Most of the Library's 750,000 printed volumes are in the General Collection, which is arranged in Library of Congress Classification order throughout all floors of the building. See building map. We also have several discrete collections of books, which are described below.
The Fooshee/Browsing Collection is a selection of current popular books designed to meet the community’s cultural and recreational reading needs. The collection was first established as a “Gentleman’s Reading Room” by Malcolm Fooshee in honor of his wife and daughter. Malcolm Fooshee was a graduate of the class of 1918. He was valedictorian of his class and editor of the Sewanee Purple. He also served as a trustee of the University, and established a scholarship program on which the Wilkins Scholarships are patterned.
The books in the Fooshee/Browsing Collection are arranged alphabetically in these categories
Current and popular biography
Books on hand crafts such as knitting beadwork, weaving, pottery
Current popular fiction
Popular physical and mental health
Popular How-to books such as home repair, home addition projects, furniture building
Large Print books in a variety of subjects
Current popular mysteries
Nature guides such as bird and animal books, photography books of animals, hiking guides
Current popular non-fiction that doesn't fit in the other categories
Travel guides, sightseeing books, and photography books from: Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia
Current popular Science Fiction
Sports, including coaching
Travel guides from places other than the Regional category
Within each category the books are assigned a simplified call number based on the first three letters of the author’s name, e.g. Mystery Geo
Our small but growing collection of graphic novels for adults includes both classic and contemporary titles and includes both fiction and non-fiction. We also have graphic novels for Juveniles and Young Adults in our Children's Collection.
This collection, located on the Main Floor of the Library, is designed to support the academic curriculum in the areas of teacher education, art, history, literature, anthropology, psychology, and other areas of study. It currently focuses on classic children’s literature from three distinct time periods, pre-1900, 1900-1960 and, 1960- present. The collection may also be used for enjoyment by the children in the Sewanee community.
The collection was established in 2001 by the children of Ann Swanson Jackson, wife of Dr. Harold P. Jackson of the class of 1942. The Jacksons gave over 100 acres of land to the University. Mrs. Jackson loved children’s literature and loved Sewanee.
The books are arranged in several categories:
Easy Reader: Fiction and Non-Fiction
Juvenile: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Graphic Novels
Young Adult: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Graphic Novels
Within each category the call number is based on the first three letters of the author’s name. Example:
Are you my mother? by P.D. Eastman Easy Reader Fiction Eas
This area has been set aside to provide a study and resource area in education. The Center for Learning and Teaching houses materials purchased for the Center for Teaching, a faculty program to enhance teaching skills and methods, and for the minor in Education. The collection is a mixture of classic works in educational theory and method and works published within the last two decades. The scope of the collection includes textbooks, curriculum guides, and works about subjects such as teaching methods, learning styles, the use of technology in teaching, trends in education, classroom management, etc.
The books are on the second floor outside the Center for Teaching. They are arranged in Library of Congress classification and are labeled with "Learn & Teach" above the call number.
Dr. William S. Stoney, Jr., C'50 of Nashville, TN has given an endowment to purchase materials on the history of medicine so that prospective future medical doctors may begin their education in the medical field by learning about the past. The collection includes Dr. Stoney's personal book collection as well as several books purchased from the fund and access to a database of full text articles about the history of medicine.The books are located on the Ground Floor, are designated with "Stoney" above the call number, and can be checked out.
The Main Reference Collection consists primarily of non-circulating print materials that provide readily available information. Reference materials generally contain brief articles and factual data or provide information on the location and access of related in-depth resources. Reference materials include, but are not limited to, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts, handbooks, directories, atlases, and statistical resources. Most of the General Reference Collection is located on the Main Floor, except for the Music related titles, which are shelved on the Second Floor near the Ralston Music Listening Area and the Art related titles which are shelved on the Third Floor near the N's.
Much of the Reference Collection is now available online through electronic databases and subscription services. In 2016 we did a thorough evaluation of the collection and replaced many of the print titles with online access.
The Theology Reference Collection, located on the Third Floor of the Library, is a non-circulating collection comprising those materials in theology and related disciplines which are deemed important to have readily available at all times, particularly (though not exclusively) for the faculty and students of the School of Theology. This collection also serves the needs of the College’s Department of Religious Studies.
Special features of the collection include sets of the principal biblical commentaries in English, official documents of the Episcopal Church and other members of the Anglican Communion, major texts in the history of theology, language dictionaries, and reference tools (dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, concordances, bibliographies, etc.) in religion and related fields.
In 1873, the United States Senate designated the Library to be a selective depository of United States government information, making it one of the earliest Federal Depository Libraries in the state of Tennessee. Jessie Ball duPont Library serves as the Federal Depository Library for the 4th Congressional District of Tennessee.
Currently, approximately 35% of the items offered through the Federal Depository Library Program are selected. Just as the collection has a significant historical component, it is also an excellent source for current information on several subjects. Strengths of the collection include agriculture, forestry, census data, geology, the environment, foreign affairs and international relations, trade, and congressional information and publications. Much of this information is now being disseminated in electronic format, and are included in the library catalog (TigerSearch). Find out more about the collection on this page.
Although many of the Library's periodicals are now online, we still currently subscribe to about 700 print journals and newspapers. In addition we have historical runs of many periodical titles that are not available electronically or that have been retained for their research value. Periodicals are arranged by Library of Congress classification and do not circulate. The Main collection periodicals are shelved on the second floor. The Theology Collection periodicals are on the third floor.. To find a particular periodical title, or to see what we subscribe to in a subject area, use the Journal Finder. The Journal Finder includes both print and electronic periodical titles.
The Physics Reading Room serves as a collection of readily available reference materials to be used by faculty and students in the classroom, for laboratory preparation, and for generation of ideas for student projects. In addition to books owned by the Library, there are physics textbooks, miscellaneous donations, and a very large collection of science-fiction novels, many donated by alumni. The location of the collection, in J. Albert Woods Laboratories, room 224, makes it a useful resource tool. Future acquisitions will include expansion of the current collection by adding additional reference materials and more general-interest introductory science texts.
The larger, public area of the Roy B. Davis Chemistry Reading Room, located in J. Albert Woods Laboratories, room 206, houses a selected collection of monographic and reference materials which the chemistry faculty wishes to have available for immediate access, often for use in labs.
The University Special Collections, located in the University Archives and Special Collections Building, contains rare books and collections of books that were compiled over time by authors and people important to Sewanee's history. More information is available from the University Archives and Special Collections Guide.