Pendergrass has relocated to Brehm 243!

Pendergrass Library has temporarily relocated for summer 2015.  Services are available in the Brehm Animal Science Computer Lab, Room 243.  Hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

Services available in Brehm include computer workstations, limited equipment checkout, large format printing, research assistance, and more.  Our newest leisure reading books and high-use agriculture books are also available for checkout.

To access books from Pendergrass physical collection: Request article scans or books through Interlibrary Services.  Interlibrary requests can take some time to fill, so ask for your books as early as possible.  The collection at Pendergrass is inaccessible during the summer term.

To get help with veterinary medicine or statistics questions: Contact Ann Viera or our biostatisticians in Room A301 B5 of the Veterinary Medical Center.

To learn more about our temporary summer relocation: Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.  Download maps of the new location, learn about services offered, and see which books are available for checkout.

The relocation is expected to last throughout the summer term as part of renovations to the Veterinary Medical Center.

Calling all faculty! Take the Libraries Digital Scholarship Survey

dsc_dataservices3To help the University Libraries better meet digital scholars’ needs, we would like you to complete a survey designed to help us make decisions about future resources and support for digital scholars.

Click here to begin the survey. The survey is brief, anonymous, and participants are eligible for a $10 Starbucks card raffle.

Faculty and graduate students in any department are encouraged to take the survey, even if they have no interest in digital scholarship.

The survey will automatically adjust its length and questions based on the indicated level of interest. So please take it yourself and share widely within your department!

Advance Open Access — Follow OpenCon



Do you care about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data?  Do you want to learn from colleagues and collaborators, be inspired, and help make the fundamental right to research a reality?  For these and many more reasons, you should follow updates from OpenCon 2015!


OpenCon 2015 is the student and early career academic professional conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 14-16, 2015, in Brussels, Belgium.  It is organized by the Right to Research CoalitionSPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world.


The meeting will convene students and early career academic professionals from around the world and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation to advance OpenCon’s three focus areas—Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data.


Applications for the conference are now closed, but you can fill out this form to stay up to date with the latest OpenCon news.

Library Reaches Out to Prospective STEM Students

DNA extraction

In one hands-on session directed by cell biologist Dr. Anthony DePass, students learned about extracting DNA.

One Saturday each spring the UT Libraries holds a forum for students who are considering careers in science, technology, engineering, or math. Our Big Orange STEM Symposium gives middle school, high school, and freshmen university students a chance to meet current students and researchers in STEM fields, and to learn about unique resources available to them at UT.

Students who attend the Big Orange STEM Symposium at the John C. Hodges Library get the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, hot topic sessions, and a STEM browse fair. At our symposium this past April, students learned about hot topics such as extracting DNA, “The Science Behind Tree Planting,” “The Nuts and Bolts of Engineering,” and “ORNL: The Coolest Place to Work.” Parents attended sessions titled “Help! My Child is Going to College.”

Students and parents browsed information booths; they met and talked with faculty members from the university’s STEM departments and representatives from the Oak Ridge National Lab, Texas Instruments, Knox Makers, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Also on hand to answer questions were UT staff from Admissions, the Student Success Center, the Living and Learning Communities, the One Stop Express Student Services Center, Career Services, Volunteer Dining, the Parent’s Association — and even WUTK, the student-run radio station.

In addition to introducing students to their possible future careers, the Libraries’ symposium is an excellent recruiting tool for STEM disciplines at the university. We want exceptional students to consider UT in their college career plans, so we use the symposium to inform prospective students about UT programs that can boost their academic success. We tell them about VolsTeach, a program that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in a math or science field concurrently with a teaching certificate, and RISER, the Research and Instructional Strategies for Engineering Retention living-and-learning community. RISER members form a support system both inside and outside the classroom by living together on the same residence hall floor and enrolling in the same demanding, first-year calculus course.

At the Libraries’ one-day symposium, students gain an introduction to STEM careers and an overview of the many support services offered by the university. We hope students and parents leave our symposium a little better prepared for the college experience — and a little more willing to ask a librarian for help.

