Library Storage Annex: From the Dean’s Viewpoint
October 31, 2023
Dean of Libraries Steve Smith
Dean of Libraries Steve Smith

Dean of Libraries Steve Smith recently shared his hopes and vision for the new Library Storage Annex—a modern climate-controlled facility that will house special collections materials; the University of Tennessee Archives; the Modern Political Archives; important but little-used items from the general collections; and other library materials that require long-term preservation. Smith anticipates that ground will be broken in summer 2024 with the project estimated to be completed by August 2025.

In the dean’s words:

I’m excited about this because for the first time we’re building a storage facility that is equal to the quality of the collections we hold. Our collections won’t survive unless they’re properly stored.

We have magnificent special collections that document the history of our state, our region, the university and other topics that reflect the interests of the many researchers, faculty, and students who have been part of the university community.

Our fundamental mission is to expand the boundaries of human knowledge. Having the appropriate storage facility is critical to making sure that knowledge persists.

Since the 1990s, outside reviewers have recommended, with an increasing sense of urgency, that the Libraries build better storage for its collections.

Better storage for our collections has been a priority for the Libraries for a very long time. We want these precious historical collections to be here for generations of students, researchers, and citizens.