New Special Collections Exhibition – The Campus Library: Supporting Research and Scholarship Since 1886

Stop by the Roth Grand Reading Room on the 4th floor of the library (LIB 402) to check out the newest exhibition from Special Collections, “The Campus Library: Supporting Research and Scholarship Since 1886.” Coinciding with the library’s 5th year of operation in its current building, this retrospective features a timeline detailing the history of the campus library and an assortment of promotional materials and photographs from years past. You are sure to learn something and walk away with an even greater appreciation for the structure we have today.

Additionally, after browsing the exhibition, you’ll be well-prepared to test your knowledge with the Library’s Buzzfeed Quiz, “How much do you really know about the history of the UTC Library?”.


A description of the library from the 1895 course catalog

A description of the library from the 1895 course catalog.


A photograph of the cornerstone for Fletcher Hall being laid

This photograph of the cornerstone being laid for Fletcher Hall–one of the campus library’s former homes–appeared in the University Echo.


A page from the 1977 University Echo describing the features of the University Library

The multimedia opportunities available for students in the 1970s looked a lot different than those offered by the library today.

Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text (New!)

screenshot of communication sourceThe UTC Library now has full text journals included with the EBSCO Criminal Justice Abstracts database.

It includes over 320 full text magazines and journals and abstracting/indexing for over 600 journals. View the title list here.

The database has a global criminal justice focus and features journals on law enforcement, corrections, criminology, policy studies, forensics, and more.

Access Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text

Intern Perspectives: Okland Scott

This blog post was authored by Okland Scott, an intern in the Library’s Special Collections unit from the UTC Department of History in Fall 2019.

Willy King photograph, undated

CHC-2000-029-164. Willy King photograph, undated. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

I chose to apply for an internship with the Special Collections thinking that the experience would influence my post graduation plans. I had a vague idea of going to graduate school to become an archivist or a librarian, but aside from this I had only a general idea of how archivists worked. I entered into the internship with the hope that the experience would put the meat on the bare bones of a plan that I had. I desired to work on a project that would expose me to as much of the archiving world as possible. Through this I anticipated getting better acquainted with the nuances of the field, learning a new set of vocabulary, and broadening my perspective on what an archivist was. While my expectations were incredibly vague, I was excited to take on a new challenge.

With these expectations in mind, I undertook the project of processing the Willy King papers. The Willy King papers is comprised of works by Willy King, a long time Chattanooga Times employee. The project had me sifting through boxes of political cartoons, sketches, photographs, and newspaper clippings spanning the breadth of King’s career.

Going through King’s cartoons was the most enjoyable process of the project, in my opinion. I was able to see sketches from a broad spectrum of topics; from lighthearted comics about college sports to political cartoons commenting on the current presidential election debates.

Collegiate football cartoon, 1988 November 12

CHC-2000-029-502. Collegiate football cartoon, 1988 November 12. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

The process of evaluating the cartoons was also enjoyable as I was able to use the skills I have learned during my time as a History major. As a History major, we are asked to use what is called the “five C’s”: Contextualizing, Contingency, Change over time, Causality, and Complexity. These “five C’s” act as a guide and a framework for Historians as they interpret the past. I was able to take these skills that I have practiced throughout my coursework and apply them to my task of processing Willy King’s papers. I was able to look at a sketch and place it in the broader context of what might have been happening at the time in the nation or in Chattanooga. This can be observed in some of King’s cartoons that depicted Russia. The knowledge that King was working during the height of the Cold War helps show that the anxieties towards Russia are reflected in his works.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford political cartoon, undated

CHC-2000-029-428. Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford political cartoon, undated. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

During this project I was able to learn the specific archival skills I needed through the processing of King’s papers. The objective was to identify the document type, give it a date if it didn’t have one already, and devise a title. During this process I became aware of the importance of detail in this project as I had to frequently make certain I was in compliance with Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS). Once all of this information was compiled I then had to transfer the information to ArchiveSpace to create Finding Aids for each piece of the collection. Due to the structured detail required to correctly utilize the program, as well as the size of the Willy King papers, this program required me to have a consistent detailed focus. This became difficult at times, and I had to rely heavily on the Metadata Application Profiles to ensure that my work was correct.

