Digital Collections at Walker Library

Digital Collections


Trials and Triumphs

This collection explores African-American Tennesseans' search for citizenship, community, and opportunity between the end of the American Civil War and the end of World War II.

Cotton Makers Jubilee Parade on Beale Street

All Collections

  • Buchanan Family Collection
    This collection documents the family of James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013), MTSU alumnus and 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. His family has deep roots in middle Tennessee, including an 18th-century settler of Nashville and 19th-century Governor. Mr. Buchanan earned his B.S. at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in 1940, followed by his M.A. in Economics at UT-Knoxville and his Ph.D. at the Hi,University of Chicago.
  • Cannon County (TN) Collection
    This collection includes photographs of agricultural activities in Cannon County, TN that were taken by W.L. Clement, District Conservationist for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, and his assistants between the mid-1940s and mid-1970s. They document the daily work of the farm families in Cannon County and the agricultural techniques promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the period.
  • Cedar Glades Studies Collection
    Cedar glades are an endangered ecosystem that are globally rare. These extremely rare habitats are found primarily in Middle Tennessee and a few localities in other southeastern states. The karst topography of the glade also supports an underlying cave network home to many extraordinary species. This digital collection documents historical research into the ecology of cedar glades and individual rare species found in the glades.
  • Cemetery, a Freedmen's Community, Rutherford County, Tennessee
    Cemetery Community Digital Collection gathers together a wide range of public records, newspaper articles, photographs, and oral histories that document the people and land of a large post-emancipation community located north of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, near Stones River National Cemetery. This rural, African American community began to form after the Civil War as formerly enslaved men and women resettled the area and soldiers who had served in the U.S. Colored Troops decided to put down roots where they mustered out.
  • Freedmen's Bureau Collection
    The Freedmen's Bureau digital collection currently includes records for Rutherford County, TN, and surrounding areas that are located in the following series of National Archives Record Group 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands: M816, Freedmen's Savings & Trust Co., 1865-1874, Registers of Depositors; M1000, Records of the Superintendents of Education, Tennessee, 1866-1870; M1911, Records of Field Offices, Tennessee, 1865-1872; T142, Record of Field Offices, Tennessee, 1865-1872. more...
  • Middle Tennessee Historical Theses and Dissertations
    This growing collection features theses and dissertations completed at MTSU that explore diverse aspects of the history of middle Tennessee.
  • Midlanders
    Midlander was the student yearbook of the University from 1926 to 2004. This collection offers a complete digital copy of almost every issue. Each volume is fully searchable. Note: Because these are large files volumes may be slow to load.
  • Milton Collection
    A collection of 19th century documents from the Milton community in eastern Rutherford County, most associated with the Bilbro family. Importantly, the ledgers of Dr. Bilbro document many names of families who lived in and near Milton in the mid-19th century. All documents are in a private collection.
  • MTSU Memory
    Created to commemorate the University's centennial in 2011, this digital collection contains photographs, memorabilia and other materials that document the critical role played by MTSU within the broader community during its first century. Please note that two separate collections also document MTSU History: The Midlanders collection contains complete digital copies of the Midlander yearbook from 1926 to 2004. The Sidelines collection contains digital copies of a nearly-complete run of Sidelines, the student newspaper of the university, from 1938 to 2011. MTSU Memory is a collaborative project of the Albert Gore Research Center and the James E. Walker Library.
  • African American Nurses-- Rutherford County Health Department Collection Rutherford County Health Department Collection
    This digital collection, a collaborative project of the Rutherford County Archives and the MTSU’s James E. Walker Library, includes photographs that document public health conditions and services in Rutherford County in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as Maud Ferguson’s account of the first public health nursing service in Rutherford County. Learn more about the collection.
  • Rutherford County Historical Society Publications
    This collection provides digital copies of the occasional publication of the Rutherford County Historical Society. The collection includes Vol. 1 (1973) through Vol. 39 (200?). the digital reproduction the Publication has been done with permission of the Rutherford County Historical Society.
  • Rutherford County Schools Collection
    This collection currently includes photographs of students, teachers and schools in Eagleville, Tennessee and surrounding communities (e.g., College Grove, Rockvale).
  • Shades of Gray and Blue
    In Tennessee, we have all heard stories of life and death on the state’s Civil War battlefields, but what happened to the men, women, and children who stayed at home? Their stories, seen through the lens of the objects that were a part of their daily lives, reflect the ways Tennesseans adapted, coped, and thrived during a war whose reverberations are still felt today.
  • Sidelines
    Sidelines is the editorially independent newspaper of the students of Middle Tennessee State University. Digital images have been created from microfilm reels covering the years from 1938, when our campus was known as Middle Tennessee State Teachers College, to 2011. Each issue is provided as a fully searchable PDF file.
  • Southern Places
    Southern Places is a project of MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation and the James E. Walker Library. This database includes images and documents from the Center's major programs, such as the Tennessee Rural African American Church Project and the Tennessee Century Farms Program.
  • Tennessee Schools
    This project will include digitized maps from the book A Study of Local School Units (1937). The book has three maps for each of 59 Tennessee counties: pupil distribution, bus routes, and road conditions. Each map has a symbol for African American and white schools.
  • Trials and Triumphs
    This collection explores African-American Tennesseeans' search for citizenship, community, and opportunity between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the end of World War II (1945). The project was a collaboration between MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation and the James E. Walker Library, in cooperation with many partner institutions across Tennessee.
  • Gateways to other collections

  • American Women's History
    This database provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to interviews with women engineers from the 1970s.

About Digital Projects

About the Collections:


These digital collections document diverse elements of the history of Middle Tennessee State University, Rutherford County and the mid-state. They have been developed by the James E. Walker Library in collaboration with a variety of partners.


On-campus partners include the Albert Gore Research Center, the Center for Cedar Glade Studies , the Center for Historic Preservation, and the Public History program of the Department of History.


Off-campus partners include the Arts Center of Cannon County, Rutherford County Historical Society, Rutherford County Archive, Vanderbilt University and others, including private donors of key materials.

Contact Us:


Ken Middleton, Professor and Digital Projects Librarian


A. Miller, Assistant Professor and Digital Scholarship Librarian


Other Digital Projects Team Members


Larry Hansard, Assistant Professor and Integrated Systems Librarian


Amy York, Associate Professor and Web Services Librarian


Select the collections to add or remove from your search