For more than 80 years the Reece Museum has told the many stories of Appalachia. Housing over 20,000 artifacts, the Reece collection captures the region's past as well as its contemporary art and culture. As one of the first museums in Tennessee to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Reece continues to meet AAM's high standards of excellence. Currently, the Reece is one of only twleve museums in Tennessee to receive this accreditation.
The Museum began in the late 1920s as a class project and grew throughout the 1930s and 1940s, when librarians staffed the museum and provided tours to visitors. In August 1961, the family of Congressman B Carroll Reece donated their personal library to the museum, as well as funds to help establish a professional museum with full-time staff.