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Knoxville History (Special Collections): Places

This research guide identifies materials and resources in Special Collections related to prominent people, places, and organizations in and around Knoxville.

Manuscript and Archive Resources

sepia photograph of the Bijou Theatre
The Bijou Theatre, circa 1926. Photograph from Images of East Tennessee Digital Collection and Photographs of Tennessee Cities Collection (MS.0951)

Photographs of Tennessee Cities Collection, 1856-1996, bulk 1886-circa 1960 (MS.0951)
This collection contains images (primarily postcard views) of 135 Tennessee cities. It is particularly rich in images of Knoxville, housing pictures of airports, individual buildings, maps, vistas, people, vehicles, the Tennessee River, street scenes, and the 1982 World's Fair documenting the city and its history.

Knoxville Theatres: Vaudeville and Celluloid, 1872-1981 (MS.1046) 
W. W. Baumann compiled this four page typed manuscript entitled Knoxville Theatres: Vaudeville and Celluloid, 1872-1981 on April 28, 1981. In it, he lists Knoxville's theaters, their addresses, possible names changes, number of seats available, and year closed. Also mentioned in this listing are other auditoriums and halls used for public entertainment (including facilities at the University of Tennessee) and which venues were open to African-American patrons (including the Lincoln, Dixie, Iola, and Grand theatres)

Knoxville Railway and Light Company Records, 1896-1920 (MS.1502)
There were a number of different companies offering gas and electric service to Knoxville, Tennessee residents during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; however, in 1905, all of the electric and transit companies were consolidated as the Knoxville Railway and Light Company. This collection houses vouchers, journal entries, and account records documenting the activities of the Knoxville Park Association, the Knoxville Electric Light and Power Company, the Knoxville Street Railway, and the Knoxville Traction Company between 1896 and 1920.

Knoxville Gardens Slides, circa 1930 (MS.1324)
A collection of glass slides depicting gardens, primarily at homes, in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Link to digital collection below. 

Neyland Stadium Photographs, 1960s (AR.0498)
This collection contains three 8 x 10 photographs of Neyland Stadium taken from the west side bleachers during the mid-1960s. These images include interiors of the east and south sides of the stadium as well as sections of surrounding Knoxville.

The Bijou Theatre: 1909-1949, 1976 August (MS.0894) 
In this master's thesis, Robert A. Ellis Jr. explores the Bijou Theatre's historical significance to Knoxville and East Tennessee. Link to digital copy below. 

Knoxville World's Fair Collection, 1982 (MS.3304)
This collection houses guidebooks, picture books, exhibit brochures from the Peruvian and Saudi Arabian pavilions, and other literature documenting the World's Fair held in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982.

Rare Books

The 1982 World's Fair: Official Guidebook. 1982 (T670.4 K6 1982)

Grander than ever: Knoxville's Bijou Theatre Center. Fall 1986 (PN2277 .K7 B5)

Tennessee Theatre: Celebrating 70 Years. 1998 (Oversize: NA6845 .T43 K67 1998)

Neyland: life of a stadium. 2000 (Oversize GV416 .K66 P37 2000)

A history of theatres in Knoxville, Tennessee 1872-1982. 2010 (PN2277.K7 A55 2010)

Digital Resources

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-5PM. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials.