West Side Row: Vanderbilt’s First Dormitory

Written by Elizabeth Mosiman When Vanderbilt University first opened in 1875, students lived in university-approved boarding houses near campus. The closest the university came to having a dormitory was Wesley Hall – a former boarding house – which served multiple purposes: housing faculty and divinity students; providing classroom space for lectures; and serving as a… Keep reading

Mechanical Engineering Hall: Teaching Engineering in the Age of Steam

A new exhibition highlighting the history of Mechanical Engineering Hall is now on display in the Special Collections Library.    When Vanderbilt University opened in October 1875, classes and laboratories were all housed in College Hall, now known as Kirkland Hall.  By the mid-1880s, the engineering department had outgrown their facilities in College Hall and… Keep reading

Buchanan Fellow Josanda Addo Shares her Final Project

In 1860, American readers loved Godey’s Lady’s Book for its elaborate colored fashion plates. Listen to Buchanan Library Fellow Josanda Addo’s curator statement, and hear her thoughts on the magazine’s advice to women. Content published in Godey’s Lady Book’s reflected American’s beliefs about women’s roles in society, including women’s self-sufficiency in the domestic sphere. Contributors… Keep reading

New Online Exhibition curated by Buchanan Library Fellows

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries have opened a new online exhibition, 19th-Century Periodicals: Framing the New American Standard. Curated by undergraduate Buchanan Library Fellows Josanda Addo ’22, Robby Espano ’22, and Hannah Tsaio ’22, during spring semester 2021, the exhibit is the third in a series featuring in-depth interpretations of Special Collections materials. As… Keep reading

Building a University: Vanderbilt’s First Decade – Fall 2020

Have you ever wondered how Vanderbilt University got its name or were curious about why the Stevenson Science and Engineering Library has so many antique instruments on display? Maybe you would like to learn about what classes were taught and what students did for fun in those early years. The fellows in this project learned… Keep reading

Unprecedented Connection: Art collaboration during COVID-19

Every artwork in the Unprecedented Connections exhibition from Vanderbilt Kefi Collective is a joint work of two artists who have never met- one partner started the piece and the other finished it. Each pair of artists was assigned a shared symbol- be it a star, a cloud, or a heart- that served as the sole… Keep reading

Two Artworks

Vanderbilt-Fisk collaboration profiles careers of highly successful Black women during Depression, Jim Crow era

Raquelle K. Bostow, Mellon postdoctoral scholar at Vanderbilt University, and a team of six undergraduate students from Fisk University have created the digital retrospective “Women of Rosenwald: Curating Social Justice through the Arts (1928-1948).” The exhibit, made possible through the Mellon Partners for Humanities Education program, sheds light on a lesser known part of one of Fisk’s… Keep reading

photographs of female recipients of the Rosenwald Fund

Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom Exhibition Wins Nashville Scene Award

The University Art Gallery’s spring exhibition, Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom, was selected by the Nashville Scene as the Best University Exhibition of the past year. The show, curated by Édouard Duval Carrié and Ada Ferrer, was organized at Vanderbilt by Interim Curator Emily Weiner with Collections Manager and Registrar Kali Mason. More information about… Keep reading

Gallery view of Visionary Aponte objects

Found in Cuba: The Ingenuity and Creativity of Ediciones Vigía – Spring 2020

A new online exhibit has been created based on an exhibit in Special Collections and the exhibit-opening lecture given by Paula Covington, subject librarian for Latin American and Iberian Studies. Ediciones Vigía began making handmade books in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1985, limited to 100-200 copies, to make national literature known to Cubans and to create… Keep reading

Collage of Ediciones Vigia books

Surface Cleaning Transforms 15th Century Rhenish Pietà

The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery recently learned more about its Rhenish Pietà, created by an unknown German artist in the 15th century. This sculpture is made of alabaster and is covered in centuries worth of grime, masking the fine details of the Pietà. The Gallery’s Registrar and Collections Manager, Kali Mason, invited Carolina Conservation to… Keep reading

Picture of partially cleaned Alabaster Rhenish Pieta