Gordon T. Belt
Gordon has had a lifelong passion for history, and has worked in special collections libraries and archives in the "Volunteer State" since 1995. He is currently the Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library & Archives. Previously, Gordon worked as the Library Manager for the First Amendment Center, a non-partisan think tank based in Nashville, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
Gordon received his master’s degree in History in 2003 with a concentration in archival administration from Middle Tennessee State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1994 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Gordon is a past president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists, and holds memberships in the Society of American Archivists, National Council on Public History, and the Tennessee Historical Society.
Gordon has written several articles for the First Amendment Center website on legislative issues, civic engagement, and early American history. Historical works include, “George Mason: Honoring a Forgotten Founder,” “Remembering the Father of the Constitution: James Madison and the First Amendment,” “Public access to presidential records: Historical perspective, recent controversies,” “Sedition Act of 1798: A brief history of arrests, indictments, mistreatment & abuse,” and “The First Amendment in the Colonial Newspaper Press.”
In his role as Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Gordon conducted interviews and contributed research support to three documentaries: Tennessee State Capitol: Grounded in Tradition, Senator Douglas Henry: Tennessee Statesman, and Held in Trust: Tennessee's Library and Archives. He also collaboratively writes, edits and creates content for the Tennessee State Library and Archives blog and social media channels.
During her academic career at MTSU, Traci worked for the Tennessee State Museum and wrote two National Register nominations for the Johnsonville Historic District in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, and the Historical AME Church and Cemeteries in Alexandria, Tennessee. Traci has also worked as a historical consultant and grant writer for the Clement Railroad Hotel and Museum in Dickson, Tennessee.
Traci's article "Chaplains in the Army of Tennessee, CSA: Warring Disciples Carrying the Gospel" was published in the Winter 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Additionally, she wrote a review of Sam Davis Elliot's book, Doctor Quintard Chaplain CSA and Second Bishop of Tennessee for the Spring 2004 issue of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.
Traci has been interviewed on radio and appeared on television to speak about the role of religion in the Civil War. In June 2012, Traci was among several religion and history scholars interviewed for the Nashville Public Television documentary, "Crisis of Faith," part of NPT's "Tennessee Civil War 150" series, a multi-part project coinciding with the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War. In April 2012, Traci and Gordon appeared together on NPT's "A Word on Words with John Seigenthaler" to discuss their book, Onward Southern Soldiers. In July 2012, Traci and Gordon co-authored an article also titled "Onward Southern Soldiers" for The New York Times Civil War blog, "Disunion."