Books About Vanderbilt University
Bell, Madison Smartt. History of the Owen School : From Its Early Origins to 1984. [Nashville, Tenn.] : Office of University Publications, Vanderbilt University, c1985.
HF1134 .V36 B444 1985 – Central, Law, Management, Special Collections
Conkin, Paul K. Gone with the Ivy: A Biography of Vanderbilt University. Knoxville, Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Press, 1985.
LD5588 .C66 1985 – All Libraries
Conkin, Paul K. Peabody College: From a Frontier Academy to the Frontiers of Teaching and Learning. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, 2002.
LB2193 .N297 C66 2002 – Central, Peabody, Special Collections, and Web Access
Jacobs, Dillard. 10² years : a story of the first century of Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1875-1975. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt Engineering Alumni Association, 1975.
LD5588 .J33 – Central, Science, Special Collections
Kellogg, D. B. The Blair School of Music : A History. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University, c2005.
MT4 .N3 B534 2005 – Music, Special Collections
Lagemann, Robert T. To Quarks and Quasars: A History of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2000.
QC45 .T43 V365 2000 – Biomedical, Science, Special Collections
Vanderbilt Divinity School: Education, Contest, and Change. Edited by Dale A. Johnson. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, 2001.
BV4070 .V36 J646 2001 – Divinity, Special Collections
Vanderbilt Publications (Serials)
The following list of Vanderbilt University Publications contains information on campus events, class schedules, faculty directories, and other university information.
Bulletin of Vanderbilt University, 1875 – Present
LD5577 .V35 – Special Collections
Course catalog of Vanderbilt University. Includes course descriptions, degree requirements, entrance requirements, faculty list, and student list.
A History of Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tennessee: [Vanderbilt University], 1875-1887. 2 vols.
LD5584.5 .V34 – Special Collections
Collection of early documents relating to Vanderbilt University including the address delivered at the dedication ceremony, and early commencement programs.
Peabody College Alumni Directory (1875-1909) – Special Collections reference
The first alumni directory published by George Peabody College. It contains a list of alumni by name as well as graduating class, a list of faculty, degree requirements, and brief articles on the history of the college.
The Peabody Reflector
LH1 .G28 P4 – Central, Peabody, Special Collections
Peabody College’s alumni and news magazine. First published in 1927, the library owns issues from 1927 to the present. An index is available for issues dated 1927 to 1979.
The Vanderbilt Alumnus/Vanderbilt Magazine
LH1 .V25 A4 – Biomedical, Special Collections
Vanderbilt University’s alumni and news magazine. First published in 1915, the library owns issues from 1915 to the present. An index is available for issues dated 1915 to 1992.
The Faculty Register/The Registry
LD5577 .V373 – Special Collections
Annual directory of Vanderbilt faculty, administrators and trustees of the Board of Trust.
Vanderbilt University Alumni Directory (1923)
Special Collections reference
The first alumni directory published by the university. It contains a list of living alumni, deceased alumni, and a listing of 1923 enrolled students. Additional information on alumni may be available in RG 935 (Alumni Relations).
Student Publications (Serials)
Many student publications ran for a few years and then ceased publication. Some only ran for a few issues before folding. The following list of student and alumni publications are the longest running serials related to the history of the university.
The Comet/The Commodore
LD5597 .C65 – Biomedical (1887-1908), Special Collections (1887-present)
Vanderbilt University’s annual student yearbook. The library owns issues from 1887 to the present.
The Garnet and Blue
LD3618 .G376 – Special Collections
University of Nashville’s annual student yearbook. The University of Nashville was a precursor to George Peabody College for Teachers. The library owns issues from 1902 to 1911.
The Peabody Pillar
LB1960 .N26 P5 – Peabody, Special Collections
Peabody College’s annual student yearbook. The library owns issues from 1949 to 1979.
The Peabody Post
Shelved by Title, microfilm – Peabody, Special Collections
The student newspaper for Peabody College. The library owns issues from 1947 to 1979 when the college merged with Vanderbilt.
The Vanderbilt Hustler
LH1 .V25 V35 (microfilm) – Central, Special Collections
The official student newspaper for Vanderbilt University. First published in 1888, the library owns issues from 1888 to the present.
The Vanderbilt Observer
LH1 .V24 V35 – Special Collections
While primarily a literary magazine, The Observer also included a number of features on university events. The library owns issues from 1882 to 1917.
Serial Publications Finding Aid: Subject Listing (University Archives)
A listing of available publications in the University Archives. Listed by subject, most titles are linked to an information page about the publication which includes a description of the publication; frequency of publication; the titles of previous incarnations of the publication, if the name has changed over time; and a list of available holdings. This resource will list more ephemeral student publications, some only lasting a few issues.
