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University Libraries

The University Libraries is an intellectual, cultural, and social center for the university and its global community. Library faculty and staff support learning through inquiry, discovery, creation, and exchange of information. The university values the diversity of its users and resources, offering a welcoming and inclusive environment. Our faculty engage in research, having led and participated in major federal grants supporting digitization, metadata, preservation, return-on-investment studies, recruitment and training of science librarians, and diversity. Our international partnerships include academic libraries in Uganda and Thailand. Closer to home, we participate in an exchange program with librarians in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Achievements / Distinctions

  • Member of the Association of Research Libraries
  • Founding member of the Digital Library Federation
  • Creation of open source software for creating metadata online, called the Metadata Workbook
  • The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project—collections related to the national park, a bibliography of resources, and digital projects providing access to these unique resources.
  • Major grants including five from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and two from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
  • UT Small Centers Grant, which funded the Digital Library Center/Digital Initiatives unit, working to digitize and provide access to unique regional, campus, and library resources.

Since 1999, creation of digital collections has been an emphasis supported by federal grants. The Growth of Democracy in Tennessee: A Grass-Roots Approach to ‘Volunteer Voices’ created a database of more than 10,000 digital documents and images of primary sources representing Tennessee history. Others included From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont: Bringing Education and Economic Development to the Great Smoky Mountains, 1910–2004; Digital Access to WPA Photographs of TVA Archeological Sites (in collaboration with McClung Museum); Tennessee Documentary History, 1796–1850; and Southeastern Native American Documents, 1763–1842.

Our digital imprint, Newfound Press, has published two electronic books and now hosts a digital music theory journal, Gamut. Special Collections and Digital Library Initiatives provide digital versions of unique materials for access by scholars around the world. A few of these unique collections are the William Cox Cochran Great Smoky Mountains Photographic Collection and UT archival materials such as Tennessee native plants in the Online Vascular Plant Herbarium, UT Catalogs Online, and Volunteer Yearbooks.

Funded by NEH from 1994 to 2004, the Tennessee Newspaper Project microfilmed historic newspapers of the state as a preservation project. We expect to move into the digitization of Tennessee newspapers soon.


Research collaborations with the School of Information Sciences have included IMLS grants for minority recruitment and training of science librarians; return-on-investment studies of university investments in libraries; and MaxData, a study to provide models that help librarians maximize their use of data about use of electronic resources. Currently three more collaborative proposals to federal granting agencies are under review.


The University Libraries sponsors or organizes numerous programs and events each year to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus. Examples include numerous film series, a video contest, lecture series, authors’ readings in Writers in the Library, eForum speakers on electronic issues for the academy, and the Culture Corner exhibit of multicultural resources.


Collections of the University Libraries exceed 3,000,000 volumes and are housed in five libraries. Centrally, the John C. Hodges Library, a 350,000-square-foot facility, offers a wide variety of facilities and services: faculty studies, graduate study carrels, quiet study rooms, six group media viewing rooms, three instruction rooms, an information laboratory, map services, research assistance, and more. The Commons integrates library and technology services in a student-centered environment, and the Studio provides a place for faculty and students to create video and graphic instructional projects.

The Future

The University Libraries will continue to encourage research and partnerships to link library resources and expertise to teaching and learning, to advance critical thinking and information-seeking by students, and to increase online access to our unique collections. Areas of emphasis will be digitization, information access, new instructional models, digital preservation, and a digital repository.

Contact Information

Pauline S. Bayne
Assistant Dean of Libraries
Hodges Library, Room 611
Knoxville, TN 37996-1000

Phone: (865) 974-4465

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.