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Friends and fans of the Great Smoky Mountains now have an added resource to research the history, plants, animals, culture, and digitized photographs of the mountains and surrounding region.

The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project at the UT Libraries has released the new Database of the Smokies (DOTS), a free online bibliography of Smoky Mountains material published since 1934, the year the national park was established.

The database contains searchable records of books, scholarly and popular journal articles, government and scientific reports, theses and dissertations, maps, digitized photographs, and travel guides. Wherever copyright restrictions permit, citations are linked to scanned copies of the published item.

View the database online.

The database is intended to complement Terra Incognita: An Annotated Bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544–1934, which is scheduled for publication by the UT Press in summer 2013. With the Smokies database and Terra Incognita, researchers will have access to a wealth of published material documenting over 400 years of human activity in the Smokies and surrounding region.

Together, Terra Incognita and the Database of the Smokies will be the most comprehensive bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains ever compiled.

Research expedition on Mount LeConte with L. R. Hesler (far left) and Stanley A. Cain (far right) in front row and Aaron J. Sharp in back row (far right), circa 1935.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this resource to the public,” said Anne Bridges, co-director of the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project along with Ken Wise. “Not only will it provide information on research, but we hope it will be the springboard to new research.”

The database currently contains about 2,000 citations focused on the fields of biology and ecology and includes research publications of former UT botany professors Aaron Sharp, Stanley Cain and L. R. Hesler. In addition to early studies of Smokies biology, the database contains citations to published material from the areas of history, psychology, genealogy, archaeology, economics, tourism, environmental studies, geology, literature, cultural studies, and park management.

In the future, the curators of the database will add links to digitized photographs from the UT Libraries’ online collections and to other content freely available on the Internet.

The project team began working on the database in May 2011 using Drupal, an open-source platform for managing content. Drupal’s crowd-sourcing feature will allow database users to become contributors, as well, by identifying new publications and uploading citations. The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project will continue to update the online database with new content.

To learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project, visit the UT Libraries website.


Ken Wise (865-974-2359,

Anne Bridges (865-974-0017,