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UT Special Collections: Rare Books & Theses -- Reconstruction Era & Gilded Age

Portrait of an unidentified African American woman, circa the early 20th century.

Portrait by Browder Studios. Photograph from Volunteer Voices Digital Collection, provided by the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.

Rare Books

Catalogue of Swift Memorial Institute. circa 1880s (LC2852.R63 S92)

Annual Report of the Slater Training School. 1886 (LC2761 .A935)

Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading. A Compendium of Valuable Information and Wise Suggestions that Will Inspire Noble Effort at the Hands of Every Race-loving Man, Woman, and Child. 1897 (E185.5 .H16)

An Appeal for Social Purity in Negro Homes, a Tract. 1898 (E185.86 .H37 1898)

Historical Sketch of the Freemen's Missions of the United Presbyterian Church, 1862-1904. 1904 (E185.2 .U5)


The Negro in Tennessee during the Reconstruction period. 1933 (Thesis.W181)

Some Social and Economic Phases of Reconstruction in East Tennessee, 1864-1869. 1946 (Thesis46.C18)

Black Children and Northern Missionaries, Freemen's Bureau Agents, and Southern Whites in Reconstruction Tennessee, 1865-1869. 2005 (Thesis 2005b .K43)

Rebuilding a Community: Prosperity and Peace in Post-Civil War Knoxville, Tennessee, 1865-1870. 2008 (Thesis 2008 .H53)

To Be True to Ourselves: Freedpeople, School Building, and Community Politics in Appalachian Tennessee, 1865-1870. 2009 (Electronic Thesis/Dissertation)

UT Special Collections: Manuscript Resources -- Civil Rights

Civil Rights Collection, 1934-1970 (MS.0334)
This collection brings together papers and publications from individuals and organizations as well as over fifty hours of taped interviews with civil rights participants. Individuals include Charles Haynie, Buford Posey, Sidney Redmond, Walter and Elizabeth Rogers, and Claude Williams among others. Organizations include ACLU, CORE, SCEF, SRC, and several others. The collection includes a wealth of pamphlets, organized by topic, and newsletters, organized by title. Documents from several court cases can be found in Sidney Redmond's papers and Claude Williams' papers as well as in the Legal Papers folders. Of particular interest may be the manuscripts and accompanying papers for Dorothy Swisshelm's book, Six years Behind the Magnolia Curtain.

Byron de la Beckwith Correspondence, Photographs, and Other Materials, 1940-1992 (MS.3439)
This collection consists primarily of letters that Byron de le Beckwith wrote to his wife, Mary Louise (Williams) Beckwith; his son, Byron de la Beckwith, Jr.; and his brother and sister-in-law, Jesse and Frances Williams while he was incarcerated before and during his first trial for the murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers. Another set of correspondence was written between Beckwith and his nephew, B. Reed Massengill, while Massengill was working on a book chronicling Beckwith's life. Also included are photographs (some of which were published in Massengill's Portrait of a Racist) showing Beckwith and his family.

June N. Adamson Papers, bulk 1943-2003 (MS.2739)
Correspondence, research and teaching files, student work, articles, newspaper clippings, notes, and manuscripts documenting June N. Adamson's life and work as a newspaper reporter, student, and University of Tennessee Professor of Journalism. Included is research related to Adamson's book, The Lit Stick of Dynamite, which document the desegregation of Clinton High School in 1956 and its bombing in 1958.

Carl and Anne Braden Papers, 1947-1967 (MS.0425)
This collection of approximately 4,700 items documents the work of Carl and Anne Braden, civil rights workers with the Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF). The material covers their work in the civil rights program throughout America from 1947 to 1967.

James Earl Ray Papers, 1968-1998 (MS.3147)
This collection houses letters, news clippings, official papers, and other items documenting James Earl Ray's life between the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination in 1968 and Ray's death in 1998. They concern his attempts to prove his innocence as well as his life in prison.

Alex Haley Research Regarding Tennessee Anecdotal History, circa 1986-circa 1996 (AR.0420)
Alex Haley, Anne, Klebenow, and a number of student researchers collected these anecdotes about Tennessee history during their work on 200 Years through 200 Stories: A Tennessee Bicentennial Collection (1996). Among the topics covered are the Bell Witch, the beginning of the Ku Klux Klan, the Scopes Trial, and the Civil War.

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Humanities Librarian

Molly Royse

Hodges Library
Office: 865-974-3652