Special Collections and University Archives finds new home in upgraded space

Vanderbilt’s Special Collections and University Archives materials and operations will have a new home on campus at 1101 19th Avenue. 

“The move of the Special Collections library to the new space from Central Library allows faculty to partner with Special Collections in an area designed to be more accessible for faculty research,” said Jon Shaw, university librarian and leader for the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries.  

The move will take place over the summer, and the revamped special collections space is scheduled to be open for visitors in the fall.

1101 19th Avenue S., home of the Faculty Commons and the Digital Commons
1101 19th Avenue S. on the Vanderbilt University campus.

The historic 1101 building will provide a large reading room and shelving for ready access to the university’s special collections. Faculty also will have greater access to archivists and curators who will have offices, for the first time, in the same facility. That’s a change from space in Central Library, which only allowed for two curators to be on site at any given time.   

“The move is a win-win situation for all,” Shaw added. “More appropriate spaces and more access to archivists/experts will help Vanderbilt libraries better partner with faculty to foster research.”  

“The building gives Special Collections the space for all of our staff to work in one place.  We are currently spread between our storage facility and our library. This prevents curators from being available to work in person with faculty and scholars as the need arises,” said Celia Walker, associate university librarian for distinctive collections, engagement and strategic assessment. 

Shaw and Walker noted the 1101 building’s existing book stacks are conducive to sharing documents with faculty and scholars. The space will allow for the storage of high-demand items, along with materials requested by faculty and those being processed at the library. 

“With secure storage, we can provide quick access to research that meets the needs of our faculty,” Walker said. 

The building is also home to the Faculty Commons, including Faculty Senate space, which will provide additional ease of access to faculty resources.