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Archival Resources of the Virginias (ARVAS) Institutional Profiles


This list was generated in 2016/2017 via a survey form sent to all participating ARVAS Institutions. Please note that no mailing address is listed when it is the same as the physical address.

Contacts last updated: 2023 (annual update in progress)


Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society

Point of Contact:

Phone: (434) 296-1492


Physical Address: 200 Second Street, NE

Charlottesville, VA 22902

Primary Collection Area: Albemarle County and City of Charlottesville history

Description: The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society studies and preserves the history of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, and surrounding jurisdictions in Central Virginia. The Society collects and preserves manuscripts, printed materials and other physical objects pertaining to the history of the area.

Alexandria Library

Point of Contact: Patricia Walker, Branch Manager

Phone: (703) 746-1719


Physical Address: 717 Queen Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

Primary Collecting Areas: Alexandria history, Virginia history, Genealogy, U.S. Civil War

Description: As one of the core research institutions in Alexandria, the Local History and Special Collections Branch (LHSC) is focused on documenting Alexandria from its colonial era to its modern life as a vibrant community of immigrants and cultural attractions.

Arlington Public Library, Center for Local History

Point of Contact: 

Phone: (703) 228-5966


Physical Address: 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, VA  22201

Primary Collecting Areas: Materials in the Center's collections are a great resource for teachers, scholars, students, and anyone interested in the rich and vibrant history of Arlington County. Library patrons can find information on individuals, neighborhoods, events, and places in Arlington's past and present. Resources available to the public consist of both physical and digital materials; they include, but are not limited to:

Description: The Center for Local History's Community Archives at the Arlington Public Library collects and preserves materials that illustrate the history and culture of Arlington County. The Center's continually expanding collections house diverse and historically valuable materials from Arlington's residents, businesses, institutions, organizations, and local associations.

Augusta County Historical Society

Point of Contact: Josh Howard

Phone: (540) 248-4151


Physical address: 20 S. New Street, Staunton, VA 24401

Primary Collecting Areas: Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro, Shenandoah Valley

Description: The Augusta County Historical Society, founded in 1965, is located in Staunton, Virginia, and is a repository, research center, and publisher of greater Augusta County history.

Bridgewater College

Point of Contact: Stephanie S. Gardner

Phone: (540) 828-8018


Physical Address: Forrer Learning Commons,

402 E. College St.

Bridgewater, Va, 22812

Primary Collecting Areas: Bridgewater College, Church of the Brethren, Shenandoah Valley history

Description: Special Collections documents the history of Bridgewater College and supports the curriculum by providing access to primary, reference, and historical sources.  Examples of our specialized collections include:

Charles City County Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History

Point of Contact: Nancy Phaup

Phone: (804) 652-1516


Physical Address: 10790 Courthouse Rd., Charles City, VA, 23030

Primary Collecting Area: Our collection focuses on historical and genealogical resources associated with persons from Charles City County, Virginia, including oral histories that record the life stories of Charles City County peoples.

Description: The History Center is a county-owned archive and reference center, named after the late Richard M. Bowman, a civic leader and avid student of history. Our mission is to engage and

inspire large and diverse audiences by providing equal access to our historical and

genealogical collections for any and all persons interested in Charles City County. The collection includes books, microfilm, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, pictures, oral histories and other items pertaining to Charles City and the surrounding region.

Christiansburg Institute Museum and Archives

Point of Contact: Jenny Nehrt

Phone: (540) 808-5398


Physical Address: 125 Arrowhead Trail, Suite F, Christiansburg, VA 24073

Primary Collecting Area: African American history; Appalachia; Southwest Virginia; education; Reconstruction; Jim Crow; school segregation

Description: Christiansburg Institute, Inc., is a grassroots African American cultural heritage and historic preservation nonprofit with a mission of community education, intergenerational empowerment, and the equitable stewardship of African American history, stories, and culture.

Christiansburg Institute Museum & Archives (CIMA) holds letters, diaries, photos, and other material (digital or paper) that communicate vital and unique information about CII's and pay witness to the history of black struggle and triumph throughout Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and desegregation.

Christopher Newport University, Trible Library

Point of Contact: Matthew Shelley

Phone: (757) 594-7133


Physical Address: 1 Avenue of the Arts

Newport News, Va. 23606

Primary Collecting Areas: Christopher Newport College/University documents and publications; student newspapers; rare books related to the university and the local area; sheet music; local history including the Hampton Roads Oral History Project.

Description: The Special Collections and University Archives at Trible Library house records related to the founding and administration of Christopher Newport University as well as campus life since 1960. Other collections include a group of rare books from local authors and the Josephine L. Hughes Collection comprised of 5,000+ rare pieces of American sheet music.

