UT Libraries Records
The UT Libraries Records encompasses the administrative, operational, outreach and service, instructional, and academic research activities of its departments, faculty, and staff from 1878 to the present. The bulk of the material focuses on the library system’s operations in the mid- to late-20th century, when the system’s holdings spanned several branch libraries and two main library service points: the James D. Hoskins Library off Cumberland Avenue and the John C. Hodges Undergraduate Library off Volunteer Boulevard. Of note are records documenting the Hodges Undergraduate Library’s transformation from a mushroom-shaped building to the current ziggurat-shaped building. Also of note are documents chronicling the library system’s evolution from paper to digital holding records, with the introduction of the GEAC online catalog in 1987.
Conditions Governing Access
Manuscript and University Archives collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 24 hours is needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.
125 Linear Feet
The UT Libraries Records encompasses the administrative, operational, outreach and service, instructional, and academic research activities of its departments, faculty, and staff from 1878 to the present. The records illustrate the library system’s commitment to enhancing students’ academic experiences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus through print and electronic collections, reference and instructional services, and facilities and technological resources.
UT Libraries serves the flagship campus of Tennessee’s university system. The Libraries support the teaching, research, and service mission of the university and enhances the academic experience of each student at the Knoxville campus through print and electronic collections, reference and instructional services, and facilities and technological resources. The John C. Hodges Main Library, Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library, and the George F. DeVine Music Library serve the Knoxville campus.
During UT Libraries’ early years, faculty’s private collections served students’ studying and research needs. College presidents Samuel Carrick and David Sherman allowed students to use their private libraries. When President Charles Coffin voiced a need for a formal library and began fundraising efforts to build one, a professor’s private library housed in Old College sufficed for students’ research needs. By the mid-to-late 1830s, elected faculty members oversaw the library, beginning with Rev. W. J. Keith in 1836. Students paid a 50 cent library tax to use and maintain the library’s 3,000 volumes. The first full-time professional librarian, Sabra Wilbur Vought, was hired in 1901.
To accommodate the growing volumes and student population, the main library moved to its first dedicated space in the Carnegie Library in 1911. The $54,000 library stood at the north end of what is now the Austin Peay building and housed 38,000 volumes. When the library outgrew the space, the Central Library became the first separate, detached library building on the Knoxville campus when it opened in 1931. The $300,000 building accommodated 200,000 volumes. The university dedicated the Central Library building to university president James D. Hoskins in 1950. The push for a separate undergraduate library in the 1960s spurred the university to construct the first library named for John C. Hodges, the late English department chairman and longtime library supporter. The $2.5 million building opened in 1969 and had been designed and built to hold 95,000 books. UT chose to renovate the undergraduate library rather than construct a new building when Hoskins Library reached its shelf and seating capacity in 1979. The new $29 million, six-story John C. Hodges Library building opened in 1987.
The collection contains 168 boxes and is arranged into the following series:
- Administrative Papers, 1888-2010, undated
- Department Materials, 1878-2007, undated
- Physical Facilities Papers, 1921-2002, undated
- Committees, Councils, and Project Workgroups, 1879-2007, undated
- Faculty Research, 1936-1995, undated
- Library Events and Publicity, 1949-2015, undated
- Publications and Articles, 1912-2010, undated
- Audiovisual Materials, 1966-2017, undated
- Oversize Materials, 1878-2016, undated
This collection was previously listed as AR.0014, AR.0050, AR.0061, AR.0063, AR.0092, AR.0099, AR.0265, AR.0281, AR.0385, AR.0428, AR.0443, AR.0524, AR.0525, AR.0535, AR.0641, AR.0653, and AR.0679.