Nearly 30 years of VCU history are represented in VCU Libraries newest digital collection, "VCU News Publications." The Office of University Relations produced these publications, which carried different titles over the years.
These periodicals tell VCU's official story in news articles, features, calendars and images of students, staff, faculty and leaders. Departments and schools submitted articles and news items. Letters to the editor, editorials and formal messages from deans and the president are also found in the 542 issues in this online collection.
The first of these official news organs was published in May of 1972 as the weekly VCU Today. (It was preceded on the MCV campus by the Medicovan, published from 1948 until 1973.) VCU Today was published on an irregular basis, often monthly, until the 1980s when it became a bi-weekly.
The staff included professional writers, photographers and editors, who represented the views of the university administration and highlighted news that the school wanted publicized. By the 1980s, the newspaper was circulated to full-time staff on both campuses and was also made available in a number of VCU buildings. It was probably the institution's best vehicle for communicating to the large university community.
In 1988, the newspaper became the VCU Voice. In 1998, it became the UniverCity News. In 2001, it became VCU News. It was published online in 2002 and is today's News Center.
Dates for the publications:
- VCU Today: 1972-1988
- VCU Voice: 1988-1998
- UniverCity News: 1998-2001
- VCU News: 2001-2002
Copyright for the materials in this collection is managed by the VCU Libraries. The use of these materials is subject to the stipulations specified in the VCU Libraries copyright page.
- VCU Libraries has curated an exhibition of RPI history, which will be on display in coordination with the art show. This exhibition was organized by Ray Bonis, archives coordinator for James Branch Cabell Library. The exhibits focus on three individuals and the Bang Arts Festival of the 1960s that brought modern and pop art to Richmond. The individuals featured are Theresa Pollak, who founded the School. of Arts in the 1920s; Chick Larsen, graphic artist and editorial cartoonist who graduated from RPI in the 1950s; and Richmond writer Tom Robbins, class of 1959, who was part of the Richmond Art Scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
- Assistant Head, Special Collections and Archives Yuki Hibben will also be on the walk.
- And, farther east at UR Downtown, 626 E. Broad St., "Mapping RVA: Where You Live Makes All the Difference" opens. The exhibition, organized by Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia (HOME) in conjunction with Affordable Housing Awareness Week, illustrates poverty in metro Richmond. Dr. John V. Moeser, a former VCU professor and senior fellow of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, will give a presentation at 6 p.m. Also on view are images of editorial cartoons by longtime Richmond Times-Dispatch cartoonist Larsen. The images are from Special Collections and Archives, Cabell Library.
On April 3, 1905, a photographer from the Detroit Publishing Co. captured hundreds of African Americans parading through the streets of Richmond, Va. The photo made it onto a postcard. Years later, an archivist for VCU Libraries spotted the postcard on an auction website. After a little digging, it inspired "Timeline of Emancipation Day Celebrations," a new online exhibit from James Branch Cabell Library's Special Collections and Archives. The focus is on how African-Americans in Richmond have celebrated their freedom over the last 150 years.
"The date, April 3, was on the image, so...we had a look at the white and African- American newspapers at the time to see what the coverage was for this parade," said Archives Coordinator Ray Bonis. He found that the parade was part of an Emancipation Day celebration held by Richmond's African-American community on the anniversary of the fall of Richmond. The parades began on April 3, 1866, one year after the fall of Richmond and just over three years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
These celebrations also relate to recent efforts by Richmond's Elegba Folklore Society to celebrate Juneteenth National Freedom Day, which commemorates the day slaves in Texas learned they were free. Bonis is working with the Folklore Society to include their coverage of these celebrations in the exhibit as well.
Bonis discovered the story behind the 1905 image almost 10 years ago, but work on the larger exhibit only began last summer. The exhibit covers every documented emancipation celebration from 1865 to 2012 and was launched as part of VCU's "Year of Freedom" initiative, and is the only exhibit of its kind to focus on a single city.
"This year is the year of emancipation, and that's in some ways the most important event in American history," said John Kneebone, the chair of the "Year of Freedom" committee. "African-American Richmonders didn't have the resources, the power or the money to take up public space, yet they too celebrated their history and tried to keep alive the memory of emancipation." The photos and newspaper articles in Timeline of Emancipation prove just that.
