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Soil Surveys: Soil Survey Info

This guide will help you find printed or online county and state soil surveys.

County & State Soil Surveys

See our list of Tennessee Soil Surveys by County for holdings at Pendergrass Library.

For assistance using the Web Soil Survey, read the USDA's Getting Started with Web Soil Survey instructions.


State Soil surveys are catalogued and shelved in the AgVet Library in three main classes.
Contact Peter Fernandez,, for downloadable data for the Tennessee Soil Survey.


Call Number

Shelved by

Title Search

System Number





Field Operations of the Bureau of Soils






Soil Survey Washington D.C.






Soil Survey Washington D.C.


All States and counties on one record



County -state

Soil Survey Tennessee *or the state you are looking for.

Various system numbers for each state

Each county/state has individual records.

Islands-all dates






If you need assistance please ask one of the AgVet Library staff!
Because of the variations in titles, publishers and the changes over time, please use multiple search terms, like "soil survey report" or "soil survey reports" or "soil survey of...(fill in county, state)" or "soil survey of...(fill in the state)".

Soil Surveys in the Catalog

Surveys are published and bound in multiple ways. There is no easy way to look at them all in the catalog or in the stacks. Please use multiple searches and always ASK US if you can't find what you are looking for.

Where bound separately (usually years 1938-), the soil surveys are not shelved according to their call number cutter (which includes a year designation). Instead, they are shelved within the call number in alphabetic order by State, and within state by County. In searching for bound volumes, remember that the date the soil survey was issued is not always the same as the date that is used on the spine of the bound volume.

It is not always possible to determine from the online catalog whether a survey has been completed for a particular county/state. Instead, check the NRCS List of Printed Soil Surveys by State for an updated list. Not all counties have completed survey projects and so will not yet have published soil surveys. Ask for help if you do not find what you need.

Survey Access Updates

A recent development is the publishing of soil surveys, geospatial data, and maps online. As of August 2007, 14 Tennessee counties have their most recent soil surveys online - Cannon (2003), Carter (2004), Clay (2004), Cumberland (2002), Grainger (2000), Jackson (2004), Jefferson (2000), Johnson (2005), Marshall (2005), Moore (2006),  Perry (2006), Rhea (2005), and Scott County Area (2006). In addition, digital geographic data for Knox County, TN, can be found at

Soil survey information is regularly updated and posted to the Web Soil Survey, which is the official source for current information. The Web Soil Survey provides both tabular and spatial data and allows you to create a custom soil resource report for your specific area of interest.

Links and Additional Information

Helpful NRCS/USDA Resources:

Tennessee Soil Survey Program

Tennessee Soil Survey Status Maps

List of Printed Soil Surveys by State

Soil Survey Status Maps

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

An article for novice searchers/librarians or for experts to review

Tips from the Experts: Soil Surveys -- They're Not Just for Farmers

by: Lorraine J. Pellack

Did you know...?

You can obtain a published TN soil survey by mail by writing to:

State Soil Scientist
675 US Courthouse
801 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203
615.277.2556 voice
615.277.2577 fax

Peter Fernandez - Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Librarian

(865) 974.2886

Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine Library
A113 Veterinary Medical Center
Knoxville, TN 37996-4541
fax: 865.974.4732

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