Research Opportunities


Contact the Director of Special Collections for more information:

- Faculty:  The award winning project TeachArchives.org offers exercises, ideas, and more for using primary sources in your classes.

- This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW I.  How did the war effect Southwestern and her students?  Create an exhibit (online or actual) or documentary related to the war and SU.

- Take advantage of the “One Book/One Case/One Exhibit” venue to select a work from Special Collections and showcase it. Staff will be happy to provide more details and help.

- 18th century English imprints - curate an exhibit. How is William Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty reflected in his own engravings?

- Add to the Zenas Matthews Diary mapping project.  This 1846 US-Mexico War diary kept by a young soldier has been transcribed and location-mapped.  Add value to the map by tagging flora, fauna, and other environmental features that Matthews records.  Write a paper about how the landscape has changed.  OR - study Matthews mention of food - how does the diary illustrate the saying “an army travels on its stomach”? 

- Use Senator Tower’s papers to research the Republican stance on national health care in the 1970s.  FYI: Senator Tower and the Republicans supported a national health care plan! 

- The history of Texas Young Republicans.  The Tower Library has a number of collections of Young Republicans who were mostly active in the transitional years of the 1960s and 1970s as Texas became increasingly Republican and decreasingly Democratic.

- A cursory examination of Senator Tower’s campaign voter attitude studies from the mid 1960s through the 1970s seem to have NO questions from the survey takers asking about abortion. When interviewees are asked what they see as the state/nation’s most pressing issues, abortion does not seem to appear. Why? Roe vs Wade was 1973; the Hyde Amendment 1976.  When and how did abortion become a hot political topic that could make/break candidates?

- Curate an online exhibit using Special Collections resources.  Just a few possible topics: Civil War; changes in student rules and regulations at SU; changes in curriculum (both at SU and in elementary education); Texas environmental history, oil and gas industry, ranching; history of magazines. Lorenzo Dow (only the Bible sold more books than he did - now who has heard of him?)…

- Create an online SU historical timeline using free online tools.  Suggested resources can be found here: http://libguides.utk.edu/dhtools