Historic Nashville, Inc. neighborhoods oral history project
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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Special Collections - Closed Stacks
SCC oral histories
Special Collections - Closed Stacks
Workroom range 1 section 2: document
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Special Collections - Closed StacksSCC oral historiesLibrary Use Only
Special Collections - Closed StacksWorkroom range 1 section 2: documentLibrary Use Only
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LC Subjects
African American children -- Education -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
African Americans -- Housing -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
African Americans -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Architecture, Domestic -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Belmont-Hillsboro (Nashville, Tenn.).
Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.).
Briley, Beverly, -- 1914-1980.
Buildings -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Busing for school integration -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Churches -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Cities and towns -- Growth.
City planning -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Civil rights -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Civil rights -- United States -- History -- Sources.
Clergy -- Political activity.
Community activists -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Discrimination in education -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Discrimination in housing -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Dwellings -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
East High School (Nashville, Tenn.).
East Nashville (Nashville, Tenn.).
East Nashville Free Will Baptist Church (Nashville, Tenn.).
Edgefield (Tenn.).
Education -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Educators -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Express highways -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Fires -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Fulton, Richard Harmon, -- 1927-
Historic buildings -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Housing -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Interstate 440 (Nashville, Tenn.).
Kelley, Robert W., -- b. ca. 1941.
Lockeland Springs (Nashville, Tenn.).
Mayors -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Biography.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Economic conditions -- 20th century.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Fire, 1916.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Politics and government.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Race relations.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Tornado, 1933.
Nashville (Tenn.). -- Board of Education.
Neighborhood government -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Neighborhoods -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Oliver, William Henry, -- 1903-1991.
Principals -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Public schools -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Racism -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
School integration -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
School sports -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Schools -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Segregation in education -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Shopping -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Southern States -- Race relations.
Streets -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Tennessee -- Race relations.
TeSelle, Eugene, -- 1931-2018.
Tornadoes -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Trolley cars -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Urban renewal -- Tennessee -- Nashville.
Warner Elementary School (Nashville, Tenn.).
More Details
Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
3 audio recordings


