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

Starting July 6, Research Appointments offered for Fine Arts Gallery, History of Medicine Collections and Special Collections and University Archives

Vanderbilt University deeply values the neighbors, community partners and visitors who make the campus community so vibrant. The Fine Arts Gallery, the History of Medicine Collections and the Special Collections and University Archives Library never stopped providing online access to collections and online reference throughout the pandemic, and will continue to do so.  We are… 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 Robby Espano Shares Final Project

In January 1849, “everybody skates” wrote Godey’s Lady’s Book editor Sarah Hale. Winter sports—skating, sledding, and snow-balling–were popular and “ladies are especially renowned for their grace and agility.”  Readers also contributed notes on medicines, recipes and fashions. See Buchanan Fellow Robby Espano’s curator statement and discover what he found when he read the magazine and… Keep reading

Vanderbilt Acquires Dinah Shore Collection

Vanderbilt Special Collections Library recently acquired the Dinah Shore Collection, documenting the life of Vanderbilt graduate Dinah Shore, BA’38, a prolific singer, actress, and talk show host widely popular throughout the 1940s-1980s. Noteworthy items include Dinah Shore fan club newsletters, publicity stills, photographs and scripts from Shore’s talk shows, and original music recordings that will… 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

Vanderbilt Acquires John Birks ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie Collection

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries recently received a major archival collection, The John Birks ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie Collection, as part of the collaborative Academic Archives Purchasing Fund with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) and Vanderbilt University. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), an instrumental figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz, was a… Keep reading

Buchanan Fellow Hannah Tsiao shares her Final Project

Vanderbilt University’s first student newspaper, the Vanderbilt Austral, published six years after the University’s founding, reveals an identity struggle between who students were and who they wanted to be. Buchanan Fellow Hannah Tsaio sees the students’ longing for an audience, expressing their desires to be heard by the administration, faculty, and each other.  See Hannah’s… Keep reading

Call for Fall Fellowship Applicants: Building a University: Vanderbilt’s Second Decade, 1885-1895

Call for Applicants for Fall Semester Buchanan Library Fellowship: Building a University: Vanderbilt’s Second Decade, 1885-1895 Have you ever wondered about the early years of Vanderbilt University? What were the first yearbooks like, and where did students live on campus? Which sports were first played on campus? Or perhaps you would like to learn about… Keep reading

Call for Applicants for Fall Buchanan Fellowship: The U.S. American Presidency

The U.S. Presidency: Challenges of the Executive Branch Are you interested in working with primary resources to explore the role of the U.S. presidency? Buchanan Library Fellows in this fall semester fellowship will curate an exhibition in the lobby of Central Library that explores the opportunities and challenges of the U.S. Executive Branch.  Fellows will… Keep reading

exhibition detail