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RPW 2610W A Hands-On History of the American Research University - Loss, Meadows: Rise of the University

Library research guide for "RPW2610W A Hands-On History of the American Research University."


Old Main Building, Vanderbilt University, circa 1975The Special Collections Library has a variety of sources to assist with research on the foundations of Vanderbilt University.  We have a variety of secondary sources on the Vanderbilt family, the history of Nashville, and history of education in the Southeast.  We also have many University Archives resources and manuscript collections which help tell the story of Vanderbilt University.

Primary Sources

Landon Cabell Garland Papers

Dr. Landon Garland served as the first chancellor of Vanderbilt University.  He worked closely with Bishop Holland McTyeire in shaping the curriculum of the fledgling university.

James H. Kirkland Papers

James Kirkland was the second chancellor of Vanderbilt University.  He was instrumental in facilitating the break between the university and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

McTyeire-Baskervill Papers

Janie McTyeire was the daughter of Bishop Holland McTyeire.  She married Vanderbilt English professor William Malone Baskervill.  These papers contain important information on the McTyeire family and the career of her husband, Dr. Baskervill.

John Thomas McGill Papers

Dr. J.T. McGill was associated with Vanderbilt University from his graduation in 1877 until his death in 1946.  Specializing in chemistry, he helped start the School of Pharmacy and was an active member for many years in the Tennessee Academy of Science.  His papers contain information about the early days of Vanderbilt and the organization of the Alumni Association.

John James Tigert IV Papers

Dr. Tigert was the grandson of Bishop Holland McTyeire.  His papers contain material on the founding of the university, including correspondence between Cornelius Vanderbilt and the bishop concerning the financier's contributions to the school.  

Landon Garland/James Kirkland Letterbooks, 1874-1895
Record Group 300 Chancellor's Office, Box 108

The letterbooks of Chancellors Garland and Kirkland contain early correspondence of the chancellor's office, spanning the service of Chancellor Garland to the first few years of Kirkland's leadership. 

Executive Minutes of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, 1872-present
Record Group 200 Board of Trust Office

The Executive Minutes of the Board of Trust contain annual reports and meeting summaries of meetings of the governing board of the university.  The annual minutes contain summaries of university accomplishments over the previous fiscal year as well as Treasurer's reports.  The Minutes are open for research from 1872 until the end of the 1979/1980 fiscal year.

Secondary Sources