanning in high resolution.
Chattanooga’s history is recorded in its newspapers. Yet, despite its rich history, Hamilton County, TN has few digitized newspapers.
Microfilm is not searchable and cumbersome to work with. There are options today to professionally scan & digitize historic newspaper microfilm at little to no cost to the loaning institutions. Images and OCR embedded files can be provided within a matter of days.
Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.
The Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia, including the Walker County Messenger