Special Collections Resources
There are approximately 60,000 books on all aspects of regional history, natural history, and culture housed in the Special Collections Department. The department is home to the library’s most rare and special books that span a number of different subjects.
Theses and Dissertations
The Special Collections Department is home to an archival set of all theses and dissertations filed at the University of Memphis up until 2010. Theses and Dissertations filed after this time are housed on the university’s database: Current Research at the University of Memphis.
A growing number of manuscript collection finding aids have been digitized and housed in the department's digital repository. Below are a sampling of these finding aids.
Memphis Search for Meaning Committee records
The Memphis Search for Meaning Committee records document the strike in Memphis by the city's sanitation workers from February to April 1968, the activities of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis prior to his assassination, and the aftermath and impact of the assassination of Dr. King.
General George M. Jones Collection
The collection consists primarily of photocopies of articles from various newspapers recounting the part played by the U.S. Army's George M. Jones (1911-1996) and his troops in the retaking of Corregidor, Philippines in 1945, and on Jones after his retirement.
James K. Ferguson diary
The collection comprises the Civil War diary of James K. Ferguson (d. 1864) of the 19th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, written between April 1862 and May 1863.
Oral History & Maps
Oral History Collection
This collection contains over 3,000 interviews on many topics of local, regional, and national interest. Almost the entirety of the collection was produced by the Oral History Research Office of the University of Memphis’ History Department. Transcripts with releases can be found on the library’s Internet Archive site.
The Special Collections Department has over 1,000 maps. A portion of the maps are available through our online catalog and all maps can be found through the department’s map card catalog.
The Benjamin Hooks Papers Digitization Project
The Benjamin Lawson Hooks Papers contain correspondence, speeches, printed materials, and other media that pertain to the life and career of Benjamin Lawson Hooks. The collection is especially rich with materials from Dr. Hook's time as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
National African American Photographic Archive (NAAPA)
The National African American Photographic Archive is one of the oldest digitized collections at the University of Memphis Libraries. The collection features images of the African American experience in the Mid-South and beyond.
This is a collection of digitized materials owned by the University of Memphis Libraries. It includes select materials from our Oral History holdings and other university publications including, school bulletins, annuals, and graduation programs. The Internet Archive is the digital repository for Lambuth University holdings owned by the University of Memphis Libraries.
These collections are made up of materials that have been digitized from Preservation and Special Collections’ holdings. They cover topics of regional interest such as landmarks, local music, and African American history, community and culture.