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Special Collections: Manuscript Collections: Home

Lists of manuscript collections available in Special Collections and University Archives, sorted by topic.

Public Services Archivist

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Teresa Gray
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Special Collections & University Archives


Welcome to Special Collections!  We have developed this guide to help students find primary sources on their topic of choice. Annotated lists of suggested resources have been arranged by course topic and then by subject within each list.

For additional assistance with history databases and background research, take a look at these additional guides:

HIST 200W: The History Workshop
History Resources: Start

Need help?  Call or e-mail me to set up a research consultation appointment.

Finding a Topic

Settling on a topic can be the hardest part of your essay assignment.  Here are some suggestions to help get you started:

1.  Make a list of your hobbies or interests.  Then browse the collection descriptions in the tabs above or consult the Subject Guide for possible matches.

Love astronomy?  Check out Edward Emerson Barnard, one of Vanderbilt's first full-time astronomers.

Interested in the founding of Vanderbilt University?  Check out the Cornelius Vanderbilt and Bishop Holland McTyeire letters in the John James Tigert IV Papers.

Interested in women's rights?  Check out Sue Kirtland Green, an associate of Margaret Sanger and founder of Tennessee's first birth control clinic.

2.  Browse the subjects and descriptions of available collections in the Manuscripts tab above or click here:

3.  Still stuck?  Contact me to set up a consultation appointment.