Skip to Main Content

Carnegie Vincent Library: Mission and History


Mission and History of the Carnegie Vincent Library

Carnegie-Vincent Library

In keeping with Lincoln Memorial University’s mission, the Carnegie-Vincent Library’s mission is to provide the services, collections, staff and facilities to meet the information and research needs of the faculty, staff, and students; to provide a setting conducive to research and study, and to provide library patrons the opportunity to develop the research skills necessary for information literacy.

Collection Development Policies

Our collection development practices help guide librarians and faculty in gathering new resources to support LMU's academic programs and maintain currency and relevance for the library collections as a whole. You can download the full policy using the link below.

Tennessee Academic Library Cooperative

Tennessee Academic Library Cooperative (TALC): Benefits Information for Faculty and Students

The Lincoln Memorial University Libraries have joined the Tennessee Academic Library Cooperative (TALC). This membership means that LMU faculty, staff and students can borrow books from other participating TALC libraries, including the University of Tennessee, East Tennessee State University, and so many more. A full list can be found here which includes contact information for each library.

In taking advantage of this program, we want you to know that each library will have its own limits on the number of items you can borrow and how long you can keep them. Additionally as a part of the registration process with each library, you may be asked to show a valid state-issued ID and/or school ID and be asked to log into myLMU to verify your affiliation with or enrollment at LMU. To be best prepared, we recommend contacting the library from which you wish to borrow materials and asking about their policies before you make your trip.

"With Malice Towards None With Charity For All” - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln Memorial University was founded in 1897 by General Oliver Otis Howard as an institution dedicated to the educational needs of the people of this area. The Carnegie-Vincent Library (CVL) supports the mission of Lincoln Memorial University by providing the services, collections, staff and facilities to meet the information and research needs of the faculty, staff, and students of the University; it further provides a setting conducive to research and study, while providing library patrons the opportunity to develop the information literacy skills necessary to become lifelong learners.

When Lincoln Memorial University opened its doors in 1897 there was only 1 building on campus, The Harrow School. In 1893 the School Library contained 500 books, including a number of Textbooks, available to the entire student body. In 1901 General Howard began raising funds for a number of buildings, including Grant-Lee Hall (the first building built as part of Lincoln Memorial University), the Library, dormitories, a Gymnasium, and other necessary buildings. In 1904 Mr. Andrew Carnegie donated $20,000 for the building of a much-needed library. In 1906 the Carnegie Library was opened. The original building housed a number of important collections including Lincolniana (the third largest collection of Lincoln memorabilia in the country), The Civil War collection, Appalachian writers, and Appalachian history collections. The building was also used as temporary classrooms, a chapel, and administrative offices.

In 1972 funds were raised to expand the Carnegie Library with an additional wing. Bert Vincent, a beloved local writer most famous for his long time column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel: Strolling with Bert Vincent. Bert was a long-time supporter of LMU and he often wrote about the beauty of the campus. In 1974 The Bert Vincent Memorial Wing was dedicated as a way to memorialize this much loved local figure.

Further renovation and expansion in 1987 was funded by a generous donation by the Kresge Foundation and the Mabel Pew Myrin Trust. Another renovation in 1989 was supported by Dr. Harold M Finley. His support allowed the library to create the Harold M Finley Learning Resources Center, which has evolved into a media center, providing a/v equipment, computers and electronic resources.

Today the Carnegie-Vincent Library continues to support students and faculty as Lincoln Memorial University continues to grow. The Library serves the needs of 12 extended sites as well as the needs of the local community. In 2006 the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine opened its doors and The Lon and Elizabeth Parr Reed Medical and Allied Health Library was opened to support the Medical students.

In 2008 the library was given a much needed face lift. The Brooks family generously donated funds to decorate and outfit the new Brooks Reading Room. Additionally, new sofas, chairs, and tables were installed throughout a large portion of the 2nd floor to give students more comfortable places to study.

As the University grows the library will grow with it to continue meeting the educational needs of students and the community. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the library come visit the Archives or contact the Archivist.

Reference: Suppiger, Joseph E. The Phoenix of the Mountains. 2nd ed. Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University Press, 1988.

Carnegie Vincent Library Piper Catalog: Who is Piper?

The Carnegie Vincent Library received a generous gift from the estate of Ethel Smith Piper and Burgess Welch “Tom” Piper of Maryville, Tennessee. Smith Piper passed away in 2000 and in her will she designated a significant cash donation to the library for learning resources at Lincoln Memorial University.

Ethel Smith Piper served the education communities in Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi. She was the Coordinator of Special Education for Knoxville City Schools. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Hearing and Speech Center at the University of Tennessee, the National Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for Children with Disabilities.

The library used this generous donation for the purchase of a new library system which enabled us to share our electronic resources such as eBooks and journals. The funds have helped us to continue the growth of library collections and services that support our academic community. By naming our library system after Ethel Smith Piper, we hope to continuously remember her for her appreciation of libraries, learning, and Lincoln Memorial University.

The Piper Catalog allows students and faculty access to over 400,000 volumes including ebooks, journals, and much more. Thank you, Ethel Smith Piper, for making the Carnegie Vincent Library better!

Memorializing Ethel Smith Piper, 1905-2000, UTK class of ‘49