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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Library Collections

A guide to the collections of the duPont Library

Main Collection

Students in book stacksMost of the Library's 750,000 printed volumes are in the Main 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.

Fooshee/Browsing Collection

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 handcrafts such as knitting beadwork, weaving, pottery


Fantasy fiction


Current popular fiction


Popular garden

Graphic Novel

            Graphic novels for adults include both classic and contemporary titles


Popular physical and mental health


Current popular mysteries


Nature guides such as bird and animal books, photography books about animals, hiking guides


Current popular non-fiction that doesn't fit into the other categories


Travel guides, sightseeing books, and photography books from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia

Science Fiction

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

Graphic Novel Collection

Our small but growing collection of graphic novels for adults includes both classic and contemporary titles and includes both fiction and non-fiction which are shelved in Fooshee/Browsing Collection. We also have graphic novels for Juveniles and Young Adults in our Children's Collection. 

Ann Swanson Jackson Children's Collection

The Ann Swanson Jackson Children's 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, C'1942. The idea of establishing a collection of children's literature in memory of Mrs. Jackson came from close friends and neighbors, Professor Scott Bates and Phoebe Bates. 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

Center for Learning and Teaching

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. 

Speaking and Writing Collection

This small collection, located in the Center for Speaking & Listening and Writing Center, consists of writing tools and handbooks and books about public speaking and rhetoric. The books are arranged in Library of Congress classification and are labeled with "Speaking Writing" above the call number.

William S. Stoney Collection for the History of Medicine

Stoney bookDr. William S. Stoney, Jr., C'1950 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.

Reference Collection

EncyclopediaThe 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.

Government Information Collection

Gov docs

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, was established by Congress in 1813 to ensure that the American public has access to Government information in depository libraries throughout the U.S. and its territories. In 1873, the United States Senate designated duPont 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 30% of the items offered through the FDLP 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). Located on the ground floor of duPont Library, the government documents section is arranged by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system.

Every depository library is required to have the titles in the FDLP Basic Collection accessible for immediate use by library users. Titles in this collection include Budget of the United States GovernmentCongress.govExplore Census Data, and more. To search all government publications, including those not held by our library, use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). For free public access to the full text of official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government, visit GovInfo. For topic-specific research guides, visit FDLP Resource Guides.


Periodicals (Journals, Magazines, Newspapers)

PeriodicalAlthough 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.

William Theodore Allen Physics Reading Room

PhysicsThe 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.

Roy B. Davis Reading Room (Chemistry Library)

ChemistryThe 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.

University Special Collections

Special CollectionsThe 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.