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UT Libraries Exhibit Features Over 200 Years of American Exploration

Government Documents Trace Exploration From Lewis and Clark to NASA

The latest theme of the UT Libraries government documents exhibit series is about the history of exploration in the United States. Covering everything from the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805-1806 and the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 to recent NASA undertakings, it promises to inspire library goers of all walks and ages.

The summer 2007 “Documents to the People: 100 Years of Keeping You in the Know” The exploration segment consists of three exhibits located on the first floor of Hodges Library. Some of the documents on display include exploration on land, sea, air, and outer space. Topics include exploration in the American West, first traversed by Lewis and Clark to be later followed by settlers; the history of space exploration and technology; NASA’s mission of exploration and its contributions; as well as smaller projects like SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). The exhibits feature books (some dating back to the 1800s), brochures, maps, and 3-D displays of the earth and space technology.

Space exploration is a large component of the three exhibits, as 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s first satellite launch. Sputnik’s blast-off marked the beginning of the “space race” era of the Cold War. NASA was founded one year later, in 1958.

The UT Libraries is celebrating several important dates as a Federal Depository Library, marking the various stages of its role in providing government information to the public. It has been a depository library for 110 years (since 1897), a land-grand depository library for 100 years (since 1907), and a Tennessee state depository library for 90 years (since 1917).

Some of the items currently on display are available in Microform or in Special Collections, and others are available for regular library loan. Visit for more information, or contact Janette Prescod in Government Documents at, or Greg March in the Map Library at .

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