Since that date, some assignments have changed, some departments have been reorganized, and some faculty and staff members featured here are no longer with the University of Tennessee Libraries. For a current list of library faculty and staff, check the Libraries’ Staff Directory. To identify the librarian who specializes in your discipline, see this list of Subject Librarians.

Special Collections

BIG IDEAS demand reliable information. The University Libraries supports scholarship, research, and learning at UT by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and facilitating access to the world’s knowledge. The wide-ranging expertise of our librarians might surprise you.

Special Collections acquires and preserves rare and unique materials that support the information, instruction, and research needs of the UT community.

Collected materials include rare books and manuscripts, but materials are acquired in all formats. Collection strengths include holdings on Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Civil War, Tennessee authors, and the presidencies of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk. Selected Special Collections holdings are made available as digital collections on the Libraries’ website.

In addition to making unique research materials available to UT scholars, the Special Collections Reading Room hosts researchers from around the world. Even undergraduate classes routinely visit the Reading Room to learn about using primary source materials in their research.

Special Collections faculty members include a department head; the two co-directors of the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project; and three archivists who manage the University Archives (official records of the university), the Modern Political Archives, and extensive manuscript collections that include private papers, literary manuscripts, and historical records primarily relating to Tennessee and the Southeast. Other Special Collections staff members specialize in processing and conserving collections.

For more information on Special Collections, visit

Special Collections
Left to right: Kris Bronstad (Modern Political Archivist), Amanda Touchstone, Becky Briggs, Laura Romans (Manuscripts Archivist), Elizabeth Young, Alesha Shumar (University Archivist), Elizabeth Wilson, Jennifer Beals (Head), Ken Wise (Co-director, Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project), and Kyle Hovious
Email Special Collections
Phone: 865-974-4480