Edgar Cayce Foundation

Point of Contact: Jessica Newell

Phone: (757) 457-7204


Physical Address: 215 S. 67th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Primary Collecting Area:The records of Edgar Cayce and his family; the organizational records of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Atlantic University, and the Edgar Cayce Foundation.

Description: During Edgar Cayce's lifetime, the records of his psychic readings were his personal property. After his death, they became the property of his sons, Hugh Lynn Cayce and Edgar Evans Cayce, and his secretary, Gladys Davis Turner. They were stored in the Cayce home and office.


In February 1948, the E.C.F. was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia and provides permanent legal and physical custody of historical resources including:

Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center

Point of Contact: Heather Bollinger

Phone: (703) 246-4168


Physical Address: 4000 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 1600
Fairfax, VA 22030

Primary Collecting Areas: Fairfax County, Alexandria, northern Virginia, genealogy, public records, court records, county records, U. S. Civil War, George Washington, George Mason

Description: The mission of the Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center is to preserve and make available to the public the historic records of the Fairfax Circuit Court. Under §42.1-76 of the Code of Virginia (Virginia Public Records Act), public records created earlier than 1913 are considered historic and are to be maintained in perpetuity by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center (HRC) holds court records documenting the societal and cultural changes in Fairfax County from its founding in 1742, through the colonial era, Civil War and Reconstruction, to the early 1900s.

Fairfax County Public Library - Virginia Room

Point of Contact: Chris Barbuschak

Phone: (703) 293-2142


Physical Address: City of Fairfax Regional Library

10360 North Street
Fairfax, VA 22030-2514

Primary Collecting Areas: Fairfax County, Virginia and Northern Virginia History

Description: The Virginia Room of Fairfax County Public Library houses a special collection of history and genealogy resources. Staff collect the historical record of the people, associations, events, and places of Fairfax County, Virginia.

Fredericksburg Circuit Court Archives

Point of Contact: Amy Dobrinen

Phone: (540) 361-4098


Physical Address: Fredericksburg Circuit Court Archives

701 Princess Anne Street

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Primary Collecting Area: The Fredericksburg Circuit Court Archive, located within the Clerk's Office of the Fredericksburg courthouse, provides rich genealogical and historical research materials from loose papers attached to cases tried at Fredericksburg, Virginia as well as bound volumes. Since Fredericksburg served as an important transportation hub from early colonial days, several courts sat here, and served a large geographical area-from Virginia's Tidewater to lands once part of the Commonwealth as far west as the Mississippi River. These records survived destruction during the Civil War, and thus offer an unusually complete record of local and regional history as well as America's movement west.

Description: The Clerk of the Circuit Court is one of five constitutional officers elected by the citizens of Fredericksburg. In Virginia, the office dates from 1619. The Code of Virginia provides for over 800 responsibilities for the Clerk of the Circuit Court, but his or her chief responsibilities include serving as recorder of deeds, deciding certain issues of probate, issuing marriage licenses, creating court records, and certifying and archiving all records of the Circuit Courts and other records as provided by law.

George Mason University Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Point of Contact: Mieko Palazzo

Phone: (703) 993-2220


Physical Address: 2400 Fenwick Library

Mailing Address: Special Collections Research Center
Fenwick Library MS2FL
George Mason University
Fairfax, Va. 22030

Primary Collecting Areas: SCRC collects materials related to George Mason University, Northern Virginia, performing arts, transportation and planning, and photography. SCRC collects oral histories pertaining to Northern Virginia; the Federal Theatre Project; Reston, Virginia; and George Mason University's history. It currently conducts an active oral history program.

Description: Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is the unit within the University Libraries charged with acquiring, documenting, preserving, and providing access to primary research collections and documents. SCRC also manages the non-current and archival records of George Mason University, is responsible for the preservation and access to the University's theses and dissertations, and undertakes, through its Oral History program, the creation of audiovisual documentary resources. SCRC services, collections, and programs support the teaching and research activities of George Mason University and also serve the community at large.

Hampden-Sydney College

Point of Contact: Sarah E. Almond

Phone: (434) 223-7225


Physical Address: 257 Via Sacra, Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943

Mailing Address: Walter M. Bortz III Library

P.O. Box 7

Hampden-Sydney VA 23943

Primary Collecting Areas: US History

Description: Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections contains a variety of primary source documents, photographs, blueprints, maps, rare books, and other one-of-a-kind materials reflective of the nearly 250 year history of the institution and its surroundings.

Hollins University

Point of Contact:

Phone: (540) 362-6237


Physical Address: Wyndham Robertson Library
7950 E. Campus Drive
Roanoke, VA 24020

Mailing Address: Wyndham Robertson Library, Dept. of
Special Collections
POB 9000
Hollins University
Roanoke, VA 24020

Primary Collecting Areas: University Archives, Hollins Authors Collection, Rare Books & Materials, Modern Manuscripts.

Description: The university archives collects materials created by Hollins University as well as materials related to its alumni, faculty, and board. Such records include but are not limited to: minutes, reports, correspondence, diaries, photographs, maps, textiles, scrapbooks, video & sound recordings, and artifacts. Materials date from the late 18th century to the present.

The Rare Books & Materials collection strengths are juvenile literature, English & American literature, incunabula, and book arts. Materials date from 2100 B.C. to the 21st century.

James Madison University

Point of Contact: Tiffany Cole

Phone: (540) 568-3444


Physical Address: Carrier Library Second Floor
Room 203, MSC 1704
James Madison University
880 Madison Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Primary Collecting Areas: JMU History, Local history, Shenandoah Living Archive, Shenandoah National Park Oral Histories, Pulp Fiction Collection, Artists' Book Collection, Juvenile Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Description: JMU Special Collections documents the central Shenandoah Valley region as well as the history of James Madison University. Special Collections includes strong collections of Pulp Fiction magazines, Artists' Books, and a Juvenile Literature collection created in support of JMU's history as a teacher's college. Special Collections collaborates with faculty, alumni, liaison librarians, and community members in identifying and collecting rare and historic materials for use in instruction and research.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial WIlliamsburg Foundation

Point of Contact: Douglas Mayo

Phone: (757) 565-8521


Physical Address: John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library
313 First Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Mailing Address: John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
PO Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776

Primary Collecting Areas: A. Lawrence Kocher Collection, Donald Streeter Collection, Francis, Nicholson Papers, John Norton and Sons Papers, Major-Marable Family Papers ,Richard Corbin Papers, Robert Anderson Papers, Singleton P. Moorehead Collection, William Blathwayt Papers, 18th century Williamsburg imprints, 18th century Virginia manuscripts, 18th century Music, Early trade manuals
British legislation regarding the American colonies, Visual works depicting Williamsburg

Description: The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library is dedicated to advancing knowledge of colonial British America, the American Revolution, the early United States, and the history of the Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Unique to the library is the body of research on the buildings, people, trades, and material culture of 18th-century Williamsburg.

Jones Memorial Library

Point of Contact: Deborah Smith

Phone: (434) 846-0501


Physical Address: 2311 Memorial Drive

Lynchburg, VA 24501

Primary Collecting Areas: Central Virginia history and genealogy; Lynchburg News & Advance archives; Lynchburg architectural archive

Description: Jones Memorial Library specializes in genealogy and local history. Although the library's primary focus is on the central Virginia area, the collection includes a wide variety of materials covering the State of Virginia as well as the surrounding states, including county histories and court records, family histories and genealogies, general works on the Civil War, county land tax and personal property tax records, and census records. Materials of local interest include microfilmed copies of the Lynchburg newspapers, microfilmed copies of funeral home burial files, architectural archives, city directories, indexes of marriage and death notices, and microfilmed church records. The Library also houses over 300 manuscript collections, including personal family papers and correspondence, records of clubs and organizations, and business records.

Library of Virginia

Point of Contact: Archives Reference Services

Phone: (804) 692-3888


Physical Address: 800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Primary Collecting Areas: State and local government records
Private Papers, including family records, personal papers, business, and organizational records.
Prints & photographs, maps, architectural drawings & plans, state artwork, rare books.

Description: The Library of Virginia is one of the oldest agencies of Virginia government, founded in 1823 to preserve and provide access to the state's incomparable printed and manuscript holdings. Our collection, which has grown steadily through the years, is the most comprehensive resource in the world for the study of Virginia history, culture, and government.

Longwood University

Point of Contact: Archives and Special Collections

Phone:  (434) 395-2432


Physical Address: 401 Redford Street

Farmville, VA 23909

Primary Collecting Areas: University Archives, Public Education, Prince Edward County and Local History, Civil Rights in Education.

Description: The Greenwood Library Archives and Special Collections collects and makes accessible records of historical importance to the university, region, and state.  We celebrate curiosity and encourage the exploration of new ideas by engaging with our unique collections.


The Greenwood Library Archives and Special Collections serve as the repository for the Farmville Prince Edward County Historical Society and the Moton Museum.

