Rare Books

The rare book collection at the John C. Hodges Library is kept in the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives. Containing over 60,000 titles, our collection represents over 550 years of printed materials, beginning with a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible (1454-55), the first book printed in Europe. The holdings include many titles published before 1700 and several thousand published during the 18thcentury. The vast majority of the books have publication dates from 1800 to the present.

Our broad rare books collection spans a range of subject areas, focusing heavily on the humanities. A partial list of significant collection areas includes:

  • Southeastern Native American History
  • Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection
  • Naseeb Shaheen Early Modern Bible Collection
  • John C. Hodges Collection of William Congreve
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies Facsimiles
  • Jane Austen First Editions and Secondary Material
  • Moonshine and Distillation Collection
  • Patricia Cornwell Collection
  • Contemporary Artists’ Books
  • Book History Teaching Collection
  • Tennessee Authors

Requesting Material:

Everyone is welcome to view materials. All rare books are kept on location in a secure environment. No appointment is necessary to have materials paged, but it may be helpful to inquire about availability beforehand, as some items are very frail. All visitors are required to register at the reception desk in Special Collections and follow the reading room guidelines.

Chris Caldwell, Rare Books & Humanities Librarian: ccaldwell@utk.edu