Richmond Area Development Archives
Richmond Area Development ArchivesSpecial Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Virginia Commonwealth University
The Richmond Area Development Archives (RADA) was established in 1987 as a unique collection of primary source materials documenting the post-World War II growth of the Richmond, Virginia region (some collections date from before that time period). RADA makes available correspondence, minutes, photographs, tapes, scrapbooks, and other records and papers of organizations and civic prominent Richmonders. Subjects include urban planning, suburbanization, attempts to revitalize downtown, housing, transportation, communication, politics, labor, education and the cultural life of the region.
This site provides researchers with an overview of some 50 manuscript and archival collections that make up RADA and provides access to many of the finding aids (or guides) to those collections all of which are housed in Special Collections and Archives. These online finding aids are part of VIVA's Virginia Heritage Project.
Researchers may want to also explore other collection areas of Special Collections and Archives for topics related to Richmond and Virginia -- including civil rights and women's history.
Virginia Black History Archives | Women Activists of Virginia Collection | Architectural Resources
The image above is of scrapbook materials from the papers of Howard H. Carwile (1911-1987), a Richmond city councilman, state legislator, and long time activist and opponent of racial segregation.
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Administrative Management Society Archives
4 linear feet
The Richmond Chapter of the Administrative Management Society consists of Public Information and National Organization of Management scrapbooks (1960-1969), early miscellaneous information (1941-1970) and the President's files (1981-1987).
Harland Bartholomew and Associates Archives
5 linear feet and scrapbooks
The collection contains federal applications for redevelopment loans and grants, project reports and plans, and published reports on various areas of Richmond. Includes scrapbooks of newspaper articles focusing on urban renewal.
Joseph Benedetti Papers
15 linear feet
Joseph Benedict Benedetti served as a legislator representing parts of the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area first as a state delegate (1983-1986, 68th District) and later as state senator (1986-1997, 10th Senatorial District) in Virginia's General Assembly. Benedetti, a Republican, was appointed by Gov. James Gilmore to serve as head of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services in 1997. He left that position in December 2001. The collection consists largely of information and correspondence from special interests and constituents concerning issues on which he was to vote. Also includes newspapers clippings, reports, and information on Richmond and Virginia agencies and civic organizations.
Bethlehem Center Archives
Collection consists of photocopies of the important documents of the Center including the articles of incorporation, by-laws, staff information, description of activities and history. A list of newspaper clippings is included.
Richard Lee Bland Collection of Richmond Memorabilia, 1880s-1990s
4 linear feet and oversize materials
Collection consists of a variety of Richmond, Virginia related materials that Richard Lee Bland (1950-) has gathered since the 1970s. The collection includes three original architectural drawings of Richmond's Cathedral of the Sacred Heart; drawings of plans and photographs of what was to become the power house of the Virginia Railway and Power Co. on Richmond's 12th Street and numerous other early 20th century drawings and materials documenting electrical plans for the city.
The collection also contains material documenting the arts in Richmond from the 1890s to the present, including material on the various art organizations that have existed in the city; rock music of the 1980s; and correspondence and other material regarding Bland's Grove Avenue Gallery (1982-1984). Other materials related to the history of Richmond include late 19th and early 20th business invoices and correspondence; streetcar ephemera of the 1940s; and numerous published materials and a wide assortment of ephemera items and photographs relating to wide cross section of Richmond's cultural history.
Elizabeth Scott Bocock Papers
7 linear feet and oversized materials
Correspondence, diaries, articles and scrapbooks of Bocock (1901- 1985), a prominent Richmonder. Collection includes architectural plans, correspondence, minutes and other information pertaining to organizations that promote historic preservation, the arts, conservation, and the city of Richmond.
Andrew J. Brent Papers
11.7 linear feet
The collection consists of documents concerning Downtown Development Unlimited and Project One, Henrico County Annexation, RPI Foundation, Richmond Metropolitan Authority, Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Metropolitan Committee. The collection dates from the early 1960s through the early 1980s.
Robert P. Buford Papers
1 linear foot
Collection consists of correspondence, reports, memoranda, minutes and plans concerning the negotiation of a water-sewer agreement between the City of Richmond and the County of Henrico (Buford was the negotiator between the city and county) and the working papers of the James River Port Study Task Force.
Melvin W. Burnett Papers
.18 linear feet
Burnett served on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors for many years. Collection contains copies of materials on the history and government of Chesterfield County.
Collie Burton Papers
4 linear feet
Burton has held numerous civic positions in Richmond. The collection includes articles, correspondence and publications on various issues. The bulk of the material details the lawsuits against the FCC and Richmond area broadcast stations initiated by the Black Broadcasting Coalition in the early 1970s.
Howard H. Carwile Papers
16.9 linear feet
Carwile (1911-1987) was a populist Richmond City councilman and state legislator. A white lawyer who defended blacks in segregated Richmond of the 1940s-1960s, he ran for local, state and national offices nearly 30 times. The collection includes 25 scrapbooks (1940-1971) of his career and audio tapes of 327 of Carwile's 15 minute Richmond radio commentary broadcasts (1967-1979).
Central Virginia Foodbank Archives
.5 linear feet
The Central Virginia Foodbank, Inc., (CVF) was established in 1980 by 60 local churches and charities. It solicits, collects, and warehouses food donations and directs them to over 400 non-profit member agencies. The collections consists of material covering the years 1993-1994.
Virginia Crockford Papers
3.9 linear feet
Collection consists primarily of correspondence and reports concerning Crockford's activities as chair of the Richmond School Board. Information on the desegregation of Richmond schools, busing for integration, consolidation of Richmond area school districts, and sex education in the public schools.
Horace H. Edwards Papers
12.2 linear feet
Edwards (1902-1987) was active in Richmond city politics for over 40 years, including service as mayor, city manager and special counsel for the city in its annexation suit against Chesterfield County. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1950s through the mid 1970s and includes correspondence, reports, files and published materials.
Fan District Association Archives
2.5 linear feet
The Fan District Association (FDA), a neighborhood civic group of interested residents and merchants of Richmond's historic Fan District, was formed in 1961. The collection includes copies of its newsletter, beginning with issues from 1964 and continuing through 1995. Correspondence, minutes, and reports date primarily from 1983 through 1994.
Henry R. Gonner\Central Richmond Association Archives
36.1 linear feet
Gonner was director (1957-1983) of the Central Richmond Association (CRA), organized in 1950 by Richmond civic and business leaders. Construction and renovation projects in the Richmond area were supported by the CRA. Collection consists of correspondence, minutes, photographs, fund raising information, publications, architect's renderings, and an extensive clipping file.
William L. Groth Papers
ca. 1960s - 1970s
.18 linear feet
Groth (1907-) was Director of Public Safety for the City of Richmond. The collection is composed of published materials about Richmond from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Ernest M. Gunzburg Papers
1.35 linear feet
Gunzburg (1911-1990), immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1935 and helped place persons displaced by World War II. He was also active in civic affairs in Richmond, including work with the prison system, the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Collection comprised of correspondence with local officials and dignitaries, and various articles.
Jewish Community Center Archives
2.5 linear feet
Collection contains correspondence, minutes, some financial records, photographs, and other materials documenting the activities of the Center.
John Edward Lawler Papers, 1937-1974
8.3 linear feet
The papers are particularly rich in the areas of law enforcement and training. There is a great wealth of material from Lawler's career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., where he was an administrative assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and in Richmond where he was the agent-in-charge of the Field Office. Lawler played a key role in organizing the Bureau's counter-espionage work during World War II in Virginia. He was also involved in anti-Communist activities, curtailing and controlling the activities of Alice Burke, Secretary of the Communist Party in Virginia, who lived in Richmond. There is one folder of material documenting some of the grants released by the Old Dominion Research Company, a CIA-sponsored money source organized by Lawler. Although Lawler served on the Richmond City Council and other city boards, there is only a limited amount of material on his role in Richmond politics. The papers contain material for potential research in law enforcement, counter-espionage and intelligence, labor relations and law enforcement and politics of the Richmond area.