Mary Riley Styles Public Library - Falls Church History Room

Point of Contact: Peter Sullivan

Phone:  (703) 248-5030


Physical Address: 120 North Virginia Avenue

Falls Church, VA 22046

Primary Collecting Areas: The mission of the Falls Church History Room is to collect, preserve, and promote materials with historical significance concerning the inhabitants, government, institutions, and environment of the City of Falls Church. This includes manuscripts, maps, newspapers, sound recordings and ephemera.

Description: We are the public library for the City of Falls Church with over 26,000 card holders for the city and metropolitan area. Our library features a Falls Church History Room which we are seeking to further publicize and describe online to make our archival collections more accessible.

Mount Vernon - Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

Point of Contact: Reference services

Phone: (703) 780-3600


Physical Address: 3600 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy

Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121-8000

Primary Collecting Areas: George and Martha Washington, Mount Vernon, Founding Era and Early Republic, Historic preservation, Decorative arts, Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

Description: The Fred W. Smith National Library includes general collections, special collections and archives as a resource for scholars, students, and those interested in George Washington, colonial America and the Revolutionary and founding eras.

The library's general collections include secondary source materials on the Washington and Custis families, and the colonial and founding eras.

The Special Collections materials highlight the lives of George and Martha Washington as well as their descendants through correspondence, financial materials, and original books from George and Martha Washington's library.

The archives of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association holds the historic institutional records of the organization dating back to its founding in 1853.

Old Dominion University

Point of Contact: Jessica Ritchie

Phone: (757) 683-4483


Physical Address: 3023 Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library

Norfolk, VA 23529

Primary Collecting Areas: Key collecting areas include: 1. University Archives 2. Manuscripts --strengths in such subjects as the Civil War, Virginia politics, military history, local news & media, African-American history, Norfolk urban redevelopment, women's history, and local history. 3. Rare books and printed material: strengths include Virginia and Tidewater History, poetry and literature, military history, art books 4. Music special collections: strengths in contemporary/post-World War II composers and historical recordings.

Description: The goal of Special Collections and University Archives is to preserve and make accessible collections and records of historical importance to the university, region, state, and nation. The department functions as a "learning lab" where students, faculty, and researchers can create and explore original ideas through engagement with our unique collections.

Radford University

Point of Contact: Bud Bennett

Phone: (540) 831-5694


Physical Address: Radford University
McConnell Library
801 E. Main St.
Radford, VA 24142

Mailing Address: PO Box 6881
Radford, VA 24142

Primary Collecting Areas: Institutional Archives, Appalachian Collections, Regional History Collections

Description: The McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections supports the teaching, research and public service missions of McConnell Library by collecting, preserving, organizing, and making accessible unique primary source materials that document the history of Radford University, Southwest Virginia, and Appalachia.

Randolph-Macon College

Point of Contact: Laurie Preston

Phone: (804) 752-4718


Physical Address: 305 Henry Street
Ashland, VA 23005

Mailing Address: McGraw-Page Library
P.O. Box 5005
Ashland, VA 23005-5505

Primary Collecting Areas: History of Randolph-Macon College and Methodist educational institutions in Virginia; Methodism in Virginia and the South; Casanoviana; local and regional history

Description: The Flavia Reed Owen Special Collections and Archives in the McGraw‐Page Library at Randolph‐Macon College houses significant historical and literary collections that include the history of the oldest chartered Methodist college as well as the history of the Methodist church in Virginia; one of the largest collections of Casanova in the world; the local newspaper photo archive and other local history
materials; a collection of rare volumes pertaining to the Intellectual Life of the Colonial South; and World War I codebreaking and ciphering materials.

Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education

Point of Contact: Tish Wiggs

Phone: (304) 876-5702


Physical Address: Shepherd University, 213 N. King Street

Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Mailing Address: Shepherd University PO Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Primary Collecting Areas: Congressional records produced by members from West Virginia. The largest founding collection is the Robert C. Byrd Papers.

Description: Founded as a repository for the papers of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest serving senator in history, the Byrd Center provides public access to Sen. Byrd’s vast collection along with the collections of several other 20th century members of the state’s Congressional delegation. The Byrd Center supplements these collections by conducting oral histories with the delegates and key staffers. We encourage use of our collections by scholars, community members, and students.

