Skip to main content


Special Collections Online at UT

William H. Jesse Papers

Identifier: MS-1013

This collection contains the papers of William H. Jesse, Director of Libraries at the University of Tennessee. The Program Statements, notes, and records Jesse used as a consultant comprise the bulk of this collection.


  • 1947-1966

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are 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.


3 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of William H. Jesse, Director of Libraries at the University of Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

William H. Jesse was born September 16, 1908 in Versailles, Kentucky. His higher education began at Transylvania College in 1929, but he later transferred to the University of Kentucky to complete work for his B.A. He went on to receive a B.S. in Library Science at Columbia University and in 1945 received an MA at Brown University.

Jesse started his career as a teacher-librarian in Johnson County, Kentucky in 1933, where he received a promotion to director of libraries in 1935. In 1938, he was appointed readers division chief at the Brown University Library. In 1942, he became assistant director of libraries at the University of Nebraska, and in 1943 he became the head of readers' and reference division for the U. S. Department of Agriculture Library. That same year he was appointed director of libraries and professor at the University of Tennessee, where he stayed until his death on July 1, 1970. Jesse was a nationally known consultant on library buildings and helped with plans for expansion, renovation, or new construction for more than 45 libraries.


Collection consists of two series:

  1. Series I: Reports, Surveys, and Statements
  2. Series II: Additional Materials

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