The 2015 Big Orange STEM Symposium was organized by the Libraries’ Community Learning Services and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

From Medieval Alchemy to Tennessee Moonshine

Woodblock from Ulstadt's 1525 work

Woodblock from Ulstadt’s 1525 work, Coelum philosophorum seu de secretis naturae liber

Special Collections continually seeks new areas on which to focus acquisitions. We look for topics with regional significance that have potential for broad impact. One such area is the ancient art of moonshining. Bootlegging has long been the subject of storytelling in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains. The illegal distillation of spirits was a popular trade in Tennessee well before prohibition; and when legal distilleries were forced to shut down in 1920, the demand for illegal spirits dramatically increased. Although moonshine could be a toxic combination of many ingredients which might include paint thinner, antifreeze, and even embalming fluid, thirsty locals were eager to imbibe. After prohibition ended and legal distilleries opened their doors, the moonshine tradition carried on in Tennessee. Perhaps the most famous moonshiner was Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton who continued to practice his craft until 2009 when he was arrested by federal authorities. He even self-published guides and taped videos documenting his process.

But the craft of distillating spirits began long before prohibition or Popcorn Sutton and can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Egypt. Special Collections recently purchased an extremely rare first edition of one of the earliest texts documenting the practical process of distillation written by Philipp Ulstadt, a physician and professor of medicine in Switzerland. Ulstadt was closely connected with the German alchemist Hieronymus Brunschwig who in 1500 published Liber de arte destillandi (The Book of the Art of Distillation). In 1525, Ulstadt published his seminal work, the Coelum philosophorum seu de secretis naturae liber. Denuo reuisus & Castigates (The Book of the Secrets of Nature, or of the Heaven of the Philosophers). The manual served as the standard authority on the preparation and use of distillates for nearly a century. This first edition is very rare with the only other copy in the United States held by the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It went through more than twenty editions, and was translated into German and French. Ulstadt’s ideas reappear in the later writings of other prominent scientists including Konrad Gesner and Andreas Libavius.

Ulstadt’s work was influential largely due to his clear and concise technical descriptions of the processes of distillation and the apparatus used. Other alchemy guides of the time were intentionally written obscurely or even in code to keep the information hidden from those who might abuse it. His was the first accurate and accessible summary of distilling methods. In addition, he discussed the practical use of the remedies for physicians and apothecaries and lists recipes for spiced wines and clarets. His detailed directions were accompanied by the same type of woodblock illustrations used by Brunschwig. Many of the illustrations depict the apparatus used in the distillation process. During the middle ages, astrology, alchemy, and pharmacology were all considered to be genuine sciences and were seriously pursued by physicians. Ulstadt’s practical text helped define boundaries between the practices of astrology and chemistry paving the way for the establishment of medicine and chemistry as partner disciplines.

With the assistance of the B.H. Breslauer Foundation, Special Collections was able to secure the purchase of this unique volume. The foundation was established and endowed by the late Dr. Bernard H. Breslauer with the main purpose of giving grants to libraries that collect rare books and manuscripts in the United States. Now this influential rare piece can serve as the cornerstone for Special Collections’ growing assembly of materials documenting the history of moonshine and distillation from its earliest practitioners to bootleggers in the communities of Appalachia.

Celebrate National Week of Making, June 12-18

What do computer coders, tinkerers, woodworkers, and crafters have in common?  They are all “makers.”

obama_robotic_giraffeLast June, President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire and issued a call to action that “every company, every college, every community, every citizen join us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.”  This year, the White House has announced a “Week of Making” from June 12-18 to coincide with the National Maker Faire.

Students, faculty, and staff can make and create in the UT community with the support of 3D printing at Pendergrass.  The Library supports UT makers, including agriculturalists, veterinarians, art students, and engineers, who watch their visions come to life as digital 3D models are built layer upon layer.  This fall, Pendergrass plans to implement an upgraded 3D printer with even greater capabilities.

3d_print_objectsWant to learn more about 3D printing and how you can print a model at Pendergrass?  Check out our 3D Printing Guide to see how the process works, view pictures of past projects, or contact the Library to submit a model for printing.  3D printing is available in Pendergrass temporary summer location in Brehm 243.

