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Special Collections Online at UT

Ruth Cates Baird Papers

Identifier: MS-2934

  • Staff Only

The Ruth Cates Baird collection consists of her personal journals and day planners, in which she recorded her daily activities from 1931 until 2006. The collection contains a small amount of correspondence between Ruth and her mother, the funeral guestbooks from her parents' funerals, and some church-related materials. It also houses her school records from primary school through college and her numerous teaching awards from her time as an Oak Ridge school teacher. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs and scrapbooks collected by Baird. Some of the scrapbooks contain greeting cards and other keepsakes that she kept from her students and friends, magazine clippings, and poetry clipped from newspapers. The other scrapbooks contain maps, brochures, guides, photographs, collectibles, and other ephemera from the trips that she took both within the U. S. and internationally.


  • 1920-2006

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


22.75 Linear Feet


The Ruth Cates Baird papers consist of the personal and professional materials and papers that Baird collected over her lifetime. Most of the collection is made up of of scrapbooks from her vacations and greeting cards from her friends and students. One scrapbook contains poetry that she collected from newspaper clippings. The collection also houses her school records and yearbooks from primary school through college.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ruth Cates Baird was born in Park Hill, Oklahoma on April 23, 1920 to Dr. Albert Arthur Baird and Bessie Lee (Hicks) Baird. The family relocated to Campbell County in East Tennessee while Ruth was in secondary school. She attended Jacksboro High School.

Baird received her bachelor's degree from Carson Newman College and her master's degree in English from Vanderbilt University. She also attended the Northeastern State Teachers College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, George Peabody College for Teachers, Columbia University, Duke, Northwestern, Harvard, the University of Chicago, Oxford, and the University of Tennessee.

Baird spent her career as an English teacher in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee school system from 1943 until 1985. She served as chairwoman of the Oak Ridge High School English Department. Baird belonged to several professional societies, including the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Women Educators, Tennessee Education Association, National Education Association, and the Oak Ridge Retired Teachers Association. She published scholarly works in the High School Journal, Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Developmental Reading, and the Tennessee Teacher. She also taught at the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning.

Baird enjoyed listening to the Oak Ridge Community Band, traveling, and writing poetry. She died on January 27, 2006 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Collection consists of seven series in 18 boxes: Series I: Journals, 1931-2006Series II: Day Planners, 1947-1997Series III: Correspondence, 1970-1976, undatedSeries IV: Religious and Funeral Materials, 1933-1977, undatedSeries V: School Materials, 1927-1963, undatedSeries VI: Teaching Materials, 1947-1985, undatedSeries VII: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1920-1993, undatedSeries VIII: Oversized Materials, 1920-1993

Acquisition Note

Collection was donated to Special Collections on July 26, 2006.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA