Manuscript, Book, and Periodical Collections
The Prestwould Apartment building, 612 W. Franklin St., image by Charles W. Smith, from the Richmond Magazine, December, 1928. Special Collections and Archives houses rare books and journals, including many Richmond periodicals.
- Virginia Heritage Project: Guides to Manuscript and Archival Collections in Virginia. This is a resource that Special Collections and Archives has contributed to. Access the growing union database of EAD (Encoded Archival Description) tagged finding aids (or guides) to archival collections in Virginia. Over one hundred of Special Collections and Archives' manuscript collections are part of this database.
- Architectural Resources in Special Collections and Archives --
A major focus area in Special Collections and Archives is documenting Richmond's architectural history, especially the architecture of the Fan District which includes VCU's Monroe Park Campus. This research guide provides access to the department's unique resources. Links to other online resources are also presented here.
Arts -- Special Collections and Archives houses materials
related to the comic arts including comic books, newspaper comic
strips, manuscripts collections, and a large collection of reference
books and periodicals.
- Richmond Area Development Archives -- Established in 1987, the Richmond Area Development Archives (RADA) is a unique collection of primary source materials documenting the post-World War II growth of the Richmond metropolitan area. Subjects include urban planning, suburbanization, attempts to revitalize downtown, housing, transportation, communication, politics, labor, education and the cultural life of the region.
- The Virginia Black History Archives project is intended to help document the history of African American organizations and individuals in Virginia. Collections include published and unpublished materials -- many of which are stored digitally along with others that are housed in Special Collections and Archives. This resource also contains links to sites that cover the spectrum of African American life and history. - Visit oursite on Resources on Slavery in Richmond, Virginia .
- The William E. Blake Jr.'s Stone-Campbell Movement is a collection of over 120 books and pamphlets documenting the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement. The collection of 19th and 20th century books is housed in Special Collecttions and Archives and cover the diverse range of the spectrum of chuches within the movement. The collection was donated by Dr. William E. Blake, Jr., Emeritus Professor of History at VCU.
- Virginia Literary Collections -- The Virginia Literary Collection includes published and unpublished manuscripts, printed materials, and other materials by or about Virginia authors and literary scholars including James Branch Cabell (1879-1958), Dennis Danvers (1947-), Cathryn Hankla (1958-), M. Thomas Inge (1936-), Edgar MacDonald (1919-), and Tom Robbins (1936-). The collection also includes the archives of organizations such as the Virginia Writers Club and the New Virginia Review.
- The Women Activists of Virginia Collection includes the manuscripts of organizations and individuals significant to the history of women's rights in Richmond and Virginia. The papers of suffragist Adele Clark, and the archives of the Richmond YWCA and the Virginia League of Women Voters are among these collections.
- Virginia Heritage Project: Guides to Manuscript and Archival Collections in Virginia. Access the growing union database of EAD (Encoded Archival Description) tagged finding aids (or guides) to archival collections in Virginia. Currently, over 100 of Special Collections and Archives' manuscript collections are part of this database.
- Book Art Collection -- Includes over 3,000 items and encompasses all aspects of contemporary book art publications ranging from photo-narratives to three-dimensional book works.
- Other large book collections that make up Special Collections and Archives include: the Samuel Johnson-James Boswell Collection; the personal library (3,000 items) of James Branch Cabell; books and periodicals on Richmond and Virginia history and culture; Richmond imprints; fantasy and science fiction novels; and a number of smaller collections ranging from books by Edward Gorey and Aleister Crowley to a VERY large collection of Pop-Up books.
- Special Collections and Archives holds a wide variety of Richmond periodicals including the Richmond Free Press, Style Weekly Magazine, and Richmond Magazine (in its many incarnations). Richmond titles that have ceased are also housed here including the Southern Literary Messenger, the Reviewer, the Richmond Mercury, the Richmond Quarterly, the Richmond Music Journal, Throttle, and many others. The collection includes numerous Richmond alternative publications, from underground newspapers of the late 1960s to the 'Zines of the 1990s, from Richmond humor publications like Punchline to LGBT newspapers including Richmond Pride and Our Own Community Press.
- The student newspapers of VCU, from the Atlas to the Proscript to the Commonwealth Times, are housed in Special Collections and Archives. Visit this link to gain access to the online archive of past issues of the Commonwealth Times, part of VCU Libraries' Digital Collections. Dozens of other VCU produced publications are located in the department including Shafer Court Connections, VCU Today, VCU Vocie, VCU Magazine, and student yearbooks.
- Many Virginia periodicals are also housed in the department and include Commonwealth, the Virginia Cavalcade, and the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. A number of national magazines are located here including MS magazine, Rolling Stone (1971 through the 1990s), MAD magazine, EERIE, CREEPY, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and a complete set of LIFE magazine (1930s through 1972). The department also holds several art journals and hundreds of titles related to the Comic Arts as part of the M. Thomas Inge Collection of Comic Arts Reference Journals (over 1,000 titles).