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Utopias and Planned Communities in Tennessee (Special Collections): Modern Planned Towns

This research guide will direct you to materials in Special Collections related to the history of utopian and planned communities in Tennessee.

Kingsport, Norris, and Oak Ridge

photograph of a cabin with a watermill in Norris, Tennessee
Norris, Tennessee

Manuscript Collections 


William H. Jesse Papers, 1947-1966 (MS.1013)
This collection contains the papers of William H. Jesse, Director of Libraries at the University of Tennessee.


Aelred "Flash Gray" Papers, 1933-1993 (MS.2681)
This collection consists of reports, notes, rosters, drafts, binders, clippings, and publications relating to Aelred "Flash" Gray's career with the University of Tennessee Planning Department and two of his publications, Norris, Tennessee: A History of America's First Self-Contained Greenbelt Town and Regional Planning: The TVA Experience. 

Charles I. Barber Papers, 1898-1962 (MS.2006)
This collection is comprised mainly of whole publications and clippings from periodicals saved by Charles Barber for his files. Also included are personal files, including notes and projects from the University of Pennsylvania, tax forms and personal files of Blache Barber, files related to individual projects, and general correspondence.

Oak Ridge

Eugene L. Joyce Paper, 1847-2003 (MS.2552)
This collection contains correspondence, clippings, minutes, memoranda, reports, publications, awards, contracts, and photographs documenting Eugene L. Joyce's life and involvement in the Oak Ridge community and political apparatus. The collection is divided into eight series: Family and Life (Series I) Correspondence (Series II), Politics and Community Involvement (Series III), Taxes and Contracts (Series IV), Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Series V), Educational Support, Policy, and Reform (Series VI), Speeches (Series VII), Photographs and Scrapbooks (Series VIII), and Oversize Materials (Series IX).

West Ridge Corporation Records, 1959-1974 (MS.0985) 
This collection houses bank statements, bonds, loans, taxes, dividends, check stubs, and reports documenting the activities of the West Ridge Corporation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Rare Books

Charter and Ordinances of the City of Kingsport: As Amended to June 30, 1939. 1939 (JS990 .K56A4 1939)
Kingsport. 1998 (F444 .K4E53 1998)
Kingsport, Tennessee, the Model Industrial City. 1982 (F444 .K4K54)
Norris House Drawings. 1936 (NA7238 .N6T4)
Norris Kaleidoscope: A Not-Quite-Complete Report of Events, Activities, People in a Not-Quite-Typical Tennessee Town During Its First Half Century. 1983 (F444 .N6N67 1983)
Norris, The Story of a City's First Year--1949-1950. 1950 (F444 .N6N6)
Oak Ridge Community Facilities Plan. 1970 (HT168 .O34O34 1970)
The Urbane Frontier: The Army and the Community of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1942-1947. 1977 (F444 .O3J33 1977)
We'll Call It Wheat. 1979 (F444 .W45M66)

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.