Anne Bridges is the history and medieval studies librarian in John C. Hodges Library. She has prepared research guides listing databases, statistics, and even films on topics that vary from slavery and the Atlantic world to food in United States history.
Additionally, Bridges is part of Special Collections, where she builds collections of donated and purchased manuscript and books (sometimes rare) along with manuscripts such as family papers and letters. Her favorite item in Special Collections is a photo album created by Jim Thompson for Dutch Roth, which is part of the A. G. “Dutch” and Margaret Ann Roth Papers. Both Thompson and Roth were dedicated hikers and photographers in the Smokies.
Bridges came to UT in 1985 after attending the University of Rhode Island for a graduate degree in library science. Additionally, she has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in history from the University of Maine.
Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project
Bridges is the co-founder and co-director of the project, which includes research, bibliographies, books, and other materials about the national park. Along with co-director Ken Wise and former UT librarian Russ Clement, she was instrumental in launching the Smokies project in 1997 after Clement told them about a colleague who writing a bibliography of materials about Yellowstone National Park.
“I’d said, ‘That sounds like a great idea,’” she said. “No one else had done it.”
The project was started as a research endeavor to create a bibliography of the Smokies and was later expanded to include the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection and digital collections. In 2012, the project was given a permanent home in Special Collections and became a formal part of the UT Libraries.
In the fall of 2013, Terra Incognita: An Annotated Bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544–1934 was published. Edited by Bridges, Wise, and Clement, the book is the culmination of 15 years of research.
Books and TV
Unsurprisingly, Bridges enjoys reading. Mysteries are her favorite. She also likes to read books and watch television shows that take her to places she has never been. She’s enjoyed Ann Cleeves’s series of books on the Shetland Islands in the United Kingdom. The books have since been turned into a television series on BBC Scotland.
Some of her favorite TV shows also include mystery classics like Elementary, Sherlock, Wallander, Happy Valley, and Broadchurch.
Advice to her college-age self
Be bold. Take more chances.
If she didn’t do this
Because of her love for reading and watching mysteries, Bridges has dreamed of writing her own novel.
“I have the beginnings of a mystery novel,” she said. The plot: “So this guy works for a company that services porta-potties, and he goes to get a porta-potty and he opens the door and a body falls out.”