Sargeant Memorial Collection, Slover Library (Norfolk Public Library)

Point of Contact: Troy Valos, Special Collections Librarian

Phone: (757) 431-7429


Physical Address: 235 East Plume Street

Norfolk, VA 23510

Primary Collecting Areas: Hampton Roads regional archives and special collections specializing in local history and genealogy

Description: The establishment of the Sargeant Memorial Collection (SMC) began in 1927 with only a small assortment of books and historical papers collected by William H. Sargeant, the first Librarian to be hired by the City of Norfolk in 1897. He felt very strongly that Norfolk should have a history collection devoted to her history and her people. The SMC has moved well beyond Sargeant's vision of a collection of newspapers and city directories to transform into a respected regional archives and special collections of more than 24,000 books, 10,500 microforms, 150,000 photographs, and 2,500 linear feet of archives and manuscript collections. The non-circulating collection includes a variety of books and periodicals covering genealogical topics and local history, as well as maps, photographs, high school yearbooks, and city directories for the Hampton Roads region. Nearly 200 years of local and regional newspapers are available on microfilm. The archives and manuscript collections include local organizational records, family papers, and business records. The SMC's genealogy collection encompasses Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and neighboring states, with books, microfilm, and online databases to assist in family research. Today, the Sargeant Memorial Collection is one of Virginia's finest local history and genealogy collections

Shenandoah County Library

Point of Contact: Zachary Hottel

Phone: (540) 984-8200


Physical Address: 514 Stoney Creek Blvd.

Edinburg, VA 22824

Primary Collecting Areas: Shenandoah County and the Shenandoah Valley

Description: The Shenandoah County Library’s Truban Archives is committed to collecting, preserving, and interpreting resources related to the culture, history, and life of Shenandoah County. To fulfill this mission we maintain a large collection of primary sources related to the county and surrounding areas.


Steward Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library

Point of Contact: Lorna M. Loring or Rebecca Ebert

Phone: (540) 662-9041 ext. 17


Physical Address: 100 W. Piccadilly Street

 Winchester VA 22601

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 58

Winchester, 22604

Primary Collecting Areas: History of City of Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County, Virginia

Description: The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives is a specialized local history and genealogy collection located in Winchester, Virginia.  It is jointly operated by Handley Regional Library and  Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.  

Thomas Balch Library

Point of Contact: Alexandra S. Gressitt

Phone: (703) 737-7195


Physical Address: Thomas Balch Library
208 W Market St
Leesburg, VA 20176-2709

Primary Collecting Areas: One of the library’s missions is collecting and preserving printed, manuscript, photographic, cartographic and genealogical documentation of Leesburg, Loudoun County and the surrounding region. The library actively seeks and welcomes donations of original business records, diaries, correspondence and photographs documenting life, culture, and history of Leesburg and Loudoun County. Library collections include over thirty-two thousand books and periodicals, maps, visual collections, newspapers, government records, and manuscripts. The library offers lectures on history and genealogy, classes, and exhibits. Group tours and orientations are available on request and books about local history are available for purchase on-site. Please contact us to find out more about donating to the library, joining our mailing list, or scheduling a tour.

Description:  Thomas Balch Library is a history and genealogy library owned and operated by the Town of Leesburg. Collections focus on Loudoun County, regional and Virginia history, genealogy, military history with special emphasis on the American Civil War, and ethnic history. It is designated as an Underground Railroad research site.

Thomas Balch Library has a wide variety of traditional and electronic resources to aid researchers, including many unique materials. Our collections include bible records, books, broadsides, business records, cemetery records, census records, county and city government records, deeds and wills, electronic journals and databases, genealogical notes and charts, historic house files, magazines, maps, newspapers, oral histories, organization records, paintings, personal papers, photographs, postcards, posters, rare books, and more.

Thomas Nelson Community College

Point of Contact: Susan Lawlor

Phone: (757) 825-3530


Physical Address: 99 Thomas Nelson Drive
Hampton, VA  23666

Primary Collecting Areas: Institutional records

Description: The Thomas Nelson Community College Archives is the official repository of records and materials of historical significance or continuing value for the Thomas Nelson Community College Community and the guide to its past. Institutional records of historical significance or continuing value will be retained and preserved to document the history and development of the College from its inception to the present day. The aim is to develop an authentic collection of historical materials on all aspects of the College’s significance and impact on its community.  

University of Mary Washington

Point of Contact: Angie Kemp

Phone: (540) 654-1756


Physical Address: Special Collections and University Archives
Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington
1801 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401

Primary Collecting Areas: The history of the University of Mary Washington
James L. Farmer, Jr., Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and the early Civil Rights movement
Education of  K-12 teachers in Virginia

Description: Special Collections and University Archives collects and makes accessible the history of the University of Mary Washington, serving as the repository for materials from all departments and divisions of the University. Key collections include those of James L. Farmer, Jr., one of the foremost leaders in the Civil Rights movement, and materials related to the early education of teachers in Virginia. The unit also includes a rare books collection of over 1,500 volumes dating from the 16th century to the present and a large collection of WWI posters.