But you don’t have to be an expert in 3D printing to be a maker.  Makers are anyone who funnels ingenuity into all sorts of amazing projects, developing creative solutions, strengthening communities, and even bringing innovations to market.  Maker culture includes engineering-oriented pursuits like electronics, robotics, and 3D printing, as well as more traditional activities like metalworking, woodworking, and arts and crafts.

Want to support makers and DIY-ers in our community and across the nation?  Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Post photos of a current project you are working on using #NationOfMakers on Twitter.
  • Share the plans for your project online through maker platforms so others can make, modify, or remix it.
  • Explore the MAKE website for new project ideas.
  • Volunteer to be a mentor for someone who wants to learn a new skill, or find a mentor to teach you.
  • Organize a maker roundtable in your neighborhood to expand making activities.

Return books at Book Drop or in Brehm 243

Students and faculty can return library books at two locations this summer:


1. Book Drop outside Pendergrass Library 

Return books in the blue book drop outside the Pendergrass Library location 24/7.  A library staff member will pick up the books each morning and return them for you.  The book drop is located to the right of the external library entrance in the Veterinary building facing Joe Johnson Dr.

relocation map arrows border

2. Service Desk in Brehm 243 

Stop by our temporary summer location in Brehm Animal Science Room 243 (computer lab) and return books at the service desk.  Library hours in this location are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  While you’re here, you can also check out a Leisure Reading book, use the computer lab, or get research or technical assistance.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on our temporary summer relocation.

Faculty: Options for detecting plagiarism available

plagiarism_detectionThe University of Tennessee’s two-year subscription for iThenticate plagiarism detection software expired on March 29, 2015, and your account associated with this trial subscription was deactivated. If you or your department wishes to use plagiarism detection software to assist with your publishing, you have several options to choose from.

If you are interested in continuing to use iThenticate, the company offers a variety of inexpensive purchasing options that you or your department may want to consider. iThenticate helps faculty avoid “cut and paste” errors that might be unacceptable in funding proposals or scholarly articles.

Plagiarism detection services are available for free or for a minimal charge from a variety of other sources. See this LibGuide for a list of Anti-Plagiarism Software options. Some free options include:

Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism Software


New online exhibit on local foods


The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has long focused on the best ways to get food from the farm to our tables. The National Agricultural Library (NAL) documents USDA’s interest in local foods in its newest online exhibit, “Mailboxes, Mom and Pop Stands, and Markets: Local Foods Then and Now.”

The exhibit has three main sections: a review of the “Farm-To-Table” Movement of the early 1900s, a survey of Roadside Stands and Farmers Markets, and a list of current USDA local food initiatives from the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Project.

Are you new to the idea of local foods and want to learn more? The exhibit includes an overview of the “local foods” concept and a glossary.

Do you shop at the farmers market, buy local produce at the grocery, or grow your own fruits and vegetables? Explore the online exhibit to learn more about the history of the local foods movement and how it can benefit the environment and economy.

Visit UT Farmers Market, held Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m. at UT Gardens on Neyland Drive through October 21, 2015. Or search Pick Tennessee Products to find your nearest farmers market.

Photo courtesy of Meagan Perosha.

What is Creative Commons?


Anytime you create something – a song, a piece of art, a research paper – you hold the copyright to that work. This means creators have control over the permissions granted to others to access, edit, and share a work.

If authors want to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a creative work, consider publishing it under a Creative Commons (CC) license. CC licenses are the standard way to give people permission to share and use research or creative work.

CC licenses may be limited (non-commercial use only, for example) or allow people to access, share, and edit work freely, as long as they give credit to the creator or researcher.

Why is Creative Commons so important? Copyright can make it hard to legally copy, paste, edit, and share information online. CC licenses support the ideal of universal access to research, education, and culture. Scholars have access to hundreds of millions of works under CC licenses that they can use, edit, and build upon in their own work.

Check out the State of the Commons to see how CC licenses increase access to creativity and culture.