A manuscript collection contains a variety of materials and may include letters, journals, publications, writings, or business papers. Collections may be centered around an individual (Cornelius Vanderbilt), an organization (Vanderbilt Aid Society), or a specialized topic (Vandy Goes to War Oral History Project). The following collections relate to Vanderbilt University history. For more topics, see the Manuscript Subject Guide.
Mrs. Benedict spent many years working to improve the status of women at Vanderbilt. She was instrumental in the fund drive to raise money to build a women's dormitory and to secure the first Dean of Women, Ada Bell Stapleton. Over the years she also devoted her organizational skills and fund raising abilities to helping Scarritt College, the West End Methodist Church, and the Red Cross.
Branscomb, Bennett Harvie
Harvie Branscomb became Vanderbilt’s fourth Chancellor in 1946. Branscomb served as chancellor during the sit-in movement in Nashville and the highly publicized expulsion of graduate student James Lawson for participating in sit-in demonstrations. The Harvie Branscomb Papers include correspondence from 1929 to 1978, speeches delivered by Branscomb, academic papers, materials relating to the James Lawson case, and papers relating to Branscomb’s various regional and international organizational activities.
William Lofland Dudley accepted the Chair in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University in 1886. While at Vanderbilt, Dudley established the Vanderbilt Athletic Association; formed the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (precursor of the Southeastern Conference); reorganized the Medical Department at the request of Chancellor Kirkland; served on the executive committee of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition; and was a fellow and vice-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The William Lofland Dudley Papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1896-1915; lecture notes; chemistry lectures; papers read at meetings; printed articles and speeches; business papers; papers relating to athletics; pamphlets; newspaper clippings; and scrapbooks.
Foote, Mary Ella Calhoun [small collection]
Mary Ella Calhoun Foote was the daughter of a Nashville jeweler. When she died in 1918, she left her entire estate to Vanderbilt University to erect a building in memory of her father, William Henry Calhoun. This collection includes correspondence ranging in date from 1860 to 1929, and papers relating to the handling of her estate.
Landon Cabell Garland became Vanderbilt’s first Chancellor in 1875. He also served as head of the Department of Astronomy and Physics during his tenure at the university. The Landon Cabell Garland Papers include correspondence, diaries, speeches, sermons, a report to the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, and personal and biographical materials.
James Hampton Kirkland was appointed professor of Latin at Vanderbilt University in 1886. In 1893 he was elected Vanderbilt’s second chancellor and served in that position until his retirement in 1937. The James Hampton Kirkland Papers contain correspondence, writings, biographical material, material relating to his academic career, legal papers, financial records, family papers, and newspaper clippings.
The McTyeire-Baskervill Papers contain the family papers of Bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire, Janie McTyeire Baskervill, and William Malone Baskervill. Bishop McTyeire persuaded Cornelius Vanderbilt to endow Vanderbilt University as an educational institution and served as president of the first Board of Trust. The McTyeire-Baskervill Papers contain correspondence; papers relating to Vanderbilt University; materials relating to the history of the McTyeire family; and newspaper clippings.
Additional McTyeire family papers are available on microfilm in Central Library (MiFilm 792).
Edwin Mims received his B.A. in 1892 and M.A. in 1893 from Vanderbilt University. He returned to Vanderbilt University in 1912 as head of the English Department, where he remained until his retirement in 1942. The Edwin Mims Papers include correspondence from 1892 to 1958; biographical and autobiographical material; addresses and speeches; manuscripts for publications; research notes; and academic material relating to his teaching and management of the English Department at Vanderbilt University.
A prominent church leader and activist, Kelly Miller Smith played a significant role in the civil rights movement, serving as part of the circle of advisors to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Capital Hill for 34 years. The first African-American named to the faculty of the Vanderbilt Divinity School, he served as Lecturer in Church and Ministries and as Assistant Dean. Smith was very active in the civil rights movement in Nashville as well as nationally. The Kelly Miller Smith Papers include correspondence, notebooks kept as a student at Morehouse and Harvard Universities, biographical/personal material, writings, church records, subject files, and other related materials.
Stahlman, James G.
A Nashville native and Vanderbilt alumnus, James G. Stahlman was a nationally prominent newspaper publisher and member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. As publisher of the Nashville Banner newspaper for 42 years, Stahlman was active in national newspaper and civic organizations. The James G. Stahlman Papers contain materials relating to his newspaper career; his support and activities regarding Vanderbilt University, his military and aviation career during World War II, and his political and community activities.
Founded in 1894, the Vanderbilt Aid Society collected donations to financially assist students attending the university. This small collection of papers (1894-1971) includes the constitution and by-laws of the society, annual reports, financial records, and correspondence.
The Cornelius Vanderbilt Papers consist of a series of six scrapbooks on Vanderbilt’s career and activities. Consisting primarily of newspaper clippings, the books were assembled by Vanderbilt’s second wife, Frank Crawford Vanderbilt, and range in date from 1852 to 1882.