University of Richmond

Point of Contact: Lynda Kachurek

Phone: (804) 289-8458


Physical Address: Boatwright Memorial Library
261 Richmond Way
Richmond, VA 23173

Primary Collecting Areas: The University of Richmond's collections are eclectic and wide-ranging, but areas of particular strength include: Richmond and Virginia history; the Civil War; historic children's literature, civil rights, and the history of the book.  Also included are collections related to the history of the University of Richmond, including student, faculty, staff, and alumni materials.

Description: The University of Richmond's collections are eclectic and wide-ranging, but areas of particular strength include: Richmond and Virginia history; the Civil War; historic children's literature, civil rights, and the history of the book.  Also included are collections related to the history of the University of Richmond, including student, faculty, staff, and alumni materials.

University of Virginia, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Point of Contact: Dan Cavanaugh

Phone: (434) 924-0052


Physical Address: 1350 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Mailing Address: 1350 Jefferson Park Avenue

P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Primary Collecting Areas: History of the University of Virginia Health System, Health Sciences in Virginia and the U.S. South, Anatomy, Yellow Fever, and Public Health

Description: The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library is home to the University of Virginia's collection of rare and unique resources documenting the history of the health sciences.

University of Virginia, Small Special Collections Library

Point of Contact: Brenda Gunn

Phone: (434) 924-4967


Physical Address: 160 McCormick Rd

Charlottesville, VA. 22904

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 400110

Charlottesville, VA, 22904-4110

Primary Collecting Areas: American literature, antiquarian and contemporary,
American history (Southeastern United States), Virginiana, British literature, Sporting books and manuscripts, World War I, Bibliography, the book arts, history of the book and typography
Fine press and artist’s books, Pop-up
books, Victorian publishers bindings, Typography, Archives of the University of Virginia

Description: The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library administers over 13 million manuscripts, 3.6 million items in the University archives, and 325,000 rare books, as well as approximately 5,000 maps, over 4,000 broadsides; more than 250,000 photographs and small prints; over 8,000 reels of microfilm; and substantial holdings of audio recordings, motion picture films, and ephemera.

The major emphasis of the Department’s collections are American history and literature, with additional substantive collections in Virginiana, British literature, African-American history, book arts, the history of sporting and World War I, among others. In addition, the library serves as the University Archives, holding records of historic significance to UVA.

UVA Law School Library

Point of Contact: Cecilia Brown

Phone: (434) 924-3023


Physical Address: 580 Massie Rd.
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Primary Collecting Areas: Law

Description: Special Collections maintains over 80 manuscript collections on the history of legal thought and legal practice. Our collections are particularly strong in American legal history since 1700 featuring collections of papers from Judges and local law practices. Additionally, our holdings also include large international collections, ranging from 17th-century Italian wills to papers of the United Nation.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Health Sciences Library

Point of Contact: Jodi Koste

Phone: (804) 828-9898


Physical Address: VCU Health Sciences Library
509 North 12th Street
Richmond, VA 23298

Mailing Address: Health Sciences Library
Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582

Primary Collecting Areas: History of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and allied health fields with a focus on Virginia

Description: Special Collections and Archives collects primary source materials documenting the health sciences and the health care professions in Virginia. Manuscript collections include the personal papers of Virginia nurses, physicians, dentists, and other health care practitioners as well as the records of various professional organizations. Nursing is particularly well represented. The department also holds the historical records for the Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College, Medical College of Virginia, and the University College of Medicine as well as the archives for the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, James Branch Cabell Library

Point of Contact: Yuki Hibben

Phone: (804) 828-1108


Physical Address: 901 Park Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

Mailing Address: Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

Primary Collecting Areas: book art, comic arts, university archives, and 20th and 21st century Richmond and Central Virginia history, including African-American, gay and lesbian, and women's activist communities; the visual, literary, and performing arts; and architecture and urban planning

Description:  Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library collects rare and unique research materials documenting 20th and 21st century Richmond and Central Virginia. Our holdings include manuscripts, personal papers, photograph collections, oral histories, and various institutional records. Books and other published materials include nationally significant special collections of book art and comic arts; rare books and periodicals; late 19th and early 20th-century architecture and decorative arts; and Richmond history, imprints, literature and serial publications from the late 20th century to the present. The historical records of VCU and its Monroe Park Campus predecessor, the Richmond Professional Institute, are found here as well.

