1981 Hollywood Drive, Suite 300, Jackson, Tennessee  38305
Direct Line - (731) 300-3987 / Phone - (731) 660-6221 ext. 3810
Hours  -  Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Madison County, TN website - www.madisoncountytn.gov

The Madison County Archives was first established in 1999 in downtown Jackson and then relocated to the old Union University campus east of downtown before moving to its present location in 2009.  

We are located in the north end of the Madison County Complex building across Hollywood Drive from Poplar Heights Baptist Church and just south of the West Tennessee Area Council Boy Scouts of America.

About Us

Lorri Skelton
Archivist & Certified Archives Manager

Paulette Fairchild
Assistant Archivist & Certified Archives Manager 

Our Work

     The Madison County Archives is a department of the government of Madison County, Tennessee and is under the direct control of County Mayor Jimmy Harris.  We develop and manage the county archives program, organize and preserve county historical records, and assist citizens and researchers in the use of the many fragile and important documents and bound volumes.  We work closely with elected officials and department heads to preserve the permanent records of their respective offices and advise the county mayor and the Madison County Public Records Commission on our performance.  Following the guidelines of the University of Tennessee County Technical Advisory Service, the permanent and historically significant records created by Madison County government offices and departments are transferred to the Madison County Archives based on a retention schedule. Click below to see the Public Records Policy for the Madison County Archives, Madison County, Tennessee.

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Our Records

     Our records in our physical facility are original paper and bound volume records. They are on microfilm at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and some are digitized on the Family Search website. We do not have the majority of our records digitized to be accessed from this website. Our staff welcomes research inquiries by phone, email, mail, or in person; we will scan and send records to patrons or make photocopies on an "as requested" basis.

Rules of Use

    Records are maintained on special shelving and racks and in lockable cabinets.  Researchers sign in our register book in our reception area and make their requests known to the staff, who retrieve and oversee the use of the requested documents.  Patrons may be asked to wear provided white cotton gloves or latex gloves when handling the most fragile documents. Photocopies can be made by staff at a charge, or scanned documents may be saved to a flash drive or emailed free of charge.  Patrons may also take photographs of documents or use hand scanners (if records are not too fragile) free of charge.  Our staff also welcomes research inquiries by email, mail, or phone.

     Some records are confidential and are still under the control of the issuing county official or department until such time as they may be open for public scrutiny.  Permission from authorizing officials must be obtained before access to these records will be granted. 


     Please click the links below to learn more about us and our mission.

Mission Statement and Collecting Policy.pdf Mission Statement and Collecting Policy.pdf
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replevin brochure.pdf replevin brochure.pdf
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  • The link above is information on Tennessee's Replevin law, courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Public Records Commission

     The Madison County Public Records Commission is the trustee of the public record of Madison County government.  Civic memory is found in public records, the documents that are tools of government and evidence of the actions of government.  The confidence of citizen voters and taxpayers in their governments rests on the integrity of the public record.  Tennessee state law recognizes this by requiring that certain records be kept for a time until their usefulness is gone and they may be destroyed; and by requiring that other records are "permanent" and should be kept available for public inspection for so long as it is humanly possible to preserve them.  The Public Records Commission sees to the integrity of public records and civic memory, decides what is important enough to preserve permanently and what may be destroyed, and assures that a good public record is available for public inspection.  Our Public Records Commission works hand in hand with county departments and our Archives to achieve those objectives.*

     The Madison County Public Records Commission meets at least twice a year, elects its own officers, keeps records of decisions and transactions, reports at least once a year to the County Mayor and County Commission on commission activities and the state of records and archives management in Madison County, authorizes or disapproves requests from county offices to destroy original records using records retention schedules prepared by the County Technical Advisory Service for guidance, and reviews the operations of our Archives to assure the County Commission that it meets archives management standards.*

Members of the 2021-2022 Public Records Commission:

  • Lorri Skelton, archivist, Madison County Archives (ex-officio) - chairperson
  • Jack Wood, Tennessee Room librarian, Jackson-Madison County Library - vice chairperson
  • Sarah McClain, Administrative Assistant to the Madison County Board of Commissioners - recording secretary
  • Harbert Alexander - County Historian (ex-officio)
  • Don Allen - Circuit Judge, Division II

  • Fred Birmingham - County Clerk (ex-officio)

  • Katie Y. Brantley - County Commissioner

  • Angie Byers - County Register (ex-officio )
  • Steve Maroney - County Attorney

  • Cornelia Tiller
*Source:  Tennessee Archives Management Advisory bulletin "County Public Records Commissions and Municipal Records:  A Handbook of Statutory Provisions, Notes and TSLA Policies", Tennessee State Library and Archives

Latest News & Events

  • To minimize the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we ask patrons to wear face coverings and to practice social distancing while in our facility.
  • Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society will meet Tuesday, April 13, at 6:00 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge at 226 Cotton Grove Road in Jackson.  Ricky Long will be the speaker, and his presentation is titled “What It Means to Be Scots-Irish.”