George Stevenson Kemp Papers
7.5 linear feet
George Stevenson (Steve) Kemp, Jr. (1916-1986), was a member of the Richmond City Council. The collection includes Mr. Kemp's working papers, correspondence, files and reports relating to the City of Richmond (1961-1986). The bulk of the materials focus on the years Mr. Kemp was active in the Richmond City Council (1980-1984).
WRVA Collection of Calvin T. Lucy Papers, 1914-1978
The collection consists of Calvin T. Lucy's personal correspondence, church files and mementos. Mr. Lucy's professional records for the Laurus Company and WRVA Radio-Television in Richmond, Virginia comprised a large portion of the collection -- including numerous publications, radio logs, and other items documenting early radio in Virginia. Mr. Lucy served as announcer, writer, producer, performer and general manager during the early years of WRVA. Also included in the collection are documents concerning the establishment of educational television in Virginia, several phonograph recordings of WRVA programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other materials.
Mary Tyler Freeman Cheek McClenahan Papers
39.5 linear feet
Mary Tyler Freeman Cheek McClenahan (1917-2005) was a Richmond community leader, activist and philanthropist. She has been described as the "conscience of Richmond" for her contributions to the Richmond community in the areas of racial harmony, housing, education, Richmond revitalization, and historic preservation. She has also been active in the arts, her church, and education.
The bulk of the collection dates from the late 1970s through the 1990s and focuses on her involvement in a number of Richmond's major civic organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Richmond Better Housing Coalition, Richmond-On-The-James, Richmond Renaissance, and the Richmond Urban Forum. McClenahan's involvement in education, the arts and politics in Richmond and Virginia and her work in St. Paul's Episcopal Church is also documented.
Patrick M. McSweeney Papers
8.3 linear feet
The collection covers McSweeney's involvement in water issues in the Richmond area from 1958-1987 (the bulk of the collection ranges from 1977 to 1985). The collection particularly covers his involvement with the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (R.R.P.D.C.) which he joined in 1977 and served as chairman in FY 1981. The bulk of it concerns the Richmond-Crater 208 program, which was a coalition of Richmond and Petersburg R.R.P.D.C. members as well as private citizens concerned with water problems in the metropolitan area.
Metropolitan Economic Development Council Archives
13.5 linear feet
The Metropolitan Economic Development Council (MEDC) was formed in as a way to attract companies to the Richmond area. Collection includes correspondence with various company personnel, publicity for area companies and advertising.
Richmond Annexation Files Collection
18.2 linear feet
From the files of Venable Cabell, lawyer for Curtis Holt during the Richmond Annexation civil suit. Collection consists of court notes and briefs, Richmond City Master Plans, financial reports, School Board Budgets and Reports and papers documenting the 1970 era annexation controversies of the City of Richmond.
Richmond First Club Archives
11.75 linear feet
Organized in 1919, the Richmond First Club is a non-partisan civic organization. It engages in objective studies of the city's government and offers suggestions for improvements. The collection consists of administrative files, correspondence, reports, memoranda, committee files, publications, audio tapes, photographs and newspaper clippings about the Club's activities or interests. The materials encompass the years 1919-1995, but are concentrated in the period from the mid 1970s through the present.
Richmond Forward Scrapbooks Collection
Two large scrapbooks
Two scrapbooks of newspaper articles and campaign paraphernalia of and about Richmond Forward, an organization founded in 1964 by Richmond buisness leaders that promoted a slate of candidates for Richmond's city council.