Organization & arrangement of materials
Digital files and CDs are identified by the project abbreviation: "HNIOHP" which serves as a prefix. Arranged thereunder alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee, or the name of the neighborhood. *Note that this same prefix identifier is also used in several other distinct projects created by Historic Nashville, Inc.
General Note
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
General Note
Conversion of analog interviews to digital format made possible by funding from the Nashville Public Library Foundation in 2006.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: Three audio recordings created in 1986 by Historic Nashville, Inc. in which the speakers describe and discuss homes, schools, churches, and various historical minutiae in the following neighborhoods: Lockeland Springs (William Henry Oliver); Belmont-Hillsboro (Eugene TeSelle) and Edgefield. Particularly of note are the subjects of segregation and desegregation in schooling and housing, discussed at length in both the Oliver and TeSelle interviews.
Edgefield1 - Audio only. A recording of an unidentified walking tour. The tour begins with a woman leading a tour of house architecture in the Edgefield neighborhood of East Nashville. Much later in the recording (approximately 8 min. into the second part of the recording), the tour is probably inside at Warner School, which is the subject. Approximately 12 min. in to the second part of the recording begins narrative concerning the East Nashville fire of 1916.
William Henry Oliver – Audio, with typescript index. Interview with long-time Lockeland Springs / East Nashville resident and principal of East Nashville High School, notable for his role during desegregation of Nashville schools.Topics: recollections of Lockeland Springs during his early adulthood (1920s); houses and families in the area, stores, streets, description of neighborhood; streetcars; recreation; East High School and East Junior High; school sports, including sports for women; segregation in education and housing; shopping, local businesses; the springs; East Nashville tornado of 1933; East Nashville Free Will Baptist Church and Oliver's ministry there; schools and colleges located in East Nashville in late 1800s or early 1900s; Cumberland River; various churches and streets; medical care including doctor Cleo Miller, the Miller Clinic, and Edgefield Hospital; faculty at East High School; became city school superintendent; turning away a black student (Robert W. Kelley) during school desegregation; bombing of Hattie Cotton Elementary School; the "Nashville Plan" of school desegregation; John Kasper; busing; school desegregation in the court system; personal consequences and threats against Oliver during this time, slept with a shotgun; testified before the Civil Rights Commission.
Eugene TeSelle – Audio, with typescript index. Gene TeSelle was a Presbyterian minister, a professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and one of the founders of the Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors association. Topics: the formation of Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors; the roles of fair housing, civil rights, urban renewal, integration and desegregation, in prompting the organization of the group in the early 1970s. Blacks and housing issues; demographics of neighborhood; B-HN affiliated with National Neighbors, a nationwide group which advocated for fair housing and civil rights; issues such as development, urbanization, commercialization, funding and taxes; the roles of Mayors Briley and Fulton; zoning; interactions with other organizations such as Homebuilders Association and Board of Realtors; local economy; developers and investors; growth and development of Nashville as a whole; and more.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: [individual interview], Historic Nashville, Inc. Neighborhoods Oral History Project; Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
System Details
System requirements for sound discs: computer with CD drive and MP3 capable software.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
This material may be protected by copyright law, Title 17 U.S. Code. Copyright status is undetermined.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Both Oliver and TeSelle signed release forms granting the interview to HNI as "an unrestricted gift" and transferred to HNI "legal title and all literary property rights including copyright." There is no release form for the Edgefield walking tour.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition unknown;,Acc. RT-100.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The personal papers of Prof. Eugene TeSelle are in the holdings of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Records of Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc. are also in the holdings of the Special Collections Division of the Nashville Public Library.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Other materials created by Historic Nashville, Inc. are also in the holdings of the Special Collections Division of the Nashville Public Library.
Biographical or Historical Data
In 1968 the Historic Sites Federation of Tennessee was formed. The name was changed to Historic Nashville, Inc. in 1974. Historic Nashville, Inc. (HNI) was organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a stated purpose to document and preserve the cultural, historical, and architectural heritage of Nashville. This group was instrumental in saving Union Station, the Ryman Auditorium, and many other historic buildings. In 1970s and 1980s, they undertook a number of oral history projects, many of which were donated to the Special Collections Division of the Nashville Public Library.
Biographical or Historical Data
The precise reason for the Neighborhoods Oral History Project is unclear, and the fact that it is a very small collection also makes the reason for this project uncertain. In fact, the assignment of the title "Neighborhoods" to this project was provided by library staff, as neighborhoods to appear to be the focus of the project, though perhaps the interviews were undertaken for some other purpose. Other commonalities include the prominence of the Civil Rights era, and the fact that both interviewees were ministers. The project has no formal name or title provided by HNI. However, all recordings were created in 1986.
Biographical or Historical Data
William Henry Oliver was a long time principal at East High School. In 1955, shortly after the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education which ordered desegregation of public schools, Oliver turned away 14-year-old African-American Robert W. Kelley from attending East Junior High, where Oliver was principal. Oliver was acting in accordance with instructions from the Nashville Board of Education. This action resulted in the court case: Robert W. Kelley v. Nashville Board of Education, in which the plaintiff prevailed. Oliver became superintendent of Nashville city schools in 1957 and retired when the city and county governments consolidated in 1963. In addition, Oliver was an ordained minister. He taught at Belmont College and Free Will Baptist Bible College, and was a founder of East Nashville Free Will Baptist Church. He died in 1991.
Biographical or Historical Data
Eugene "Gene" TeSelle was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and Yale University, obtaining his Ph.D. from Yale in 1963, where he remained as a professor until 1969. He then came to Vanderbilt University, where he remained until he retired and obtained emeritus status. He died in March 2018.
In English
Ownership and Custodial History
Unknown provenance as of 2017. It is believed that the recordings were donated to the Nashville Public Library by Historic Nashville, Inc. shortly after they were created in 1986.
catalog;,2018;,Linda Barnickel.
inventory;,2017;,Kathy Bennett, volunteer.
original analog audiocassette recordings,reformat,2006;,Safe Sound Archive;,Jim Havron via outside vendor;,converted to .mp3 digital files.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.
APA Citation (style guide)

Historic Nashville, I., Oliver, W. H., & TeSelle, E. Historic Nashville, Inc. neighborhoods oral history project.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Historic Nashville, Inc, William Henry Oliver and Eugene TeSelle. Historic Nashville, Inc. Neighborhoods Oral History Project. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Historic Nashville, Inc, William Henry Oliver and Eugene TeSelle, Historic Nashville, Inc. Neighborhoods Oral History Project. .

MLA Citation (style guide)

Historic Nashville, Inc., William Henry Oliver, and Eugene TeSelle. Historic Nashville, Inc. Neighborhoods Oral History Project.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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