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Building a University: Vanderbilt’s First Decade, 1875-1885

About the Project

Have you ever wondered how Vanderbilt University got its name or were curious about why the Stevenson Science and Engineering Library has so many antique instruments on display? Maybe you would like to learn about what classes were taught and what students did for fun in those early years. The fellows in this project learned how to interpret historic objects, how to find things in the library, and learned more about the place where they are spending four years of their lives. They examined historically-significant university manuscripts and documents in the Special Collections Library and placed them in context with the university's and the nation's history. Fellows curated an exhibition about their topic and presented a report on what they learned about Vanderbilt. Fellows came away with a better understanding of the library, of how to think critically about primary sources, and a completed project on their resumes.

The Fellows

Tucker Apgood, Donyea James, Joshua Woods, Yisu Yang, Stanley Zhao

The Instructors

Mary Anne Caton, Library Programs and Grants Coordinator

Teresa Gray, curator of special collections

Kathy Smith, university archivist, associate director of special collections