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Jessie Ball duPont Library

William R. Laurie University Archives and Special Collections

Research and Instructional Services

University Archives and Special Collections at the University of the South supports the teaching and learning mission of the University by providing reference and duplication services, individual and group research consultations, course-specific instruction, exhibitions, and programming.


Whether you are conducting scholarly research, writing a paper, working on family history or simply curious about our collections, you are welcome to contact us to set up a visit or to request duplications of our materials.  Please email or call (931) 598-3212. 

Since this department contains a closed-stacks library, most of our resources are located in secure areas and are only accessible in the Lytle Reading Room.

Instruction and Presentations

The staff of University Archives and Special Collections often partners with faculty to develop course-specific assignments and instruction using rare books, archival material, maps and other unique items held by the University. Classes are hosted in the Lytle Reading Room.  Faculty who are interested in these services may contact us one week in advance at or use the form linked below.

Schedule a Research or Class Visit

Reading Room Guidelines

University Archives and Special Collections welcomes all users to do their research with us. However, the rare and sometimes fragile nature of our holdings necessitates the enforcement of some simple rules to ensure the protection of the materials.

Approved Tools for Researchers in the Reading Room

  • Paper and pencils
  • Research notes
  • Laptop computers and cameras
  • Cell phones and other personal communication devices as long as sound is turned off

Items Prohibited in the Reading Room

  • Food and drink
  • Tobacco products
  • Briefcases, backpacks and books
  • Purses and coats
  • Umbrellas and shopping bags
  • Portable photocopiers and scanners
  • ANY other items that might be used to conceal collection materials or constitute a threat to the security of collection materials

Using Materials

  • Archives staff will be happy to advise on the proper handling of all materials. Please feel free to ask for assistance.
  • Researchers are asked to use materials from one box of materials at a time and must preserve the original arrangement of collections.
  • Researchers may be asked to wear gloves when handling rare books or any photographic materials that are not in protective sleeves.
  • Researchers should keep documents flat on the table and practice extreme care in handling them. Researchers must not apply Post-it notes, nor make marks or erasures on research materials.
  • Literary rights to collection materials are not necessarily in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holders to quote, cite, reproduce, or otherwise use collection materials. The copyright holder may be an individual or entity other than the University of the South.
  • Researchers are required to obtain permission for use and cite fully collection materials if they are used in publications.
  • No removal of any collection materials under any circumstances.

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