Just over thirty years ago, in the early 1980's, a clean-up project in a dusty and moldy old attic of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, College of Law Library brought to the surface a small collection of worn and tattered “Record Books.” With some recognition that these diaries could be immensely interesting, if not of historical value, they were rounded up and tucked into a bottom shelf in the technical services department, amongst other special collections. Over the years, there never seemed to be enough time to peruse and appreciate the volumes or even discover exactly what they were. But then in 1997, the College of Law and its library moved into a new facility; and, during that process, the journals were unearthed yet again and I recognized them for both their professional and historical values. As a newly hired Acquisitions Librarian, I began transcribing the work logs and, with the help of student assistants over the years, created files that allowed one to read the records without the sometimes tedious need for scrutiny and interpretation of handwriting. Some of the penmanship was exquisite and forthright, but some was sprawling and indistinct and simply could not be made out or interpreted.
to read the complete introduction written by M. Loretta Price
, Collection Management Department Head and Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law