The standard brochure cover photo of many American campuses is from a central quad on a bright spring day. For a school integrated tightly into the fabric of a city like VCU is on its MCV Campus, space is too precious for large expanses of turf to symbolize the institution, and from the mid-20th century, school leaders looked skyward for signature shots. Many of these images made their way into VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives. This exhibit features a selection of 20 annotated and enhanced aerial photographs.
Exhibits at VCU Libraries
In The Building
The Jurgen Contest challenge invited students from across VCU to explore the censorship of James Branch Cabell's Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. In January 1920, the society seized the printing plates and copies of the novel, and James Branch Cabell’s publisher and editor were charged with violating state obscenity laws because it was an “offensive, lewd, lascivious and indecent book.” Cabell's satirical fantasy was barred from the mail, and demand for copies skyrocketed. Suppressed just as Prohibition took effect, Jurgen was sold at exorbitant prices by "bookleggers.” The case dragged on, but after a two-year legal battle, the indictment against Jurgen was dismissed.
A virtual research center placing this talented “writer’s writer” within his literary and historical context. The project conveys a sense of Cabell’s playful wit as well as his erudition, appealing to scholars, general readers and fans of Richmond and Virginia history.
Adèle Clark (1882-1983), artist and art educator, championed the rights of women and promoted the arts in Virginia. Clark was a founding member of the Virginia women's suffrage movement and longtime president of the Virginia League of Women Voters. She was a progressive reformer, lobbyist and lifelong advocate for racial cooperation.
Respected poet Larry Levis (1946–1996) taught at VCU at the time of his death. His work continues to influence poets. This exhibit explores his writing process, examining multiple drafts of the same poem.
These highlights from the Medical Artifacts Collection housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Health Sciences Library include surgical instruments, uniforms and medical furniture related to the history of Virginia health care.
This collection includes photographs and other materials from longtime VCU professor and supporter Edward H. Peeples, Jr., Ph.D. (1935–2019), documenting the racially motivated closing of schools in Prince Edward County, Va.
Theresa Pollak (1899–2002) was a Richmond-born artist and educator instrumental in the founding of the VCU School of the Arts. This exhibit explores her life and work and her impact on VCU history.