Danielle Tarullo, a recent art history graduate and a research assistant in Special Collections and Archives, investigated the history of these celebrations through VCU Libraries' collection of The Richmond Planet, the city's major African-American newspaper, and digitized newspapers from the Library of Congress.
"In the beginning it was very much a parade through town," Tarullo said. "Sometimes the routes were given in the newspapers, and a lot of times they would end at the governor's steps or on the capitol steps - places that it was very important that they show they had the right to go. ... But in the later Emancipation Day celebrations it became less about walking through the city and more about gathering at one central location."
Though the manner of the celebrations changed over time, their continued existence was a testament to their importance for the African American community, according to Lauranett Lee, curator of African-American History at the Virginia Historical Society.
"Immediately after the war, it really says something about the determination of people to have Emancipation Day celebrations, because most of the white people did not want them to do this," Lee said. "Even in the nadir between 1890 and 1920, when a great deal of lynching occurred, they continued holding these parades and celebrations."
In fact, according to Tarullo, the celebrations held strong until the 1950s and 1960s, at which point the African-American community's focus shifted to civil rights and to honoring Martin Luther King Jr. after his assassination.
But the exhibit shows more than the importance of commemorating emancipation. Lee said photos like these represent an important shift in the African-American community.
"[Before the Civil War] you did not see photographs of black people in mass like this," Lee said. "This was something that whites feared. So to have photographs of black people marching says a great deal about how they want to be seen, and the fact that they could gather and march in public as a people.
And for Bonis, the exhibit is a reminder of history that is not so far in the past.
"That photo is from 1905. That's just two or three generations away," he said. "So for a lot of Richmonders, their great-grandparents participated in these marches. With this website they can learn more about it, explore the topic itself, and tell others about it."
To view the exhibit, visit http://www.library.vcu.edu/jbc/speccoll/vbha/freedom.html. The information was gathered from a variety of sources but mostly from newspaper accounts from Richmond newspapers. Chronicling America, the Library of Congress' online resource of digital versions of American newspapers, was instrumental in that research. Other sources included journal articles, monographs, and the microfilm versions of late 19th and 20th century newspapers. Additional items will be added to this site as new information is uncovered. Members of the community are invited to email Special Collections and Archives additions to the information as well as personal observations and questions. Visit this site for additional Resources on Slavery in Richmond
"Sketchy Medicine" is now on display in the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences Special Collections Reading Room.
This exhibit was inspired by the website Graphic Medicine that explores the use of graphic novels and comics as a resource for patients, medical professionals and caregivers.
This exhibit provides a brief overview of the subject and displays a sampling of VCU Libraries' collection of medically themed graphic novels as well as some examples of web comics with a medical focus.
- The image-packed presentation is free and open to the public.
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10,
- University of Mary Washington, Combs Hall, Room 139 More
Friends of VCU Libraries and members of the university community are cordially invited to attend a lecture
by Eugene P. Trani, president emeritus and university distinguished
professor. He will speak about his new book, "The Reporter Who Knew Too
Much: Harrison Salisbury and The New York Times" that details the
political times and career of the influential, Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist who was the Times' man in Moscow after World War II.
is 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the VCU Welcome Center, 1111 W. Broad
"Portrait as Community" is the culmination of a special course inspired by Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers, a project organized by the Anderson Gallery with South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa and American Studies scholar Laura Browder. Students from the VCU Departments of Photography and Film and Art Education examined historical examples, research methodologies, ethical concerns and artistic strategies related to the representation of communities. They selected and worked with Richmond communities over the semester to create their projects.
This collaborative course was offered by the Department of Photography and Film, VCU Libraries and the Anderson Gallery. Teachers were Yuki Hibben, assistant head, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, and Michael Lease, head of exhibitions and design, Anderson Gallery.
The show is on view during regular gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
More The opening reception, Friday, Nov. 30, 5-8 p.m., is free and open to all.
Student projects on display are by:
- Jaclyn Brown
- Casey Collier
- Kate Fowler
- Lauren Lyon
- Jessica Overcash
- Mark Strandquist
- Breonca Trofort
- Michael Weinheimer