Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives employs eight full time staff members and a graduate student worker; the University Archives is
generally overseen by two of those staff members. Our offices are located in the first and second floors of the General Library Building (GLB), AKA the Central Library.
The Archives are located at 21 North, an off-site storage facility. The archives has approximately 7000 cubic feet of university records stored in the building. These archives range in time from the founding of the university to near the present day.
The Archives has generally been operated to conform as closely as possible to the Standards for College and University Archives, formalized by the
Society of American Archivists in January 1979.
Departmental History Timeline
[Note: Until the early 1960's, Vanderbilt did not have a university archives.]
- October 5, 1963: The Vanderbilt University Archives was authorized by action of the Board of Trust, one day after Chancellor Heard was installed.
- May 6, 1967: The Vanderbilt Board of Trust passed a regulation regarding the disposition of Vanderbilt records. This regulation is as follows:
MATERIAL FOR THE VANDERBILT ARCHIVES
This regulation was amended on September 5, 1972 to include an important stipulation:
The Board of Trust voted to give authority to the following statement concerning material for the Vanderbilt University archives: (May 6, 1967)
All administrative officers of the University, including officers of instruction whose regular or occasional performance of administrative duties puts them in
possession of files, records, or documents pertaining to their official duties, are requested to observe the following regulations:
- The archives of the official activities of University officers and offices are the property of the university.
- Such property is not to be destroyed without the approval of a committee of three consisting of (a) the University Archivist, (b) the Secretary of the
University, (c) the officer in charge of the department where the papers accumulate.
- The officer in charge of each administrative office will be the judge as to how long it is convenient to hold papers in his own office under his direct control.
- All archivable material, when no longer wanted in the office to which it pertains, shall be sent to the University Archives.
The archives of the official activities of university officers and offices are the property of the university, and are not to be moved from the University premises.
- March 1, 1965 - August 1, 1969: Woodrow Wilson Wasson served as Curator of Special Collections and University Archivist. Wasson acquainted Vanderbilt
administrators with archival principles and techniques, located archival material on campus and began the orderly transfer of records to the Archives.
- September 1, 1969 - June 21, 1973: Susan Haddock served as Special Collections Librarian and Assistant Archivist. She encouraged the deposit of
archival materials and developed a system of creating finding aids for the various collections.
- August 1973: Henry Lee Swint was named Vanderbilt University Archivist in addition to his tenured appointment as Holland N. McTyeire Professor of History
and his responsibilities as historian of the University. Professor Swint gathered the historical record of Vanderbilt from all parts of the campus and the nation
in connection with his extensive research to write the centennial history of the University." The centennial history project was later taken over by Professor Paul
Conkin who produced the history of Vanderbilt in the form of the book, Gone With the Ivy. The Archivist and Special Collections Librarian cooperated in the
transfer of University records to the Archives where they were processed, maintained, and given reference access by the Library staff. Professor Swint retired in
- October 1973: Marice Wolfe was appointed Head of Special Collections.
- June 1982: Addressing the questions of the secure establishment of the Archives and of the rights and responsibilities of the University Archivist, the
Vanderbilt University Archives Committee recommended in 1982 that John Poindexter, then Alumni Secretary, be named Conservator of University History and that
Marice Wolfe be named University Archivist. University President Emmett Fields made the appointments.
- October 2000: Marice Wolfe retired from Vanderbilt.
- 2001: Juanita Murray was hired to the position of Head of Special Collections and University Archivist.
Special Collections and University Archives
The Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37240-0007
By campus mail:
205 General Library Building (GLB)