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Object Study Room

Object Study Room

The museum is committed to making its collections as accessible as possible to the academic community.  The museum’s galleries only display a small percentage of the collections at any given moment. The rest of the art and artifacts are held in storage and can be made available through visits to the Object Study Room (OSR).

Note that requesting objects from collection storage takes time so we can best serve your needs while protecting the items in our care. Object Study Room visits should be scheduled at least 4 weeks in advance and all participating instructors or faculty members are required to review the OSR Guidelines.

Contact the Curator of Academic Programs, Katy Malone (, (865) 974-2416), to start discussing your ideas and teaching goals.

Review the OSR Guidelines Explore the Arts & Culture Collection Get on the Schedule

What do faculty members say about teaching with objects?

Students in the OSR

“Teaching with museum objects is so rewarding for me because they are not just exemplars, but rather they are doorways into the past. They provoke even more questions, by their very existence! Students RESPOND deeply and with interest to the presence of a trace of the past . . . who would produce a medal actually celebrating the deadly 1915 torpedoing of the cruise liner Lusitania, sunk by German submarines? What does that tell us about modern warfare and propaganda? How does a French metal relief from the interwar period showing a classical allegorical figure symbolizing victory illustrate hopes for peace, soon to be dashed? What does a gas mask tell us about the destructive potential of modern industrial warfare? Even further, how did these objects even get here? How did McClung Museum end up with these marvelous and rich collections speaking to wider world history? The very act of collecting and careful museum work then becomes part of the larger story!” – Dr. Vejas Liulevicius, History, Course: Europe in the Age of Total War, 1900–2000 (HIST 332)