Tennessee Valley Authority and Cold War political cartoon, undated

CHC-2000-029-350. Tennessee Valley Authority and Cold War political cartoon, undated. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

One of my favorite parts of completing this project was uncovering Willy King and who he was. This was done through reading obituaries published in the Times, and critically observing his works. Cartoons such as his annual New Year’s cartoon, which features names of Chattanooga individuals, showcase his character. He was fun and loved people, and he wanted to create a cartoon that communicated that love. Willy King was able to create a sense of belonging in the Chattanooga community by consistently leaving a space for the reader to add their own name to the swirling lists of significant Chattanooga individuals.

My experience in the Special Collections has been incredibly rewarding. I was able to broaden my perspective of what I know as archival work. I have had the unique opportunity to learn a new skill set while pursuing my love for history. The feeling of learning something new, while having the opportunity to immediately put those skills to use in a professional environment was very exciting. I am looking forward to what the future holds, and I am thankful for this experience that has acted as the next step in my education.

Willy King 1992 New Year's greeting cartoon, 1991

CHC-2000-029-007. Willy King 1992 New Year’s greeting cartoon, 1991. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

Communication Source (New!)

screenshot of communication sourceThe UTC Library now offers EBSCO’s Communication Source database (which upgrades and replaces Communication and Mass Media Complete).

It includes over 700 full text journals and indexing and abstracting for over 1,000 titles. View the title list here.

The database has a global communications focus and features journals on linguistics, language, rhetoric, journalism, media studies, and more.

Access Communication Source

Hands-on Research Project Opportunity in Special Collections!

Faculty from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Special Collections are seeking a qualified student assistant to assist with a data coding and analysis project examining trends in federal funding for institutional projects involving description of and access to cultural heritage materials. This project will offer the opportunity to collect, code, analyze, and interpret funding data from multiple sources, including the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Additionally, it will provide the opportunity to assist with a literature review and filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain additional data from the aforementioned agencies. 

This project is funded by a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Pre-Tenure Enhancement Program (PREP) Grant, and will result in a presentation at the Spring 2020 ReSEARCH Dialogues.

  • Special Collections provides in-depth training for assistants so that they gain important transferable skills that may help prepare them for graduate studies or careers in a range of academic disciplines, including information science and the social sciences.
  • Special Collections communicates with student assistants through their MocsMail email accounts and shares documents with them via Google Drive. Schedules are managed through MocsMail calendars. Students are expected to consult their calendars and email daily.
  • All student assistants are responsible for making their own parking arrangements. Further, student assistants working in Special Collections must be willing to work onsite during our regular hours of operation at least 10 hours a week during the UTC Spring Semester (January 6, 2020 to April 20, 2020).
  • Review of applications will begin as soon as they are received and will continue until position is filled.

Position Summary

This position will involve the following tasks and assignments:

  • Manually coding data in a Google Sheets spreadsheet for analysis, adhering to guidelines provided by Special Collections.
  • Cleaning and revising the data set as needed, adhering to guidelines provided by Special Collections.
  • Conducting preliminary research and collecting citations for a literature review of relevant scholarship on the subject of federal funding of projects involving the description of cultural heritage materials.
  • Gathering and drafting justifications and information needed to populate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Required Qualifications

  • Ability to work independently and produce high quality, thorough, and accurate work.
  • Ability to follow detailed written instructions.
  • Strong organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills as well as demonstrated initiative and adaptability.
  • Working knowledge of office productivity suites, such as Microsoft Office and Google Drive.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills.

Desired Qualifications

  • Completion of a Research Methods class.
  • Demonstrated experience using complex data entry systems.
  • Demonstrated experience using statistical computing software.
  • Demonstrated experience with research design and methodologies.


This position will be compensated at a rate of $10.00 per hour, for a maximum of 150.00 hours. Student assistants may not work more than 15 hours per week.


To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and application to the University Archivist, Noah Lasley, using the UT Vault. IMPORTANT NOTE: Ignore the instructions on the application form itself to send the application to Carolyn Runyon. Instead, address messages to, as outlined below:

  • Log into UT Vault at using your alias address and UTC password. Every UTC student has an alias address. Example: would enter her email address as
  • Address the message to Noah Lasley at with the Subject: Student Assistant Application – Your Name. Compose your message and attach your cover letter, resume, and complete application.
  • Check the box “Send me verification when the message is received.”

Cover letters should provide a description of the applicant’s relevant experience and expertise and describe the applicant’s motivation for working in Special Collections. Candidates must interview with the University Archivist.