The aim of the Susie McClure Library’s Special Collections and Archives (SMLSC) Department is to collect, preserve, and house all available information related to the history of American Baptist College and notable alumni, and university publications of former and current faculty members.

The Special Collections and Archives includes photos of students, faculty, and staff; the administrations of the American Baptist presidents over time; early campus buildings; and organizations, activities, events, and other materials related to the College.

Special Note: SMLSC materials center around our history as American Baptist Theological Seminary. Items in our collection include a letter to the president from Langston Hughes, and photos of notable civil rights activists in American history.
Researchers planning to visit the Archives are encouraged to email Ms. Angel Pridgen ( to make an appointment.

Guidance on Copyright and the Use of SMLSC Materials

Permission to capture images for research purposes does not constitute the right to distribute or publish these images. Such rights are secured only with the joint permission of the copyright holder(s) (if applicable) and the University as owner of the material. Unpublished works in their entirety cannot be photocopied without the permission of the writer, donor, depositor, literary heir, or the Susie McClure Library in compliance with U.S. copyright laws.

It is the patron’s responsibility to determine the copyright status and to obtain any required permission(s) from the copyright holder(s).


Uses for which you need to seek permission to publish:

    • Public display in any form, electronic or hard copy.
    • Publication in any form, whether modified or not.
    • Use in television, video, or film.


Uses for which you do not need to seek permission to publish:

    • Non-profit educational purposes (class papers, research, classroom use).
    • For purposes such as criticism, comment, and news reporting.

The copying of musical works is prohibited according to copyright law.

Researchers must cite materials they use in publications using the following preferred format: Description of Item, Collection Name (##), Archives and Special Collections, Susie McClure Library, American Baptist College, Nashville, Tennessee.


Ordering Reproductions from Archives and Special Collections

    • Researchers are not permitted to photocopy archival materials or photographs. SML staff will assist in reproducing material as allowable. Materials will not be photocopied if doing so will damage the original or violate donor agreements, legal restrictions, or copyright law.
    • Complete letter series, folders, and materials restricted by donors or the library staff cannot be photocopied.
    • Photocopying of materials that are fragile or brittle will not be permitted.
    • Permission to publish research prepared from materials in the collections must be secured from the proper sources, and credit given upon publication to the Susie McClure Library Special Collections and Archives of American Baptist College.
    • Citations for the Archives should follow this format: Name of Collection, Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Susie McClure Library.


Photographic Print Reproduction

The Archives provides photo duplication services within reasonable limits. Due to workload involving assisting patrons and other responsibilities, photocopying may not be done on demand. Patrons needing this service should fill out a photocopy request form. The cost of copying is $1.00 per page and payment is due when service is completed.

Special Collections Policies and Procedures

    • All SMLSC materials are non-circulating.
    • All book bags, briefcases, large purses, packages, outerwear, and the like must be stored at the reference desk area.
    • All patrons entering Special Collections must register at the front desk and leave a valid Student ID or other form of identification.
    • No food or drink is allowed in the area. Smoking is prohibited.
    • Cellular phones must be used outside the area.
    • Special Collections books cannot be sent through interlibrary loan.
    • SPECIAL COLLECTIONS BOOKS ARE TO BE USED WITHIN THE LIBRARY. THESE BOOKS DO NOT CIRCULATE OUTSIDE THE BUILDING. A fine and penalty will be imposed if the items are removed from the library.