LibrariesSpecial CollectionsInstructionEnglish 102Knoxville and East Tennessee History Teaching Collection
Knoxville and East Tennessee History Teaching Collection

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Physical Materials

Charlie Daniel Editorial Cartoons, 1951-2012 (MS.3526)

After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Charlie Daniel accepted a position at the Knoxville Journal, where he was the editorial cartoonist until the paper ended daily publication. In 1992, he moved to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and continued to produce entertaining and thoughtful cartoons.

The cartoons in this digital collection cover issues of international and national interest as well as events and topics closer to home.  Local affairs include both Knoxville city and Knox County politics, the World’s Fair, Dogwood Arts, the United Way campaigns, and more. 1,500 cartoon selections from this collection have been digitized by Special Collections and are available to view and browse here.

Topics and Themes – road construction, educational funding, political campaigns, income tax debate, governors and mayors and other politicians, pollution, tourism, the lottery, TennCare, voter apathy, corruption, gambling, alcohol in the city, annexation, and dozens of others.

Turnley Collection, 1763-1920 (MS.2023)

George and Charlotte Turnley moved to Jefferson County, Tennessee in the 1780s. Their oldest son, John Cunnyngham Turnley, went on to contribute a great deal to early East Tennessee history. The family continued to live in East Tennessee for several generations. The Turnley Collection documents early East Tennessee history, the daily and business lives of early Tennessee settlers, Turnley family history, and George Turnley’s estate.

Business and finance, slavery, Confederate States of America, land indentures and surveys, account books, wills and estate settlements, inventories, contracts, receipts, loans, a teacher’s license, two treatises (one on the Bible, one on Puritans vs Cavaliers [ie. North vs South]), stocks, correspondence, a contract to rent out a slave, and more.

Laura Norvall Elliot Diary, 1917-1919 (MS.2771)

Laura Norvall Elliot of Nashville, Tenn., worked in the publishing business and eventually became affiliated with the Southern Woman’s Magazine. She was the daughter of Frank Porterfield Elliot and Moselle Norvell. Her maternal great-great-grandfather was Governor John Sevier.

This collection consists of the diary, dated 1917-1919 of a young woman from Nashville, Tenn. In her diary, which begins on the day that war was declared on Germany in 1917, she details her experience in the publishing business and her thoughts on the war.

Topics and Themes – Young woman in business, the life of a writer, financial disaster for magazine, business trips to big cities, the first Daylight Savings Day, the beginning of Piggly Wiggly grocery stores, and a building fire.  She reflects on the war, usually with patriotism, occasionally about shortages, Germans, and pacifists.  She attends a séance, gets inoculated with radium, mentions suffrage and President Wilson, and comments on the lives of ‘Negroes’ and ‘nigs.’

Nolichucky Dam Photo Album, 1913-1915 (MS.2772)

In 1913, Nolichucky Dam was built on the 46th mile marker of the Nolichucky River over a period of seven months in Greeneville, Tenn. The drainage area covers Greene, Washington, and Unicoi counties in Eastern Tennessee and Yancey, Mitchell, and Avery counties in Western North Carolina. In 1945 TVA bought the dam as a power production facility; however, a large amount of sand and silt had already built up in the Davy Crockett Reservoir and, in 1970, TVA was forced to stop use of the dam as a power facility. Since 1972, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has managed the dam as wildlife refuge and environmental education center.

This collection consists of a photo album documenting the construction of the Nolichucky Dam in Greeneville, Tenn., in 1913. The album consists of a series of 125 photographs documenting the dam’s construction over the period of seven months. In addition to the documentation of the construction of Nolichucky Dam, the album contains 46 photos documenting the construction of a concrete reservoir, done for the Massachusetts waterworks in 1915.

Topics and Themes – Greeneville, TVA, construction techniques, clothing styles, compare the dam to the wildlife refuge?

Technical Society of Knoxville Records, 1921-2011 (MS.3650) (boxes 8 and 9)

The Technical Society of Knoxville (TSK) membership includes engineers, physicists, chemists, architects, and other technology professionals. The society’s mission is to educate and assist its members and the public in areas where technology has or can impact Knoxville and its inhabitants – such as planning, building codes, parking and traffic problems, and other issues.

