The John C. Hodges Library, the central library facility for the Knoxville campus, houses collections in all subject areas and in many formats — books, journals and periodicals, microfilm and fiche, audio, video, multimedia, and more.
The ground floor houses Map Services. The first and second floors contain Special Collections, The Commons, The Studio, the research assistance (AskUsNow) room, and a 150-seat auditorium. The book stacks and administrative offices occupy the third through sixth floors. The building features faculty studies, graduate student carrels, and study space for several thousand students.
The library is named for the late Dr. John Cunyus Hodges (b. March 15, 1892 – d. July 7, 1967), professor of English and long-time benefactor of the University’s libraries. A scholar of English literature, at UT for 41 years (1921 – 1962), Dr. Hodges was the author of the Harbrace Handbook, possibly the most widely used college text in the country.
The six-story, 350,000-square-foot building was constructed around the smaller, five-story, 100,000-square-foot John C. Hodges Undergraduate Library built in 1969. The present building was completed in 1987 and incorporated the collections of the former Undergraduate Library and the former James D. Hoskins Main Library.
A central, lofty galleria and sweeping stairways link the Volunteer Boulevard entrance on the ground floor and the Melrose Avenue entrance on the second floor. The galleria on the first floor is named in honor of Jack E. Reese, long-time Knoxville Chancellor and advocate for the libraries.
The interior is designed to admit ample natural light and features Italian and Spanish marble and lightly-finished woods. The terraced effect of the library belies the building’s massive size. Architects for the $29-million structure were McCarty Bullock Holsaple, Lindsay & Maples, and Cooper & Perry. Rentenbach Engineering Company was construction contractor.
A stained-glass window, backlit by the glass wall on the east end of the ground floor, was created by artist Morna Livingston.
The Centaur Excavations at Volos, the recreation of an ancient centaur burial site, is actually an elaborate hoax created by several university professors to warn students to question everything they see and read.
A bronze bust of the late author Alex Haley, created by Knoxville artist Jim Gray, portrays Haley surrounded by tiny versions of characters from his Pulitzer Prize winning saga, Roots.
The Alumni Academic Hall of Fame honors UT alumni who have achieved national or international distinction in the arts, letters, sciences, or professions.