This guide is designed to help Belmont students, faculty, staff, and outside researchers discover resources in Belmont University's Special Collections. This guide will continue to be updated as collections are accessioned and cataloged.
Belmont University History Collection:
This collection includes information from the founding days of Belmont College for Young Women in 1889, as well as Ward Seminary in 1866, to the present. Subject areas include the students, faculty, and staff as well as information on course offerings and the growth of Belmont over the years. Currently, the collection is subdivided into time periods that reflect significant changes in the school's history. For information on holdings on specific research interests, please reach out to our Special Collections Manager.
Ward Seminary 1866-1889
Belmont College for Young Women 1889-1913
Belmont College 1951-1991
Belmont University 1991-Present Day
Belmont Presidential Debate 2008 and 2020
The Frederick Hart Collection – The collection includes the complete studio furnishings and materials from Hart’s Hume, Virginia home. Hart’s desk, workbench and tools, molds, and many of his works are part of this collection. Most are on display in the Frederick Hart Studio Museum located on the first floor of the Lila D. Bunch Library on Belmont University’s campus.
O’More College of Design 1970-2018 – A collection of materials related to O’More College of Design, a small design school in Franklin, TN founded in 1970. The college offered Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Interior Design, Fashion Design & Merchandising, and Visual Communications. In 2018 the college merged with Belmont University and exists currently as the O’More College of Architecture and Design.
The Bill Purcell Collection – Bill Purcell (1926-2020) was a gifted musician and composer who taught at Belmont University from 1980 until his death in 2020. This collection includes original recordings, scores, and personal papers.
Steven Kern Shaw Collection – Steven Kern Shaw (1943-2015), grandson of Jerome Kern and son of Artie Shaw spend his life amassing 532 historic instruments dating from 1832 to the 1980s. Many of these are on display in the Gallery of Iconic Guitars located on the first floor of the Lila D. Bunch Library on Belmont University’s campus.
Tennessee College for Young Women 1907-1946 – This college for women was founded in Murfreesboro in 1907 by the Tennessee Baptist Convention. This collection includes copies of The Dryad, the college yearbook, as well as the college magazine.
Torah Scrolls - 18th Yemenite Jewish Scrolls, written on sheepskin.
Bob Welch Collection – Bob Welch (1945-2012) was a guitarist in the band Fleetwood Mac from 1971-1974. He also had a successful solo career in the 1980s and 1990s. This collection includes personal papers, clothing, recordings, and other ephemera that belonged to recording artist Bob Welch.
Watkins College of Art 1885-2020 – Watkins College of Art was founded in 1885 through the generous donation of Samuel Watkins (1794-1880). For 135 years the college-educated nearly 350,000 students in the visual arts. In 2020 Belmont University acquired Watkins College of Art and it exists currently as the Watkins College of Art at Belmont.
The Lila D. Bunch Library also has special collection holdings that pertain to music. For more information about those holdings, please click here.