Materials for instruction contain photographs documenting TSK’s annual and luncheon meetings, the society’s officers, and the society’s seal. It also includes recorded interviews with society charter members and former presidents (with typed transcriptions), and a recorded luncheon presentation on highway maintenance. There are also name tags that were worn during an annual meeting. Other records include documents and correspondence concerning committee activities, the society’s community involvement and outreach, and programs presented at weekly luncheon meetings.

Topics and Themes:

Box 8 – photos of events and officers, slides, cassettes of charter member interviews and their transcripts, folders for committees that deal with student contests, anti-pollution (in several folders), building codes, entertainment, membership, publication, and a science fair.

Box 9 their self-study gives a good overview of the society, more anti-pollution, plans to protect school children in an air raid, wastewater treatment, metro planning, public health, more science fair, East Tennessee community design (with VISTA volunteers), traffic problems.

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Digital Materials

East Tennessee History Digital Teaching Collection

Available for instruction is also an East Tennessee History Digital Teaching Collection that can be found here. The following Digital Collections are additional digitized Special Collections materials that may be relevant or useful to topic of East Tennessee.

Blount County Architecture Inventory, 1983 

These buildings, in various parts of Blount County, Tennessee, were built between 1800 and 1930. The entire collection, with thousands of photographs, is housed in the Blount County Library. The digitized part of this collection includes 94 photographs of buildings, including schools, homes, and stores.  Some photographs have notes about their architectural or historical significance.

Topics and Themes – Maryville, architecture, transportation, hospitals, churches, Maryville College

Southeastern Native American Documents

This is a very extensive collection, with a variety of formats and topics, and includes searching and browsing functions.  From a consortium, so some documents are from UTK, but not all of them.

Of Monkeys and Men: Public and Private Views from the Scopes Trial 

Of Monkeys and Men: Public and Private Views from the Scopes Trial digital collection consists of selected documents and photographs from the Sue K. Hicks Papers and the W.C. Robinson Collection of Scopes Trial Photographs. Sue K. Hicks, a Dayton lawyer, was a member of the Scopes prosecution team. The digital collection includes letters, notes, and other documents assembled by Hicks during the trial. W.C. Robinson was the son of “Doc” Robinson, owner of the Dayton drugstore where Scopes “Monkey Trial” spectators were greeted by a trained chimpanzee wearing a suit and bow tie. Sue Hicks and Doc Robinson were two of the community leaders who initiated the Dayton trial.

Images of East Tennessee

Featuring postcards and photographs from the mid-nineteenth century through the late-twentieth century, this collection is particularly rich in images of Knoxville, including pictures of airports, homes, businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, vistas, people, and the 1982 World’s Fair.

Knoxville Garden Slides

This collection of hand-colored lantern slides dates from the late 1920s and early 1930s. The slides depict ornamental gardens in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area and feature a variety of garden styles, plants, flowers, and foliage. They illustrate the rich tradition of gardening and beautification in Knoxville.

Sanborn Maps

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are a large-scale representation of the growth and layout of American cities. The University of Tennessee Libraries’ collection currently provides digital versions of the four earliest sets of Knoxville maps – 1884, 1890, 1903, and 1917.

Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project (TNDP)

The Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project (TNDP) is a partnership between the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The project provides access to a selection of Tennessee’s historical newspapers.

Tennessee Documentary History

Tennessee Documentary History brings together over 1,600 items from cultural heritage institutions across the state to document Tennessee’s earliest history, beginning with statehood in 1796 through to the 1850s.

This expansive collection illustrates the complex history of a developing state, and covers many political, economic, cultural, and social issues. Tennessee Documentary History includes legal and government documents, military orders, and other records that illuminate public dealings of the time, including records that document relations with the area’s Native American populations, particularly the Cherokee. Many items in the collection represent some of Tennessee’s most well-known public individuals of the era such as William Blount, Sam Houston, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and John Sevier. Additionally, the collection reveals the private lives of the state’s citizens during this period through personal correspondence, diaries, journals, and more.