Vanderbilt, Harold Stirling
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, served as a member of Vanderbilt University’s Board of Trust for over twenty years. An avid yachtsman and bridge player, he worked for the New York Central Railroad for over 40 years. The Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Papers contains correspondence, yachting memorabilia, contract bridge memorabilia, and material relating to Vanderbilt University.
In Fall 2006, Special Collections began a new oral history project called Vandy Goes to War: World War II. The purpose of the project was to record the histories and reminiscences of men and women with connections to Vanderbilt during the war years and to document their experiences in the service and on the campus during that time. The interviews include eye witness accounts of soldiers fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, in the far east at Okinawa, and flying aerial reconnaissance in the European theatre. One soldier, a prisoner of war in a camp in Germany tells his story in this important archive of Vanderbilt’s history. Another tells of liberating prisoners from Dachau Concentration camp in southern Germany. Women speak of taking leadership positions in campus life and of their efforts on the home front.
Voices of Peabody Oral History Project
http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/peabody/vop/ (Project Home)
http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/speccol/voicespeabody (manuscript finding aid)
The Voices of Peabody Oral History Project was begun in the spring 2005 with the intention of making an archival record of diverse experiences of the Peabody-Vanderbilt merger in 1979. The collection includes digitized interviews and interview transcriptions along with supporting materials. The interview questions cover a broad range of topics including changes brought about at both institutions by the merger, reactions to its announcement, and coverage by the news media.
In 1997, a graduate student in the History Department began an oral history project on desegregation at Vanderbilt University. A series of interviews were conducted with Vanderbilt administrators. Thirteen of these interviews are available for research at the Voices of Vanderbilt web site.
Werthan, Mary Jane
An alumna of Vanderbilt and the first woman to serve on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust, Mrs. Mary Jane (Lowenheim) Werthan received her B.A. in 1929 and her M.A. in 1935. She also served on the Alumni Board of Directors as well as a number of Nashville area educational and social welfare organizations. Her collection of papers includes newspaper clippings, programs and invitations to civic events, and photographs relating to her committee and Board of Trust activities.
The Women at Vanderbilt Collection is comprised of the reading assignments and seminar papers prepared in the Fall of 1981 by students in History 295/2, a course in historiography taught by Professor Barbara Weinstein. The seminar papers are listed alphabetically by author following a folder containing assignments and selected readings.
Miscellaneous materials relating to the following women’s organizations at Vanderbilt: Nashville University Women’s Council; Southeastern Women’s Studies Association; Staff Women’s Association; Vanderbilt Professional Women; Vanderbilt Women’s Faculty Organization; Women’s Center; and Women’s Concerns Exploration Group. Coverage for each organization varies but includes some of the following: newsletters, by-laws, membership applications, meeting minutes, surveys, and other material.
The University Archives was established by action of the Board of Trust in 1963. The goal of the Archives is to preserve the historical memory of the university through the collection and preservation of historical Vanderbilt University records and artifacts. Due to sensitive material which may be present in the Archives, the most recent 40 years of material is closed to public research. Material prior to this date (1872 through December 1967) is available for public research, with the exception of student records which are restricted regardless of date. Researchers may request access to more recent material in the Archives by writing the Office of the General Counsel. In your letter, state the topic you are researching, the date range of material you need access to, and the dates you plan on conducting your research. You may contact the Office of the General Counsel at the following address:
Office of the General Counsel
2100 West End Avenue, Suite 750
Nashville, TN 37203
Finding aids which list material available in the University Archives can be found on the University Archives Finding Aids and Holdings page. Most of these guides are in PDF format so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. A keyword searchable database is also available onsite in Special Collections. Please ask for assistance at the Public Service Desk to get access to this database.
The amount of material available in the Archives may seem overwhelming at first. If you need assistance in locating material, please don’t hesitate to ask for help by either calling Special Collections at (32)2-2807 or by .
[Please note that the Medical Center has a separate archive which handles all records relating to the Medical Center and its history. For more information about the Medical Archives, please see the Eskind Biomedical Library Special Collections web site.]
Organization of the Archives
The University Archives is comprised of records and documents which have been deposited for safekeeping by various colleges and departments of the university. Each deposit is assigned to a Record Group, a collection of materials from a specific department or college. For example, Record Group (RG) 510 belongs to the College of Arts and Science, while Record Group 310 belongs to the Athletic Department. Each Record Group can contain hundreds of boxes of material. Currently, there are approximately 7,000 cubic feet of material in the University Archives.
If you need assistance at any stage of your research, you may contact a librarian in Special Collections by calling the department at 322-2807 (2-2807 from a campus phone) or by .
Special Collections is open to the public from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.