Cabell Associates

VCU Libraries works with two volunteer boards: the Friends of VCU Libraries and the James Branch Cabell Library Associates.

Founded in 1972, the James Branch Cabell Library Associates work to promote the critical study of writer James Branch Cabell and the interests of VCU Libraries.

At the time of his death in 1958, acclaimed Richmond author James Branch Cabell left a distinctive literary legacy and a 52-volume body of work. Many of his contemporaries, including Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis and fellow Richmonder Ellen Glasgow, complimented his work and current British novelist Neil Gaiman has cited him as an important influence.

In the late 1960’s his widow, Margaret Waller Freeman Cabell, donated Cabell’s personal library and papers to the newly formed Virginia Commonwealth University. A few years later she helped establish the James Branch Cabell Associates Board, who work to keep the legacy of Cabell’s work alive.

In addition to promoting the critical study and preservation of Cabell’s collection, the Cabell Associates sponsors public programs designed to encourage literary discussion. The board also supports the acquisition and preservation of Cabell-related materials housed in Special Collections and Archives at Cabell Library.

The Cabell Associates are a long-time sponsor of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award - a nationally recognized literary prize that encourages new and emerging authors and helps keep Cabell’s name in front of important literary audiences.

While preservation is critical to the group, progress is equally significant. In 2014, the Cabell Associates made a lead gift of $100,000 to VCU Libraries’ new building fund.

Through the years, the Cabell Associates have helped form the nucleus of academic pursuit at the VCU through the establishment and growth of what is now one of the premier research libraries in the country.

James Branch Cabell Library Associates Board


  • Walter M. Dotts, III President
  • Trevor S. Cox Vice-President
  • Brockenbrough Aubin Lamb Vice-President
  • Clare Osdene Schapiro Secretary
  • Bucci Zeugner Treasurer


  • Suzette Denslow
  • Robin Farmer
  • Kristen Green
  • Edwin J. Slipek, Jr.
  • Ron Smith
  • John J. Zeugner, IV

Cabell Associates Emeritus Members

  • Priscilla Harris Cabell
  • J. Maurice Duke, Ph.D.
  • William Gaines Ellyson
  • M. Thomas Inge, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Cabell Jennings
  • Elizabeth Seydel Morgan
  • Tricia Pearsall
  • Elizabeth Scott