August closing

The reading room will be closed August 1-5 for off-site storage processing.

Please contact the department with any questions.

English 102

In order to support the curriculum of English 102, Special Collections has developed several teaching collections for those instructors who wish to use physical materials. All but the Modern Political Archives collections will be held in Hodges, so students do not need to request them ahead of time.

For those wishing to use digital materials, please see our Digital Teaching Collections LibGuide for more detailed information on using our digital collections as well as tutorials on how to search the digital collections and how to cite research items.

For instructors who have chosen topics outside the scope of these collections, see all of our digitized primary sources here. In addition, UTK Libraries offer a wealth of databases that feature primary sources on every conceivable topic. Please do not hesitate to ask Library instructors to help you find those resources that provide the best fit.

How to Request Instruction

We ask all faculty interested in instruction to please email the Special Collections Reference Desk at by the end of the first day of classes, Monday, January 24, 2022 to plan for and schedule your sessions. In your email, please include:

  • Name
  • Department
  • Topic of Inquiry
  • Whether you are interested in an in-person or virtual session
  • Description of relevant course topic or assignment (please attach syllabus and assignment)
  • What teaching collections you would be interested in having your students research
  • At least two preferred dates and times for instruction
  • Any additional information about learning objectives for the session

We will do our best to accommodate your preferences, but due to the large volume of requests, we may not be able to guarantee your preferred date. Course instructors are expected to attend both in-person and virtual library instruction sessions with their classes.

Hours and Contact Information

Located on the first floor of Hodges Library, Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

If you have questions, please email the Special Collections Reference Desk at

Preparing Your Students

Here’s what your students need to know before visiting Special Collections.


  • Students will need to complete the online Registration Form before visiting the reading room.
  • To support English 102 projects, we’ve made teaching collections which are available for reading room use whenever we’re open. Students do not need to request teaching collections as they are kept on site at Hodges Library.
  • Students should read the descriptions of the materials available in the teaching collections and make note of which collections and boxes they are interested in looking at on the Registration Form. Some of the teaching collections are large and cover many topics, so please let students know to focus their searches before they arrive.
  • The Special Collections reading room will be closed to researchers periodically through the semester for classes, tours, events, etc. Please alert students to check with us first before visiting to make sure that the reading room is open.
  • Please remind students to give themselves plenty of time for their visits; special collections materials cannot be checked out and primary sources take time to analyze.
  • Many of our primary sources have been digitized. Students can see what’s available here. Digital collections which correspond to our teaching collections can be found in our Digital Teaching Collections LibGuide.


Students should:

  • Complete the online Registration Form.
  • Bring a photo ID to register at the front desk.
  • Bring a camera/smartphone to photograph pages for later reference and a laptop or paper and pencil to take notes.
  • Put bags, coats, food, and drink in the lockers provided, and please leave pens in bags – only pencils are allowed around materials.
  • Wash hands and forgo lotion in order to best preserve materials when handling them.
  • Be sure to record the citation information for anything you might use. The standard format is:

[Identification of Item], [Title of Collection, AR.#### or MS.####]. University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives.

(Note: square brackets aren’t part of the actual citation.)

  • Feel free to ask questions – our staff members are always available to help.

Teaching Collections

Special Collections has chosen a variety of collections for use in English 102 classes for those instructors who wish their students to gain research experience with physical primary materials. With the exception of the Modern Political Archives collections, the teaching collections are housed at Hodges and do not require students to request materials ahead of their visits. Please see more detailed information about our corresponding Digital Teaching Collections in our Digital Teaching Collections LibGuide, as well as tutorials on how to search the digital collections and how to cite research items.

Teaching Collection Topics