Virginia Museum of History and Culture/Virginia Historical Society

Point of Contact: Laura Stoner

Phone: (804)-342-9662


Physical Address: 428  N Arthur Ashe Blvd, Richmond, Va. 23220

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7311, Richmond, Va. 23221-0311

Primary Collecting Areas: The VMHC collects the history of Virginians.

Description: The VMHC collections consist of a wide range of objects, including books and bound serials, Confederate imprints, sheet music, broadsides, newspapers, family and personal papers, business and organizational records, genealogical materials, maps, paintings, prints, postcards, weapons, militaria, glass plate negatives, and photographs from the nineteenth century to the present.

Virginia Military Institute Archives

Point of Contact: Jeffrey S. Kozak

Phone: (540) 464-7516


Physical Address: Preston Library
345 Letcher Ave.
Lexington, VA 24450

Primary Collecting Areas: Military history, Civil War, Shenandoah Valley history, Stonewall Jackson Papers, genealogy

Description: The VMI Archives include significant manuscript and Institute records holdings, with a focus on military history and the Civil War. Our extensive digital archives allow for easy online access to many of our collections.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Point of Contact: Courtney Tkacz

Phone: (804) 340-1497


Physical Address: VMFA Archives
Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
 N Arthur Ashe BlvdRichmond, VA 23220

Primary Collecting Areas: VMFA institutional records, Donor papers, Virginia Artists Archives, Oral histories, Artist subject files, Analog, and digital audiovisual collections

Description: The Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library provides access to a wealth of rare and unique primary source materials for scholars, researchers, and the public.

The Archives consists of a diverse and growing collection of permanent materials, covering museum history from its beginnings in the 1930s until today. The Archives includes institutional records from over 25 museum departments, thousands of artist and subject files, as well as donated collections related to the museum and the history of art in Virginia. The Archives also recently launched the Virginia Artists Archives, a collecting initiative that aims to create a rich, diverse, and unprecedented collection of Virginia artists’ papers to increase awareness about the contributions of Virginia artists, both past and present.

Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Libraries

Point of Contact: Dyron Knick

Phone: (540) 853-2073


Physical Address: 706 S. Jefferson St. Roanoke, VA 24016

Primary Collecting Areas: Genealogy and local history

Description: The Virginia Room holds Roanoke Public Library's non-circulating historical and genealogical research resources. The Virginia Room collects materials of the Roanoke Valley and the Commonwealth of Virginia and to a lesser degree, materials of states which are closely tied to Virginia and its people by birth, immigration, migration or by boundary divisions.  

Virginia State Law Library

Point of Contact: Ashley Vavra, Librarian-Archivist

Phone: (804) 225-2739


Physical Address: 100 N. 9th St., Supreme Court Building

Primary Collecting Areas: Virginia appellate court history.

Description: Papers of selected justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia, 1970-2011;
records, photographs, sound and video recordings documenting the administrative history of the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1925-present; video recordings of oral histories of retired judges,justices, lawyers, and court staff, 2007-present.  

Virginia State University

Point of Contact: 

Phone: (804) 524-6811


Physical Address: 1 Hayden Drive, Petersburg, VA  23806

Primary Collecting Areas: African American History in Virginia and African American Education

Description: The Virginia State University (VSU) Special Collections and Archives holds information on African American history in Virginia on the subject(s) of the Arts and women’s organizations, literature, agriculture as well as the premier primary sources that chronicle African American education in Virginia from the founding of the University 1882, to the 1960s.  Worth mentioning are the Virginia Teachers Association Papers, an organization of African American teachers established in 1887 in Lynchburg VA and managed on the campus of VSU; the Virginia Interscholastic Association Papers, 1954-1969, an association of African American high school records of more than 100 schools representing a student population of over forty thousand; the Prince Edward Free School Papers chronicles the period in Prince Edward County when the public school system was closed and efforts of the Black community to educate African American students through that period; the Archie Richardson Papers which contains photographs of African American rural school houses during the 1930s.  

Virginia Tech

Point of Contact: Special Collections

Phone: (540) 231-6308


Physical Address: Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Primary Collecting Areas: Local/regional history (Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Southwest Virginia, and Appalachian South); the American Civil War; Science and technology history (incl. aerospace, aeronautics, engineering, and speculative fiction); History of women in architecture (incl. the International Archive of Women in Architecture); Culinary history (incl. Virginia and southern cookery, children’s cookbooks and nutrition, food production and technology, and cocktail history); University Archives

Description: Special Collections is located in Carol M. Newman Library at Virginia Tech. Special Collections includes manuscript collections, rare books, and the University Archives, as well as state, local and historical maps and photographs. Our mission is to collect and preserve unique, historical materials and provide access to them in their original form.

