Don Evans Collection

Identifier: MSS.0913

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Don Evans Collection (7.5 linear feet) consists of drawings, sketches, posters, multimedia artworks, magazines, memos, letters, class handouts, proposals, notes, essays, postcards, personal memorabilia, VHS tapes, reels, cassettes, slides, a T-shirt, and a vinyl. These materials reflect the work of Evans during his professorship at Vanderbilt University in the art and art history department, where he taught courses such as video art, multimedia, and computer graphics. More specifically, they came into being through his involvement with establishing an art studio space “Art House” on campus, curating eclectic theatrical performances for the “Alternative Roots Festival,” and organizing special exhibitions at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum.


  • 1970s-2000s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact

Biographical / Historical

Donald H. Evans was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1962. Evans earned a master of fine arts from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1968.

Evans joined what was then called the Vanderbilt Department of Fine Arts in 1969. As director of the Vanderbilt Media Experimentation Center, he offered pioneering courses in video art, multimedia and computer graphics. Throughout the years, he played an influential role in the Nashville experimental arts community.

He retired from the department in 2002. Evans remained active in the arts community after he took emeritus status. He participated in two team-collaborative projects at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in 2007 and 2008.

Seven of his films, including Data Bank and Video Dance, won awards. Evans’ prolific video works include Visual Prison, Light Sensitive People, Jack’s Big Adventure and Tracks Across the Yukon.

He died May 6, 2013.


7.5 Linear Feet (6 Paige Boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the papers of Professor Donald H. Evans, a professor of art and art history, emeritus, at Vanderbilt University.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Physical Location

Boxes 4-6 contain audiovisual materials and are located in cold storage, 21 North facility.

Finding Aid for the Don Evans Collection
Partially Processed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • October 2022: Scope and content note revised by Nawat Masavisut and Elizabeth Batiuk.

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.