Audiovisual Heritage Center

Collecting, preserving, and fostering creative public use of our audiovisual heritage.

Latest News and Upcoming Events


Nashville Metro Archives Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC) is pleased to announce our Artist in Residence for 2020: Nashville Filmmaker Lesa Dowdy. In partnership with the the Parthenon, Intersection Music Ensemble, and the Centennial Park Conservancy, AVHC is presenting a live screening of Lesa's film, People, Places, and Things in 2021. The film was made using newly preserved film from the AVHC collection, some of which has not been seen in over half a century, combined with contemporary footage of Nashville by Lesa Dowdy. A live performance of the score, written by composer B. Chakoian Jones, will accompany the film. Due to COVID-19, the live performance will not occur this year, but is moved to 2021. Until then, we have this sneak peek of Lesa's work for you to enjoy. We wish you all a wonderful season and New Year, and look forward to seeing you as soon as possible!


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  • @intersection_music
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  • @bchakoianjones
  • #archivesinthewild


    The following collections from Metro Archives' Audiovisual Heritage Center were inventoried in part thanks to the Archives Development Program Direct Grant, administered through the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The AVHC is generously supported by the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

    Most footage that has been digitized is available upon request. Some footage may not be immediately available due to COVID-19. Please refer to our vimeo page to see some of the digitized collections listed here.

    James Kilgore Collection
    Oral History Collection

    Celebrate World Audiovisual Heritage Day with the Center for Home Movies

    Join us in celebrating World Audiovisual Heritage Day with archives all around the world!

    On October 27 and 28 you can tune in to the Center for Home Movies Website to experience a 24-hour online marathon of home movies from archives and collections around the world. Films from the Audiovisual Heritage Center will be shown as part of the program, representing life in the Southeastern United States. The webcast will begin at 12:00 noon on October 27 with UTC+00:00, then move around the world from east to west.

    See you there!

    NEH-Funded Film Conservation Project Completed

    Over the past year and a half, 400 rare films in the Metro Archives collections were re-housed, inventoried, and inspected through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal of the project is to increase the lifespan of films which document the history and culture of the South, and to improve storage conditions for all Metro collections.

    The project brought archivist Melanie Meents on staff to perform conservation and re-housing of the collection. Meents is now Audovisual Archives Assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    During the project, some of the most important films in the collection were identified and preserved. Those include:

  • Footage of soldiers during World War II playing instruments
  • Footage of Opryland theme park in the 1970s
  • Footage of the Nashville Airport circa 1976
  • The Cumberland River frozen with ice skaters, circa 1940
  • This footage can be streamed at the links provided above. You can see more footage from the collection by visiting the Audiovisual Heritage Center's streaming video page.

    For more information on the project, follow our series on the Nashville Public Library blog, Film Preservation at Nashville Metro Archives. Click on the tag "audiovisual preservation" to the right of the page to see all of the posts.

    This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanties' Preservation Assistance for Smaller Archives grant. You can learn more about the NEH on their website. The Audiovisual Heritage Center is supported by the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

    Time Out of Mind | Early Hindsights of Nashville - Trailer from Audiovisual Heritage Center on Vimeo.