Special Collections

Alliene and Jimmie S. Corbitt Special Collections

The sections within Special Collections care for the University’s regional history and primary-research collection of books, manuscripts, and photographs. Its two service points have differing hours.

  • The West Tennessee Heritage Study Center collection is accessible for public open-stack browsing. Its materials may be used on-site in its reading room only, during regular library hours. If you plan to travel, telephoning ahead is recommended.
  • All other departmental materials are serviced by the staff for patrons as closed-stack holdings, accessible through the Corbitt Reading Room, which is open from 7:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, or otherwise by prior arrangement with the curator. Material is not paged from the stacks after 4:00pm.

Departmental materials are publicly accessible upon request but may not be checked out. This policy insures that material is on-site any time a researcher arrives to use them. A printable page of hours and rules in .pdf format, along with a single-page set of directions and visitor parking instructions, is available here.


To care for the material’s condition for future generations, photocopies from all departmental material is made by staff upon request (though large requests may require mailing); the curator may deny duplication requests to preserve the material, or because of donor restrictions, or due to Library or university policy.

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center Index

Genealogy and the social history, cultures, and family history of Tennessee and its counties is the focus of the WTHSC. The collection includes books (but also serials) on all Tennessee counties with in-depth material on Northwest Tennessee (Weakley, Obion, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Henry, Carroll and Benton counties), and survey collections on North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. The collection includes books of general genealogical significance, including reference works for research in other U.S. states or countries, genealogical helps, and other topics relating to family history. The microfilm collection includes local newspapers, regional county records, and federal censuses for Tennessee 1780–1930. Guides to the film collection are available on the WHTSC site. This reading area is accessible any time the Paul Meek Library is open for business. Users are asked to check in and out with a piece of identification, lock up bags and purses, and use only pencils and computers for notes.

University Archives Index

The historical record of the University is maintained in the records (documentary materials generated in conducting routine business) of officers and departments of the University of Tennessee at Martin together with that of its predecessor, the Hall-Moody Institute. Archives’ holdings consist mainly of twentieth century material. Besides administrative records the collection includes printed material, theses and papers, photographs, and a small realia collection. Printed material includes administrative reports, governance committee records, student publications, printed ephemera. Title access to material is through the library catalogue and may be seen on site. Theses, project reports, and University Scholars’ papers are available in full text on the campus institutional repository (IR), Scholarship@UT Martin.

Manuscripts Index

Collections of unpublished personal and family papers, business records, individual documents. Institutions cannot keep everything; manuscripts acquired by the department are regarded to have historical value.