George Peabody College Photograph Collection

Identifier: RG.0000

Scope and Content

The George Peabody College Photographic Archives contains approximately 20,000 images that document the history of the college from its earliest times as a school of the University of Nashville in the 1870’s to its merger with Vanderbilt University in 1979. The bulk of this collection dates from 1920 to the 1970’s.

The collection is organized into nineteen series that represent the major aspects of the collection. It contains photographs, lithographs, and printed reproductions from publications, negatives, and slides. The 19th century processes found in the collection include albumen prints, lithographs, and salted paper prints. The 20th century photographs consist mainly of black and white prints, with color photographs appearing more frequently in the 1970’s.

The photographs are arranged chronologically within each topic, sleeved in Mylar with ten enclosures per folder. The ( ) behind a folder listing denotes the number of folders within that topic.

The George Peabody College Photographic Archives is comprised of photographic materials created by dozens of Peabody College staff over a number of years and only transferred to the Vanderbilt University Special Collections and Archives after the merger in 1979.


  • 1870s-1979

Language of Materials



George Peabody College traces its history to 1785 and the founding of Davidson Academy, which was chartered by the state of North Carolina, as it was still part of the Southwest Territories. In 1806 Davidson Academy became Cumberland College and some twenty years later it was renamed the University of Nashville. In 1875 the State Normal School opened as part of the University of Nashville. By 1889 the school was renamed the Peabody Normal College. The name school continues today as Peabody College a part of Vanderbilt University.


.1 Linear Feet

Finding Aid for the George Peabody College Photograph Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Archives Repository

Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203-2427 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.