New Special Collections Exhibition: Thirteen Decades of Back to School Traditions and Campus Growth

The start of another semester means new exhibits featuring material from Special Collections! Visit the George Connor Special Collections Reading Room (LIB 439) to learn about back to school traditions that have shaped the university campus over the past 130 years, including Convocation, Founders Day, Homecoming and Rat Week. A sample of these traditions are pictured below.

University of Chattanooga students wearing their Rat Week caps.

University of Chattanooga students wearing Rat Week caps in 1966. 1967 Moccasin yearbook.


Image of Phyllis Marie White, the first black Homecoming Queen at UTC

1970 Homecoming Queen Phyllis Marie White was the first black student to win this title. University Echo, 1970 November 10.


UTC Students with Founders Day cake in the shape of Old Main

2011 Founders Day Celebrations included a giant cake in the shape of Old Main, the original university building. University Echo, 2011 March 10.

After you check out the exhibit, take this Buzzfeed Quiz to test your knowledge about campus history!

Join Special Collections as a Graduate Assistant!

Thank you for your interest. This position has been filled.






Graduate Assistants (GA) help Special Collections achieve its mission by working on archival processing and description, digital capture and metadata projects, and outreach initiatives including exhibitions and lesson plan development. In consultation with the Director of Special Collections, GAs will work on projects based on the students’ learning objectives and how the assistantship would meet the applicant’s career goals as well as unit needs. Students who successfully complete projects in Special Collections gain important transferable skills and exposure to professional software applications and data management strategies that help prepare them for further study or careers in a wide range of fields, including English, Psychology, Public Administration, Criminal Justice, and Education.

The Special Collections Graduate Assistantship spans the 2019-2020 academic year during the Fall and Spring semesters with the possibility of renewal for the 2020-2021 academic year. Graduate Assistants are expected to work 20 hours/week for a total of 280 hours/semester. The successful applicant will be awarded a $4500 stipend and a maintenance fee waiver of $4225 each semester.

Information about graduate assistantships, including eligibility and requirements to remain eligible is available on the Graduate School’s Opportunities of Assistantships and Internships page.

Duties and Qualifications

Assistantship duties may include:

  • arranging and describing archival collections;
  • authoring biographical and historical notes that provide context for archival materials;
  • creating finding aids in compliance with Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and local practices using ArchivesSpace;
  • assist in scholarly communication and Affordable Course Materials Initiative (ACMI) projects by gathering and reporting data;
  • collaborate on the creation of instructional materials related to scholarly communication topics like publishing, open access, and copyright;
  • conducting oral history interviews;
  • transcribing audio and video assets;
  • using scanners and cameras to digitize archival materials and rare books;
  • creating descriptive metadata and developing digital collections using CONTENTdm;
  • applying controlled vocabularies, including LCSH, LCNAF, AAT, and, to describe digital objects;
  • curating web and physical exhibitions;
  • authoring lesson plans for K-12 audiences;
  • conducting research and writing narratives for grant applications;
  • and developing Buzzfeed quizzes, blog posts, and other outreach initiatives.

Required qualifications include:

  • ability to work independently and produce high quality, thorough, and accurate work;
  • 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;
  • ability to follow detailed written instructions;
  • and ability to work 20 hours/week during Special Collections’ hours of operation.


Interested parties should apply for a Graduate Assistantship in Special Collections for the 2019-2020 academic year by submitting a cover letter, resume, and application to the Director of Special Collections, Carolyn Runyon, at

The cover letter should provide a description of the applicant’s relevant experience and expertise and address what the applicant hopes to gain from the assistantship, including learning objectives and how the assistantship would meet the applicant’s career goals. The cover letter should also describe how they would like to positively contribute to the mission of Special Collections. We encourage all applicants to think broadly about what they hope to accomplish in their practical experiences and pitch projects such as curating exhibits, processing collections, authoring finding aids, drafting records management policies, creating a digital preservation plan, developing programming, or creating curriculum maps, lesson plans, and research guides.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Check out the Summer 2019 issue of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Magazine for a glimpse of the Scenic City’s storied baseball history with photographs, postcards, and pennants from the Chattanooga History Collections, courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections. Learn about Jackie Mitchell’s legendary performance against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at Engel Stadium, as well as how Willie Mays got his start playing for the Chattanooga Choo-Choos in the Southern Negro League.

Engel Stadium postcard, circa 1945

CHC-1987-05-168-a. Engel Stadium postcard, circa 1945. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

Engel Stadium’s “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” History, published in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3, was drafted by Kellie Jewell Gleason, an intern in the Library’s Special Collections unit from the Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science in Summer 2019.

2019 Duke University Press Ebooks

The next time you’re binge-watching The Office for the eighth time on Netflix and you get the pop-up that asks if you’re still watching, maybe take a break and learn what makes your TV shows so great with these titles from Duke University Press:


So get to reading and impress your friends by telling them what makes the opening scenes of Breaking Bad so entertaining!

View a list of 2019 Duke University Press ebooks.
**Please note that Duke ebooks are published throughout the year so if you get an error message when trying to access a book, it most likely hasn’t been published yet**


Access Duke University Press Ebooks

Intern Perspectives: Kellie Jewell Gleason

This blog post was authored by Kellie Jewell Gleason, an intern in the Library’s Special Collections unit from the Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science in Summer 2019.

I am currently a student at Louisiana State University (LSU), pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS), with a focus on Archival Studies. I am also working to concurrently earn a Graduate Certificate of Archival Studies (CARST) along with my MLIS. For my degree, an internship wasn’t a requirement, but an option. But I felt that gaining real-world experience through an internship at an organization with an archival department would allow me to graduate with working knowledge, instead of just a theoretical academic background, and enable me to enter the workforce with the ability to perform as a more knowledgeable professional in my field. And my internship at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC)  Special Collections department has done just that. 

When searching for an internship for the summer of 2019 I included many different types of organizations such as libraries, universities, government organizations and private institutions. I also performed a nationwide search in order to ascertain the best possible options. I was very impressed with the Special Collections department at UTC and the timely and helpful communication with Carolyn Runyon, who would become my internship supervisor. I was able to work with Carolyn to create a very detailed plan of work for my internship that addressed all of the elements I wanted included within my archival internship project, and my Internship Advisor at LSU was very happy with the structure we created for my plan of work. 

Through my internship I was able to apply all that I have learned so far in graduate school to a real archival collection, including both the physical and intellectual arrangement of a collection. I gained experience working with professionals in the field, and was able to observe the daily activities of an archival department while working on assessing and processing an archival collection. My project also included the collection of metadata while adhering to proper archival and organizational standards,  creating a complete finding aid using ArchivesSpace, the development of historical and scope and content notes describing the materials at the collection level, creating container lists and properly labeling and storing the archival collection.The internship work did give me some challenges, which I had expected, but those challenges gave me an opportunity to learn and to grow. The staff of the Special Collections department was very knowledgeable and helped to guide me to the successful completion of my project.  I am very happy that I selected this internship and I feel that I am now much more qualified to enter into the archival professional upon graduation in December of 2019.