Richmond Oral History Association and Archives and Others
10.5 linear feet
Transcripts and tapes of oral history interviews of Richmonders and others primarily regarding the social, cultural and political history of Richmond and surrounding areas.
Richmond Renaissance Archives
33.8 linear feet
The collection has material relating to the organization's efforts, begun in 1980, to revitalize downtown Richmond , Virginia and includes correspondence, committee reports, promotional materials, photographs, minutes of meetings and other materials. Specific projects, including the design and building of the Sixth Street Marketplace, efforts to revitalize the historic African-American Jackson Ward neighborhood and in Richmond's Canal area, are included. See also the Clarence L. Townes, Jr. Papers (M 293) and the Mary Tyler Cheek McClenahan Papers (M 302), for additional Richmond Renaissance materials.
Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.) Archives
5.2 linear feet
The collection consists of reports, statistics, promotional materials, correspondence, ledgers, blueprints, clippings and miscellaneous items relating to the growth and development of the society.
Richmond Symphony Archives
22 linear feet and scrapbooks
The collection consists of correspondence, contracts, and publicity materials, chiefly from the 1970s. Most of the material focuses on the artistic and financial arrangements made for each season's performances, though considerable attention is also given to special programs, public relations, and fund-raising activities.
Richmond Urban Institute Archives
18.1 linear feet
The archives is composed of correspondence, reports, and publications, including files on specific issues - include notes, articles, and publications gathered to inform individuals and committees which addressed these needs.
Richmond YWCA Archives
42.6 linear feet
Collection consists of general office files, correspondence, reports, committee minutes, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Fred O. Seibel Papers, 1908-1968
16.9 linear feet and oversize material
Frederick Otto Seibel was born in Durhamville, New York, on 8 October 1886 and died in Richmond, Virginia on 19 June 1968. Siebel spent his childhood drawing sketches of the Erie Canal. He was married with no children. After Attending classes at the Art Students League in New York City for a short time. Seibel started his own commercial art business in the early years of the twentieth century. His first cartoon was printed in the Oneida Dispatch in 1908. He began his career as a cartoonist in 1916 for the Knickerbocker Press in Albany, New York. Seibel moved to Virginia in 1926 to become an editorial cartoonist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and has been there for over thirty years.
The Seibel Collection is comprised of two major sections: letters which Seibel received relating to his newspaper cartoons (including correspondence from Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Harry F. Byrd, John L. Lewis, J. Edgar Hoover and numerous members of the federal and state government), and a complete set of his published cartoons from both the Knickerbocker Press and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Other items in the collection include drawing notebooks and early art school sketches. There are also thirty-four original cartoons, some of which were autographed by Seibel.
Eleanor P. Sheppard Papers, 1924-1978
The collection covers Mrs. Sheppard's civic and political career from the mid 1950s until 1978. The issues covered include education, city planning and development and various bills proposed in the General Assembly. Materials include correspondence, reports, speeches, campaign documents, statements, photographs, and publications. She served on the Richmond City Council from 1954 until 1968. During her tenure on council she became Richmond's first woman vice mayor (1960-1962) and later mayor (1962-1964). She left council in 1968 to run for the Virginia House of Delegates, where she represented Richmond until March 1977. Mrs. Sheppard became the first chairwoman of a Virginia General Assembly committee in 1974 when she assumed the leadership of the House Education Committee.
George R. Talcott Papers
6 linear feet
Talcott served the city of Richmond for many years in the area of public utilities. He was also involved in the Annexation of Chesterfield in the 1970s. Collection consists of reports, studies and other government documents relating to Richmond. Topics include public utilities, schools and integration mostly from the 1970s.
Clarence L. Townes, Jr. Papers
23.4 linear feet
Townes (1928-), businessman, political activist, and a significant participant in the efforts to revitalize downtown Richmond, Virginia, has spent much of his life working to broaden and increase economic and political opportunities for African-Americans in Virginia.
