Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Women's Studies (Special Collections): The Women of Tennessee

This research guide identifies special collections materials related to women in East Tennessee from the late 18th century to the present.

Digital Resources

Manuscript Resources

five Portraits of Ossoli Circle Presidents
Ossoli Circle Presidents, circa 1893, including Lizzie Crozier French, Mary Boyce Temple, Mary Floyd McAdoo, Alice Coffin, and Mrs. H. R. Gibson. Image via C. M. McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library.

Elizabeth Baker Crozier Journal, 1863-1864 (MS.1048)
In this journal transcript, Elizabeth Crozier describes life in Knoxville, Tennessee during the siege of 1863. She recounts Union troops plundering and burning her home as well as destroying the homes of her friends and neighbors. She also recalls the kindness of others as she and her husband attempted to reestablish a home and life for their family. In a small excerpt at the end, Crozier also writes of the death of her brother, Dr. Henry Baker, at the hands of Union troops.

Nina Cunningham Diary, 1886-1899 (MS.1400)
Nina Cunningham of Maryville, Tennessee kept this diary between 1886 and 1899. In it, she describes her time as a student at Maryville College in addition to family and social events.

Ossoli Circle Minute Books, 1903-1908 (MS.2517)
This collection contains copies of two minute books of the Ossoli Circle from October 1903 through Anniversary Day of the Circle in May 1908.

Athene Circle Records and Other Materials, 1904-1930 (MS.0317)
This collection houses meeting minutes, memorial resolutions for Anna Chandler and Angie Warren Perkins, correspondence, a narrative of a trip to Panama, and other materials documenting the Athene Circle of Knoxville, Tennessee. Much of the information shows Anna Chandler, one of the Circle's earliest members.

Laura Norvall Elliot Diary, 1917-1919 (MS.2771)
This collection consists of the diary, dated 1917-1919, of a young woman from Nashville, Tenn. In her diary, which begins on the day that war was declared on Germany in 1917, she details her experience in the publishing business and her thoughts on the war.

Faculty Women's Club Collection, 1920-2008 (AR.0744)
This collection houses meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondence, calendars, financial documents, officers' materials, club records, and scrapbooks of the Faculty Women's Club at the University of Tennessee between 1920 and the present. The Collection also contains some material from the Newcomer's Club and the Dame's Club.

Newman Circle Minute Book, 1923-1928 (MS.0089)
This journal records the biweekly meetings of the Newman Circle, a women’s club that met in Knoxville, Tennessee. It opens with the course of study and list of officers for the 1922-23 school year before beginning the minutes for January 2, 1923. There are no records for the 1924-25 school year, and the last record is for May 22, 1928. Most of the officers changed each year, but the directors continued to be Miss Kate White and Mrs. L. E. Vedder.

Mary Boyce Temple Correspondence, 1976-1920 (MS.0022)
This collection contains correspondence and letters relating to the Daughters of the American Revolution from 1876-1920. Also in this collection are letters of James W. Harle to Mrs. Sam McKinney, letters to O. P. Temple from his wife, and the correspondences of Mary B. Temple.

Rare Books

Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands: The Autobiography of Mary Cravath Wharton, M.D. 1972 (R154.W356 A3 1972)

Dolly. 1978 (ML420.P28 N4 1978)

Nancy Ward, Beautiful Woman of Two Worlds. 1979 (E99.C5 W26155)

All We Knew was to Farm: Gender, Class, Race, and Change Among East Tennessee Farm Women. 1996 (HD6073 .A292 U65 1996a)

Special Collections Contact Information

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

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM by appointment only. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials or make an appointment.