The mission of the Mildred L. Iddins Special Collections is to aid the Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library in supporting the academic and spiritual goals of Carson-Newman University through its three branches: the Appalachian Collection/Treasure Room, Baptist Archives, and University Archives. It does so by identifying, collecting, preserving, and making available university records, personal papers, publications, books, and artifacts of enduring historical value that relate to Appalachian culture, local history, East Tennessee Baptists, general Baptist heritage, and Carson-Newman University. These materials are for the use of university staff, students, scholars, and the general public.
The University Archivist oversees the Special Collections branch of Carson-Newman University’s Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library as a qualified librarian and has the right to collect, preserve, and make available the collections’ materials. In addition, the Tennessee Baptist Convention has commissioned Carson-Newman University (along with Belmont University and Union University) to preserve historical Baptist materials for their respective regions. According to the Proceedings of the Tennessee Baptist Convention in the 1985 TBC Convention Annual, “...by official action of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the boards of trustees of Belmont College, Carson-Newman University, and Union University, a cooperative agreement is herewith enacted for the housing of the Tennessee Baptist historical archives. The three schools have agreed to provide library space for a portion of the archives and to make available library staff to see to the cataloging, placement, and safe keeping of the archival materials” (72). The University Archivist has the right to evaluate the historical value of any records or materials produced by university offices, faculty and students, or those received through donation into the Appalachian Collection/Treasure Room, Baptist Archives, or University Archives. This includes the right to retain or discard material based upon its value in relation to the Special Collections’ mission statement and available resources.
University offices, organizations, individuals, etc. should contact the University Archivist when materials become of limited use to their creating offices in order to facilitate direct transfer or donation to one of the three branches of the Special Collections. Materials are actively pursued for donation and at times purchased for the Appalachian Collection/Treasure Room and Baptist Archives. The Mildred L. Iddins Special Collections typically does not receive materials on a loan basis. Upon transfer or donation of all materials, depositors transfer custodial rights, legal title, and all literary property rights including copyright of the materials to Carson-Newman University.
The general collection is also surveyed periodically for books to be included in the Special Collections based upon the respective acquisition focus of each branch as described below.
Each branch of the Mildred L. Iddins Special Collections exists to collect, preserve and make available several specific categories of materials. The Appalachian Collection/Treasure Room consists of monographs, personal collections, and artifacts. Materials are selected for inclusion based upon rarity, availability, relation to Appalachian and local history, and local or university based authorship. The Baptist Archives consists of monographs, periodicals, personal collections, and artifacts. Materials are selected based upon their relevance to East Tennessee Baptists, associations, and churches. Also included are materials relating to the Baptist heritage in general as deemed historically relevant. The Baptist Archives cooperates with the Center for Baptist Studies Steeple Committee to help facilitate mutual goals. The University Archives consists of office/organizational records and publications, personal collections of university staff, photographs, and artifacts. Materials are selected based upon their continuing value as historical records of the University’s ongoing activities as a Baptist liberal arts university.
All materials must undergo appraisal by the University Archivist in order to determine historical/archival value, condition, and the Special Collections’ ability to care for them properly. The University Archivist reserves the right to de-accession records or materials. Possible reasons for de-accessioning include fitting outside the formerly mentioned acquisition focus, condition, duplication, and lack of resources to sufficiently maintain them. De-accessioned materials may be offered to other special collections or archives where a better fit may be achieved, placed in annual book sales with profits going into the library’s fund, given away, or destroyed.
The Special Collections is generally open Monday through Friday (with the exception of Tuesday afternoons) during the academic school year, along with selected weeks in the summer, with the exception of holidays and special events. Materials may be used under the supervision of the University Archivist or authorized library staff person. All materials from the Appalachian Collection/Treasure Room, Baptist Archives, and University Archives must be used in the Special Collections reference areas and are non-circulating. All materials are available to staff, students, and the public. Materials may be photocopied by the University Archivist depending upon their condition for 10¢ per copy. The University Archivist reserves the right to restrict or withhold access to specific records and materials to prevent physical damage to originals or to protect confidential information.
Recorded: March 3, 2003 Library personnel
Reviewed and approved: