Footnotes from the Grid Iron

Written by Shelia Gaines, Circulation Coordinator:

Friday night lights. Season Openers. Homecoming. Saturday tailgating. Yes. You guessed it. It’s football season. That time of the year when team loyalties test family ties and some spouses suffer through their annual season as living “sports widows”. 

If you are wondering this year (and every year) what all the fuss is about, why not visit The Ned and check out the literary side of the game?  If you need to start from scratch, Football: The First 100 Years: The Untold Story may be the perfect book for you. But, be warned that football on the other side of the pond is a little different than the grid iron.

If you are a more seasoned sports fan and think you would enjoy the players’ stories that have been told on the big screen, we have something for you, too. Did you know that former NFL Tackle, Michael Oher, began his road to fame at our regional rival, Ole Miss? If not you can read all about it in The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. Better yet, read the story in his own words in How I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond. Find out how he felt when he went to see the movie incognito and saw the fan’s reaction. If your loyalties divide anytime you don’t see a Memphis connection, don’t forget that Michael Oher’s adoptive father was a broadcaster for the Memphis Grizzlies for many years. 

Find these and other sports-related tomes in the library. Take some time to peruse the stacks or find an interesting article or research idea from one of our databases. But, be sure you take care of all of your library business during the weekdays, because you may have better things to do with your weekends.

Textbooks for Tiger Veterans at McWherter Library

Rachel, the interim coordinator of technical services, processing Textbooks for Tiger Veterans! (Image: Trey Clark/UofM)

The University Libraries is collaborating with Veteran and Military Student Services (VMSS) to house and circulate textbooks for Tiger Veterans. The collection is housed in the Reserves shelving, behind McWherter Library’s Check Out Desk, so that the collection will be reserved just for VMSS students. The Libraries’ Cataloging and Collection Management departments worked hard to process the books in time for the start of fall semester!

View the collection in the Libraries’ catalog. Each book can be checked out for 1 semester to students who are affiliated with the military.


University Libraries Digital Repository

Did you know that the University of Memphis Libraries have a digital repository?

To enhance access to our rich and varied collections, we have digitized a wide range of materials including collection finding aids or guides, primary source documents, still images, and sound and motion recordings, mostly from our Preservation and Special Collections Department. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, Memphis and regional history and culture in general, family and political life, the Civil War and other conflicts, Civil Rights, and the African American community and culture. This is a growing collection and what is displayed here represents only a small fraction of our holdings.

Below are examples of some of the things you will find inside the repository.

This is a photograph of West Tennessee State Normal School(original name for U of M) students using microscopes in the Chemistry Department around 1916 from the University Archives Collection.



Along with the University Archives, we also have the Musical heritage Collection which features photographs like this one of Isaac Hayes at the Memphis Airport, April 1972.


Please contact the  Special Collections Department at 901.678.2210 or stop by the 4th Floor of McWherter Library for further information the collections held within the digital repository.

On-Demand Film Streaming with Kanopy

The popular on-demand  film  streaming  service  Kanopy  is  available  for  free  at  your University Libraries.  University of Memphis faculty, staff, and students can  start streaming films instantly by visiting and searching Kanopy under databases.   Films can  be  streamed  from  any  computer,  television,  mobile  device  or  platform  by  downloading  the  Kanopy  app  for  iOS,  Android,  AppleTV,  Chromecast  or  Roku. If you need assistance, please call the Information Services Desk at 901-678-2208.

The  Kanopy  collection  includes  indie  hits  like  Hunt  For  the  Wilderpeople  and  2  Days  in  Paris,  classic  masterpieces  like  Aguirre,  the  Wrath  of  God  and  Seven  Samurai,  and  award-winning  documentaries  like  the  2017  Oscar®-nominated I  Am  Not  Your  Negro  and  Sundance  Film  Festival  winner  Mother  of  George.

Proquest History Vault: Black Freedom Struggle

University of Memphis Libraries now has access to  Proquest History Vault’s coverage of the Black Freedom Struggle. It offers the opportunity to study the most well-known and also unheralded events of the Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century from the perspective of the men, women, and sometimes even children who waged one of the most inspiring social movements in American history.

This category consists of the NAACP Papers and federal government records, organizational records, and personal papers regarding the Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century. The NAACP Papers collection consists of 6 modules. The NAACP Papers collections contains internal memos, legal briefings, and direct action summaries from national, legal, and branch offices throughout the country. It charts the NAACP’s work and delivers a first-hand view into crucial issues. With a timeline that runs from 1909 to 1972, the NAACP Papers document the realities of segregation in the early 20th century to the triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and beyond.