History of the Archives
Many of the records from the earliest years were lost when the college, then located in Clarksville, TN, was occupied by the Union Army during the Civil War. All but two students joined the Confederate Army. More recently in 1924, many records and items were discarded or lost when the college moved to Memphis. It was not until the 1940s, when the college was planning its Centennial Anniversary, that the need for a permanent collection of historical material was suggested by Henry S. Bunting, Class of 1891 (left). To start the collection, Mr. Bunting contributed his Essayist Medal of 1891 and his medal for winning the 100-Yard dash that same year. This early endeavor was called "a museum of college antiquities" and was "to serve as a permanent reminder" of the events of the first one hundred years. Friends and alumni were invited to contribute items to this collection.
In 1977, President James H. Daughdrill, Jr. asked Monroe Goodbar Morgan 1931, Albert Johnson 1930, and Ann Boatner Groves to act as the college′s "guardians of the word" or co-archivists. These three had retired after serving the college for a combined total of 63 years. The "Museum" was kept in a large closet in the President′s office until it outgrew that space. In 1978 it was moved to a room in the basement of Kennedy Hall.
Lynne Blair, the College Librarian at the time, proposed moving the Archives collection to the main library in 1980 so that it could be more accessible and stored in an environmentally controlled area. A classroom in the basement of Burrow Library was renovated and the collection was moved during the summer of 1987. On March 26, 1988, this room was dedicated to Mr. Morgan in recognition for his long years of service to the college and for his efforts in preserving its heritage. Mr. Morgan died in August 1988. The lounge outside the Archives office was converted to storage in 1999.
In the summer of 2005, the Archives was combined with Special Collections on the first floor of the Paul Barret, Jr. Library. The move to Barret allowed the archives, Rhodes Collection, Special Collection, photographs, and memorabilia to be stored in one large vault. A large reading room, processing room, Halliburton exhibit area, and an additional storage room were also provided in the Barret Library.