Rare Books and Periodicals
This department holds approximately 50,000 books and periodicals on focused subject areas, with most dating from the late 19th century to the present.
- Architecture and decorative arts of the late 19th and 20th century
- Book art
- Comic arts
- Mid-20th century American fantasy and science fiction
- Richmond imprints and authors
- Richmond and Virginia history from the mid-19th century to the present
- Richmond serial publications from the late 20th century to the present with a focus on alternative serials and zines
- Rare and valuable monographs and catalogues raisonnés on modern and contemporary art
- Rare and valuable titles on graphic design, illustration and photography
Notable book collections
- The James Branch Cabell Collection: Approximately 3,000 titles from the personal library of James Branch Cabell (1879-1958), Richmond author of fantasy fiction and satire and the namesake of the library. Titles in the collection consist of early modern fiction, fantasy and psychology.
- William E. Blake Jr.'s Stone Campbell Movement Collection: More than 120 books and pamphlets from the 19th and 20th centuries on the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.
- Billy DeBeck Collection: Approximately 120 books from the personal library of American cartoonist Billy De Beck (1890-1942). Titles focus primarily on Appalachia and were used by Billy DeBeck to develop his popular comic strip character, Snuffy Smith.
- Samuel Johnson and James Boswell Collection: Approximately 700 titles including Johnson, Boswell and their 18th century English contemporaries.
- Betty Tisinger Collection of Pop-Up Books: Approximately 800 rare and popular pop-up books spanning the 20th century.
- Wyman Rolph Collection: Some 800 imprints on typography, fine printing and book arts with most titles from the early to mid-20th century.
Notable serial publications
- M. Thomas Inge College of Comic Arts reference journals: More than 2,000 fanzines, newsletters, scholarly journals and magazines related to comic arts.
- Richmond periodicals: Punchline, The Southern Literary Messenger, The Reviewer, Richmond Pride, Richmond Free Press, Richmond Mercury, Richmond Music Journal, Throttle, STYLE Weekly and many others.
- National titles on popular culture: Eerie, Creepy, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, Mad Magazine and a complete set of Life magazine.
- Zines: More than 600 zines, primarily from Richmond but also including national titles.