Vanderbilt is a university of about ten thousand students in its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged, with graduate students in history frequently taking courses in the Schools of Law and Divinity as well as in other departments and programs within the College of Arts and Science, particularly Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, and English. Vanderbilt's Heard Library is one of the major research libraries in the South, with a system of eight divisions and over two million volumes, with access to the Center for Research Libraries, Interlibrary Loan, and various computer networks. The library has particularly strong holdings in the areas in which the department offers doctoral study; manuscript collections are especially strong on the Nashville Fugitive/Agrarian movement and the History of the African-American church. Each graduate student is given a sizable computer account and full access to the University's central computer system.
Students of English history benefit from the College's membership in the Folger Shakespeare Library consortium (Washington, D.C.) and the Newberry Library (Chicago), and from the department's membership in the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London. The University library's holdings in early modern and modern British history are excellent. Vanderbilt also has a flourishing Center for Latin American Studies , with thirty faculty members drawing from seven departments, and a particularly strong library collection on Latin America.
The interdisciplinary Center for Medicine, Health, and Society has more than 200 affiliates from all nine Vanderbilt schools and colleges, Meharry Medical College, Fisk University, and Tennessee State University. It has particular strength in medical history, medical sociology, and bioethics.
The Nashville Area
The Nashville area is rich in historic artifacts and resources for U.S. historians. The city is a center for local history, with the national offices of the American Association for State and Local History, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Tennessee Historical Society. Nearby Fisk University has rich manuscript and art collections in African American history. Nashville is one of three major centers for research in American church history; especially important are collections of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. Last, but certainly not least, are the fabulous cultural-historical collections of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.