Carroll Van West, Ph.D.



the Center for Historic Preservation


Middle Tennessee State University


Participant Info

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Dr. Carroll Van West currently serves as Tennessee State Historian, is the co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and is director of The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. West serves on the board of advisors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and continues to work extensively with the National Register of Historic Places program. He has worked with museum and preservation projects in many other states and has been recently working on historic preservation issues in Alabama, Mississippi, and Montana. He has written numerous articles and book reviews in southern and western history. He regularly speaks to history, museum, preservation, and civic groups and conferences in Tennessee and across the nation.

Dr. West’s research interests lie in 19th and 20th century southern and western history as well as architecture and material culture. As a professor in MTSU’s history department, he teaches courses in architectural history, historic preservation, and state and local history. West has directed to completion over eighty M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations of MTSU graduate students in history, historic preservation, and public history.

A native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, West holds a B.A. from MTSU, a master’s degree in history from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate in history from the College of William & Mary.


Selected Publications



In Print

Books Authored by Carroll Van West:
a_history_of_tennessee_arts_van_west-resize A History of Tennessee Arts: Creating Traditions and Expanding Horizons
University of Tennessee Press, 2004
• Tennessee’s first comprehensive history of the arts.
Capitalism-resizeCapitalism on the Frontier: The Transformation of Billings and the Yellowstone Valley in the 19th Century
University of Nebraska Press, 1993
Images-of-Billings-resizeImages of Billings: A Photographic History of Billings, Montana
Western Heritage Center Press, 1990
TN_Agriculture_Cent_Farms_Perspective-resizeTennessee Agriculture: A Century Farms Perspective
Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 1987 • A descriptive history of 783 Century Farms
TN-Hist-LandscapesTennessee’s Historic Landscapes: A Traveler’s Guide
University of Tennessee Press, 1995 • A study of history and architecture in Tennessee
TN-New-Deal-Landscapes-resizeTennessee’s New Deal Landscape
University of Tennessee Press, 2001 • The first statewide book on the many New Deal-era structures, buildings, and parks
Travelers-Companion-to-Montana-History-resizeTraveler’s Companion to Montana History
Montana Historical Society Press, 1986 • An analysis of twenty-three cultural landscapes in Montana
Books with Contributions by Carroll Van West:
Rocky-Mtns-resize“Rocky Mountain Architecture”
The Rocky Mountain Region: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures
Greenwood Press, 2005
We-Shall-Independent-Be-resize“Sacred Spaces of Faith, Community, and Resistance: Rural African American Churches in Jim Crow Tennessee”
“We Shall Independent Be”: African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States
University Press of Colorado, 2008
Books edited by Carroll Van West:
Trial-and-Triumph-resizeTrial and Triumph: Readings in Tennessee’s African-American Past
University of Tennessee Press, 2002 • The first such textbook on Tennessee’s African American history in over 20 years
TN_Women_in_the_Civil_War-resizeTennessee in the Civil War: The Best of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly
Tennessee Historical Society
TN-Enc-Hist-Cult-resizeThe Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
• Tennessee Historical Society 1998 Co-winner of the Tennessee History Book Award
• Recipient of AASLH Award of Merit in 1999
TN-Hist-Land-People-Culture-resizeTennessee History: The Land, The People, and The Culture
University of Tennessee Press, 1998

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