Our Staff


Shelia Steele Hunt

Executive Director
Phone: (423) 323-4660

"Serving the citizens of Sullivan County is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously. Our office seeks to provide the excellent customer service that all citizens deserve. Please offer feedback on the service you receive so that we may better serve you. You may call me at 423-323-4660 or email me at - Shelia Hunt"

Ms. Hunt joined the Department of Archives and Tourism in May 2004. With more than 35 years experience in strategic planning, media relations, and public policy, she is responsible for the overall operations of the Department of Archives and Tourism. She provides the direction and planning for the Archives program and preservation policies, and for major elements of the Archives and Tourism office's integrated marketing programs, including Advertising, Media Relations, Research and Special Promotions. Ms. Hunt is a Certified Archives Manager and has served as a professional genealogist and lecturer across the U.S. for over 35 years.


Maria Hale

Assistant Archivist
Phone: (423) 323-4116

Maria Hale joined the Department of Archives and Tourism in July 2019, serving as the Assistant Archivist. Maria holds a Masters of Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies from East Tennessee State University. She is currently enrolled at Masters of Library and Information Studies at University of North Carolina. She has been awarded the Cratis D. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Appalachian Studies and is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Maria formerly served as Digitizing Technician for Belk Library at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.


Angela Crane

Marketing Associate
Phone: (423) 574-1403

Angela Crane is the Marketing Associate for the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism. A native of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Angela brings more than 15 years of combined marketing experience to the team.  Angela will be working primarily in the new Heritage Tourism Information Center, with a focus on an improved networking environment that will better promote the rich heritage of historic Sullivan County.  Angela will also assist in promoting the county’s regional archives and its preservation of historic documents.  Angela’s hobbies include painting landscapes and silhouettes as well as photography. She currently resides with her husband Anthony in Bristol, Tennessee.




About Us

Department of Archives and Tourism
In 1995, the Sullivan County Public Records Commission was revitalized and began working with the Tennessee State Library and Archives to lay plans for development of an archives and history center in Blountville, the county seat of historic Sullivan. Nine years in the making, the Sullivan County Department of Archives and History was formally established in May 2004. In October 2008, the department absorbed the Sullivan County Department of Tourism, and the newly merged department is now known as the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism.



Archives and History branch
The Archives and History Department is somewhat multi-faceted, and is basically comprised of (1) Sullivan County governmental records; (2) a research center; and (3) a manuscripts department. Simply stated, the purpose of the Archives is to preserve Sullivan County governmental records, while at the same time serving as a regional research center which houses artifacts, books, manuscripts and other items of historic interest. The Archives is set up to comply with Tennessee Code Annotated. Tennessee has an open public records law, which applies to county and municipal records as well as to state records. The law requires state and local governments to make public records open and accessible for public inspection. Tennessee Code also requires that each county have a county public records commission "in order to provide for the orderly disposition of public records created by agencies of county government." Volunteers are still working to preserve the records, and much progress is being made toward this massive undertaking.

Tourism branch
A premier tourist destination, Sullivan County is renowned for the quality and diversity of its attractions. One of the most beautiful areas in Northeast Tennessee, Sullivan County is fortunate to be one of the most widely visited areas in the state. The county offers a wide array of tourist attractions ranging from the famed Bristol Motor Speedway to various historic sites and repositories. The Archives and History Department itself has become a major tourist attraction for the county, drawing thousands of visitors each year to its research center. Click here to learn more about tourism in Sullivan County.

Heritage Tourism Information Center
Newly opened in November 2019, the Sullivan County Heritage Tourism Information is designed to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Sullivan County and surrounding area. Museum rooms are dedicated for Civil War heritage and local history. On startup, the tourism center will be open Wednesday through Friday, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, with hours and days open set to expand in the near future. The Heritage Tourism Information Center is located at 1575 Hwy. 394, Blountville, TN 37617.

Our Mission Statement

The fundamental mission of the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism is:

(1) To receive and accession transfers of permanently-valuable local government records in accordance with various provisions of the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) that require permanent retention of essential records and other records of archival value for public reference; to preserve, arrange, and describe the records, and to make them available to the public according to sound archives management principles and practices; to collect and accept donations of other historically-valuable documents according to an approved collecting policy, and to accession them, to preserve, arrange, and describe them, and to make them available to the public according to sound archives management principles and practices; and to report periodically to the Sullivan County Public Records Commission and to the Tennessee State Library and Archives on the state of the archives and its management.

(2) To enrich the quality of life and improve the economy of Sullivan County by generating travel and by enhancing the image of the county, with these initiatives being accomplished by showcasing our heritage, highlighting our family-oriented attractions, building cooperation with surrounding communities, and by spreading our welcoming spirit, thus enhancing the social and economic growth of the area.


HIstoric Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism


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