Active in the Virginia Republican Party in the mid-1960s (he ran unsuccessfully in 1965 for a House of Delegates seat in the Virginia General Assembly), he became an Assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1966. In 1970 he helped found the Joint Center for Political Affairs. In the mid-1970s he ran a Richmond bus company and since 1982 has helped lead Richmond Renaissance, a non-profit corporation formed to foster economic development in downtown Richmond.
The collection includes correspondence, notes, newspaper and journal clippings, various organizational minutes, numerous reports and files, drafts of speeches, published materials dating from 1944 through 1988, photographs and other materials. The collection includes a significant amount of material on the role of African-Americans in the Republican party. Related information on the revitalization and development of downtown Richmond can be found in the Richmond Renaissance Archives and the Mary Tyler Cheek McClenahan Papers.
United Way of Greater Richmond Archives
25.5 linear feet and scrapbooks
The collection consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, and other materials ranging in date from 1910-1980. There are also scrapbooks that reveal the activities of the organization, and photographs of past president of the Richmond Community Council.
Henry L. Valentine II Papers
2 linear feet
Papers consist of correspondence, notes, speeches, statistics and reports generated while Valentine was on the Richmond City Council (1970s) and include materials from the years 1971-1984.Virginia Municipal League Archives, 1925-1989
92.3 linear feet
The Virginia Municipal League is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. The membership includes all 39 cities in the state, 154 towns and 14 urban counties. The collection includes reports, bulletins, publications and other materials documenting their work.
Virginia Press Association Archives
5.7 linear feet, scrapbooks, and publications
Correspondence, minutes, reports, slides, newspaper clippings, convention information and other papers concerning the operation of the association. Most materials date form 1935-1988. Collection is supplemented by their publications.
John C. Watkins Papers
20 linear feet
The collection comprises the office files of Virginia General Assembly Delegate John C. Watkins, covering the years 1979 through 1991. The papers include reports, correspondence, memoranda, and files on legislation and various issues addressed by the General Assembly
Lucian Louis Watt Papers, 1921-1961
1.5 linear feet
The collection is comprised of ca 300 items consisting primarily of correspondence relating to Watts' work with the visually impaired through the Virginia Association of Workers for the Blind, the Virginia Commission for the Visually Handicapped, and the House of Delegates. The collection also includes speeches and articles by Watts and others relating to loss of vision and education of the visually impaired.
West Of The Boulevard Civic Association Archives
.5 linear feet
The collection consists of various documents relating to the Board of Directors, members, and special projects of this Richmond community organization. The bulk of the materials dates from the 1970s.
Henry I. Willett Papers
1.3 linear feet
Willett worked for the Richmond City school system (1946-1969) before joining the VCU School of Education. He served as acting President of VCU in 1977. Collection contains materials covering his years with Richmond City schools and includes reports, studies and notebooks on his speeches before different organizations.
William Byrd Community House Archives
28 linear feet
Begun in the early part of the 20th century, the organization serves primarily Richmond's Oregon Hill neighborhood community. Collection consists of the organization's history, committees, programs, reports and budgets.
Robert A. Wilson Papers
The collection consists of publications, reports, roster and related materials of the Richmond Citizens Association, Inc.
Hank Wolfe Papers 1927-1981
10 linear feet
The collection contains materials relating to Hank Wolfe's career as a newspaperman and work as an athletic organizer in Richmond, Virginia, from 1932 to 1978. In addition to biographical materials, there are records relating to his service on the Richmond Baseball Commission in the mid-1930s, his membership in the Richmond Newspaper Guild and his organization of the Richmond Jewish Athletic Hall of Fame for 1954-1957. The bulk of the papers relate to Wolfe's tenure as State Commissioner for the Virginia Amateur Softball Association from 1944 to 1968. There are also ten scrapbooks (1927-1966) that Wolfe maintained of his sports column for the Richmond News Leader.
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Updated Monday, August 20, 2012