    The public is invited to attend the meeting.  CDC guidelines will be followed for social distancing, and face masks will be required.

    Annual membership dues are $20 and include quarterly issues of “Family Findings” with West Tennessee genealogical stories and research tips.  Mail dues payment to MWTGS Treasurer Danny Nolen, 58 Princeton Place, Jackson, TN 38305-7548.

    Directions to the FOP Lodge:

    The FOP Lodge is located at 226 Cotton Grove Road.  It is next door to The Cedars historic home and near Kate Campbell Robertson Park, Kellogg, Salem Cemetery, Leeper Lane Park, and Lake Graham.  Anyone traveling from the Lexington area should take Cotton Grove Road off of Highway 412. When entering the FOP property, there is a mobile home on the right where a retired JPD officer lives.  You do not need to stop there even though a sign says to stop.  That is for anyone going to the firing range.  Continue up the narrow drive to the lodge and the parking at the top of the hill.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is scheduled to open to the public on April 13, 2021, in its new location on the northeast corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the intersection of Rep. John Lewis Way N. and Jefferson St.

    “It is an exciting time for TSLA as we are only weeks away from opening the doors to this important resource for our great state,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “This state-of-the-art facility will ensure Tennessee’s history will be properly preserved and accessible for generations to come.”

    After more than a year of preparation, TSLA staff started moving and installing collections and exhibits in the new building at the beginning of February.

    “Countless hours of planning by our staff has gone into carefully and thoughtfully transporting our historical documents, manuscripts and collections,” said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist. “Thanks to the dedication of our staff and the professionalism of our moving contractor, most of the 500,000 books and 40,000 boxes of archival material in our collection will be available for Tennesseans when we open our doors in April.”

    The new 165,000 square foot facility includes a climate-controlled chamber for safely storing historic books and manuscripts with a space-saving robotic retrieval system. A new blast freezer will allow TSLA staff to help save materials damaged by water or insects following floods and other disasters. The new facility also has classrooms for student groups and meeting space for training librarians and archivists.

    The larger and more technologically advanced building is a major upgrade from TSLA’s current 1950s era home. The new facility has the much needed space to properly house collections, improved climate controls and increased handicapped access. The extra space and efficiency will increase TSLA’s capacity by nearly 40 percent from 542,700 to 759,500 items.

    The 110th General Assembly approved funding in 2017 and 2018 for the new facility. Although the project timeline was adjusted slightly after the March 2020 tornados, construction remained within the $123.8 million budget.

    A ribbon cutting event will be held on April 12, with virtual viewing details forthcoming. The new building will open to the public with limited capacity due to COVID-19 safe precautions on April 13.

    For the latest information about the new building opening, follow the TSLA’s social media channels: Facebook: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Instagram: @tnlibarchives along with the Secretary of State’s Twitter account: @SecTreHargett.

  • JACKSON, Tenn. – The City of Jackson and Madison County will both celebrate bicentennial anniversaries respectively in 2022 and 2021. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime commemoration of 200 years of history, culture and community. Various events and educational resources are being developed to celebrate the community’s past while also setting the stage for the future.

    Madison County was established by the Tennessee Legislature on November 7, 1821 and was named after founding father and fourth President of the United States, James Madison. 

    The City of Jackson was formerly known as Alexandria but was renamed in honor of Tennessee native and seventh President of the United States Andrew Jackson on August 17, 1822.

    City Mayor Scott Conger and County Mayor Jimmy Harris have asked local community volunteer Elaine Christian to serve as committee chair. Other bicentennial organizing committee members include Anita Kay Archer, Ted Austin, Leigh Anne Bentley, Gayle Gilbert, Loni Harris, Dennis Henderson, Judy Renshaw and Marda Wallace.

    Subcommittees will include the historical advisory committee, public art committee, affiliate advisory committee, education committee, events committee, communications committee and the time capsule committee.

    The kickoff of the bicentennial year is scheduled for August 2021 and will run through August 2022.

Other Resources

The Tennessee Room at the

Jackson-Madison County Library

433 East Lafayette Street

Jackson, TN 38301

(731) 425-8600


 Tennessee State Library and Archives

403 Seventh Avenue North

1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N. (after April 13, 2021)

Nashville, TN 37219

(615) 741-2764

Online Genealogy Index Search

Search military records, vital records and other Tennessee resources indexed over many years


Office of Vital Records

421 Fifth Avenue North

Nashville, TN  37247

(615) 741-1763


Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society

841 Sanford Street

Henderson, TN  38340-2006


Tennessee TNGen Web Project

Madison County Records on Family Search

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