Special Collections & University Archives

About Us

Vanderbilt University Archives

Phone: (615) 322-2807
E-mail: archives@vanderbilt.edu
Mailing Address:
Vanderbilt University Archives
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-2427

About Us
Archives Policy
Transfer Material

The University Archives is part of the Special Collections and University Archives library. Our offices are located in the first and second floors of the Library building at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Scarritt Place. The University Archives are physically located at an off-site storage facility. The archives has approximately 12,000 linear feet of university records stored in the building. These archives range in time from the founding of the university to near the present day.

Departmental History Timeline

  • 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 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:
    1. The archives of the official activities of University officers and offices are the property of the university.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. All archivable material, when no longer wanted in the office to which it pertains, shall be sent to the University Archives.

This regulation was amended on September 5, 1972 to include an important stipulation:
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 1977.
  • 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.

Contact Us

By postal mail:
Special Collections and University Archives
The Jean and Alexander Heard Library
Vanderbilt University
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-2427

By campus mail:
University Archives
205 General Library Building (GLB)

By phone:
(615) 322-2807

By e-mail: