Special Collections & Archives: Support of Scholarship

Learn more about the unusual and rare collections that the college cares for.

Classes using the collections

In 2014-15:

  • Several August term courses had a general tour
  • Bethany Packard 19th c. Women’s Lit course examined a number of books
  • Simonetta Cochis's Advanced French, Special Topics course used the Le Jardin de Sante from the Peck Collection
  • Simonetta Cochis's French class studied LaFontaine’s Fables, Diderot’s Encyclopedie, and Le Jardin de Sante.
  • Josh Adkins's Biology course studied John Muir books and other Naturalists
  • Peter Fosl's Modern Philosophy course examined modern philosophy texts
  • Nancy Wolsk's Art History course studied Rosa Bonheur's Album
  • Becky Fox's Ornithology class made use of and discussed Audubon's Elephant Folio and other early onitology books by Wilson, and others.

In 2013-14:

  • David Kaufmann's History of Medicine in antiquity class explored the Vesalius, Avicenna, and other items in the Horine Collection and TU Medical Collection.
  • Becky Fox's Onithology class saw the Audubon Elephant Folio, Latham's Synopsis of Birds.
  • Simonetta Cochis and Michael Dixon brought their class on storytelling and explored the significance of storytelling in culture and politics by examining LaFontaine’s Les Fables from Peck Rare Book Collection.

In 2012-13:

  • Frank Russell First Engagement Class examined early academic catalogs & H. Clay manuscripts
  • S. Cochis/Richard Taylor FYS II class saw Le Jardin de Sante, the Audubons, and Les Fleurs Animees
  • S. Cochis “On Nature” French class looked at the Diderot, Le Jardin de Sante, Buffon, Les Fleurs Animees
  • J. Girard Art class examined the medical illustrations in the Albini and other anatomy books
  • J. Girard Drawing class looked at Albini and other Anatomy books
  • P. Fosl Modern Philosophy Class saw the Descartes and an assortment of modern philosophy texts
  • J. Lile Kentucky History Class examined various materials relating to KY during the Progressive Era

In 2011-12

  • Univ 1111 (5 sections)
  • Tiffany Wheeler’s Children’s Lit Class
  • Henry Berlin’s Spanish Class
  • Jamie Day/Kurt Gohde’s “Corporeal Commodity” class
  • Rebecca Fox’s Ornithology Class

In 2010-11

  • Helped senior history students with their research papers for Melissa McEuen’s “New Nation” class
  • James Wagner Seminar in Evolution
  • Meg Upchurch Univ 1111
  • Kathleen Jagger Univ 1111
  • Kim Jenkins Univ 1111
  • Simonetta Cochis FLA I
  • Simonetta Cochis French Lit (2 sections)
  • Kurt Gohde Photography class
  • Melissa McEuen New Nation
  • Jamie Day FLA II
  • James Wagner Biology
  • Rebecca Fox Ornithology
  • Mark Jackson/Jamie Day Health Sciences

Support for scholars' work

James Birchfield of Lexington used the Kathleen Mulligan Collection for a speech on Judge Mulligan.

Dr. Gerald Smith of University of Kentucky used images from the Coleman Photo Collection for the  Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia.

Eric Brooks, Curator of Ashland: the Henry Clay Estate, borrowed materials from our Kentucky University Collection for an exhibit on the A&M College when it was located at Ashland.

Dr. Christina Snyder of Indiana University,  conducted research on Choctaw Academy and Native American students who transferred from Choctaw Academy to TU in the mid 1830s and 1840s. Dr. Snyder has a book coming out on she has written an article for the next issue of Transylvania Treasures.

Lisa Fagin Davis, Yale scholar and Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America used our Knolles Family Psalter as part of her online “Medieval Road Trip.” She researched from a distance having librarian photograph numerous pages for her to study. She has also contributed an article on the family psalter for the next issue of Transylvania Treasures.

Larry Faulkner, University of Alabama doctoral student,  visited to research former TU President, Frank Rose, the topic of his dissertation.

Dr. Karl Raitz, University of Kentucky, used approximately 40 images of downtown Lexington from the Coleman Collection to create an app for smartphones which allows visitors in town for the Breeders Cup and other events to see what areas in the downtown area looked like years ago.

Marcel Deperne, a Doctoral student from France, visited to use the Mentelle Collection. The Mentelle family is the topic of his dissertation.

Tyler Baker, class of 2015, examined Transylvania's building patterns of the mid 20th Century, specifically the McClain era for his histrory senior seminar work. His paper was titled, ""Moving Into Tomorrow': The Changing Liberals Arts in PostWar America."  BJ also assisted Tyler with the SGA Signs Project for buildings on campus.  She helped him identify possible images and scanned 25 images for the project. 

Olivia Oakley, class of 2015, did research for her Senior Seminar work on 19th C knowledge of women's health issues using the TU Medical Collection. Her paper was titled "Women's Health in the 19th Century: Physician as Partners in the Construction of the Cult of True Womanhood."

We supported the scholarly work of Dr. Nancy Wolsk, by arranging for Mary Rezny to photograph Album de Rosa Bonheur. Dr. Wolsk’s recent sabbatical work centered on researching Bonheur’s album and will be published in an upcoming scholarly article.  We have since made the digital version of the Rosa Bonheur album available to the world.

Ralph Wiegandt from the Eastman House in Rochester, NY came to see the Robert Peter Daguerreotype Camera and the rare daguerreotypes we have in our collection.

Dr. Maurice Manning worked on a project involving early student creative writing at Transylvania.

Dr. Geoffrey Sea used about fifty books related to Rafinesque and his contemporaries to further his research.

Drs. Kathy Egner and Jeremy Paden made several visits to use books from the Owen Children’s Book Collection and the Clara Peck Natural History Collection for  articles written for Transylvania Treasures.

James Cousins did his doctoral research on the early educational history of TU.  His work here not only allowed him to finish his dissertation, but to propose a biography of Horace Holley.  He was a “scholar-in-residence” throughout the month of May 2013, which allowed him to do most of his research on Holley’s years at Transylvania.  His book will be published in 2016.

Carole Lacassagne, a graduate student from France, visited to do doctoral research on the history of slavery in Kentucky.  Unique original slavery documents in the Coleman Kentuckiana Collection were of vital interest and use to her research.

Patrick McNeese, a local artist and musician, visited Special Collections for weeks to go through the many hemp photographs in the Coleman Photographic Collection.  His research resulted in an important video history of hemp growing in Kentucky, especially the Lexington area.

David Oestreicher, a scholar from upstate NY, used our Rafinesque and Holley Collections, to research his published articles on how Rafinesque’s discovery of the Walam Olum is a hoax.

Amelia Stanley, TU class of 2017, made frequent trips to Special Collections to research a paper on “Medicine During the Age of Piracy.”

Ashley Carter, TU student, made frequent trips to special collections for a research paper on Hamilton College.

Tyler Thacker, TU class of 2015 conducted research on John C. Breckinridge for a research paper.

Chris Willoughby was a Tulane history grad student who spent several weeks using the Medical Theses Collection for his dissertation on “Treating the Black Body: Race and Medicine in American Culture, 1800-1861.”

Sarah Scheutze was a UK English grad student who visited numerous times to use the TU Medical Collection for research on her dissertation.

Noah Griffin, actor, activist, and inspirational speaker, toured of Special Collections.

Maryjean Wall, the author of Madam Belle (Belle Brezing) used documents and images from our collections to complete her work.

Publications using our Special Collections

Boewe, Charles E. Profiles of Rafinesque. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003.

Boewe, Charles. "Who's Buried in Rafinesque's Tomb?." The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Vol. 111, No. 2 (Apr. 1987), pp. 213-235.

Christianson, Eric H.  "The Conditions for Science in the Academic Department of Transylvania University, 1799-1857." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Vol. 79, No. 4 (Autumn 1981), pp. 305-325.

Cousins, James. Biography of Horace Holley. University of Kentucky Press
in process

Davis, Lisa Fagin. Manuscript Road Trip. Aug 23, 2014. Blog.

Lancaster, Clay. Vestiges of the Venerable City: A Chronicle of Lexington, Kentucky, Its Architectural Development and Survey of Its Early Streets and Antiquities. Lexington, Ky.: Lexington-Fayette County Historic Commission, 1978.

Lee, Rebecca S. Mary Austin Holley: A Biography. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.

McNeese, Patrick.  Hemplands Conspiracy: The Story of America's Most Controversial Crop. Venice, CA: Distributed by UFO TV, 2005. Documentary.

Morgan, Richard H. The Hunt and Applegate Families: A Descendant's Journey of Discovery in Time. Self-published. 2014.

Oestreicher, David M. "Text Out of Context: The Arguments That Created and Sustained the Walam Olum." Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey. No. 50 (1995). p 31

Rohrbough, Malcolm J. Trans-appalachian Frontier: People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Sea, Geoffrey. The Untold History - Lincoln's Mystery Mound Tour. Port Cities Review. Feb 26 2013. Blog.

The Untold History – Lincoln’s Mystery Mound Tour – By Geoffrey Sea - See more at: http://portcitiesreview.com/lincolns-mystery-mound-tour-by-geoffrey-sea/#sthash.ElDDJ8qB.dpuf
The Untold History – Lincoln’s Mystery Mound Tour – By Geoffrey Sea - See more at: http://portcitiesreview.com/lincolns-mystery-mound-tour-by-geoffrey-sea/#sthash.ElDDJ8qB.dpuf

Smith, Gerald L, Karen C. McDaniel, and John A. Hardin. The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. 2015.

Sonne, Niels H. Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828. New York: Columbia University Press, 1939.

Wall, Maryjean. Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel. Kentucky University Press. 2014.

Wolsk, Nancy. "Rosa Bonheur--Pastoral Visions" In: Chorier-Fryd, Bénédicte, Charles Holdefer, and Thomas Pughe. Poetics and Politics of Place in Pastoral: International Perspectives. Bern, Switzerland : Peter Lang. 2015.