Virginia Union University

Point of Contact: Selicia Allen

Phone: (804) 278-4117


Physical Address: L. Douglas Wilder Library
Virginia Union University
1500 N. Lombardy Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220

Primary Collecting Areas: The Archives collects historical records of the campus, and the Special Collections endeavors to collect the history of African American Richmond. The Archives and special collections houses the personal papers of L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia's 66th Governor (1990-1994) and first elected African American governor in the United States.

Description: We are proud of our history as one of the nation's older historically black colleges (HBCUs), founded in 1865. Our library was formerly the William J. Clark Library located in the historic landmark Belgian Friendship Building given to the University by the government of Belgium in 1941.
In 1997 we relocated to a new facility on campus named after Virginia Union's most celebrated alumnus: L. Douglas Wilder, humanitarian, civil rights leader and the first elected African-American governor (1990-1994) in the nation. The library houses The Wilder Collection which is a very popular national and international attraction.

Washington and Lee University

Point of Contact: Tom Camden

Phone: (540) 458-8649


Physical Address: James G. Leyburn Library
Washington and Lee University
204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450

Primary Collecting Areas: American and Virginia history, regional genealogy, history of propaganda, Southern literature, theater, local and regional portraiture, landscapes and architecture, late 19th-century travel

Description: The Washington and Lee University Special Collections and Archives Department houses over 1,000 unique manuscripts collections including those of the Rockbridge Historical Society, The American Shakespeare Center, and the Mountain Valley Preservation Association. These collections vary greatly in size, format, and scope.  Subjects covered within the collections are diverse and include concentrations in American and Virginia history, regional genealogy, history of propaganda, Southern literature, and theater.

It also houses over 10,000 photographs and prints. Beyond our photograph and print collections, which include scrapbooks, images can also be found within the manuscript collections and University Archives described above. Our photographic holdings vary greatly in size and include numerous formats representative of the evolution of the photographic process. Strengths are local and regional portraiture, landscapes and architecture, W&L University history, including athletics, and late 19th-century travel.

Washington and Lee University School of Law

Point of Contact: Jennifer V. Mitchell

Phone: (540) 458-8969

Physical Address: 1004 Sydney Lewis Hall
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA

Mailing Address: Washington and Lee University
School of Law
1 Denny Circle
Lexington, VA 24450

Primary Collecting Areas: United States law, Virginia law

Description: The Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives  comprises the Papers of Lewis F. Powell, Jr., other manuscript collections held by the law library, the rare book collection, and the archives of the School of Law. Areas of collecting emphasis include United States law, Virginia law and faculty and alumni of Washington and Lee University School of Law.

West Virginia & Regional History Center

Point of Contact: Lori Hostuttler

Phone: (304) 293-3536


Physical Address: 1549 University Avenue

Morgantown, WV 26506

Mailing Address: PO Box 6069, Morgantown, WV 26506

Primary Collecting Area: West Virginia and Appalachia History and Culture

Description: The West Virginia & Regional History Center preserves and provides access to the records that document the history and culture of the state and the central Appalachian region. The Center is part of West Virginia University Libraries.

West Virginia Archives and History

Point of Contact: Chuck Ocheltree, Archives Reference Desk

Phone: (304) 558-0230


Physical Address: The Culture Center, Building 9

1900 Kanawha Boulevard E.

Charleston, WV 25305-0300

Primary Collecting Area: West Virginia Archives and History collects and preserves West Virginia’s public records and historical materials, to make these records available to the public and private sectors.

Description: Founded in 1905, West Virginia Archives and History maintains the Archives and History Library and the West Virginia State Archives; administers the highway marker program to designate historical sites; and provides support services and technical assistance to state, county, and historical organizations, and institutions.

William and Mary

Point of Contact: Special Collections Research Center

Phone: (757) 221-3090


Physical Address: Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library

 400 Landrum Drive

Williamsburg, VA 23185

Mailing Address: Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library

 PO 8795

 Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795

Primary Collecting Areas: Williamsburg and surrounding area Virginia; Southern United States; African American life and culture; Hip Hop History; Movies and film studies; Travel, exploration, and adventure;
Veterans papers; Distinguished alumni papers; College of William & Mary; Dogs

Description: The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) houses one of the largest and most significant collections of rare and unique materials of any educational institution of comparable size in the United States. Focused on Virginia history but with nationally and internationally-important collections, the Manuscripts Collection includes letters, diaries, journals, scrapbooks, business records, organizational minutes, and other items that provide evidence of events great and small and the daily lives of Americans of all backgrounds. The Rare Books Collection, with volumes dating from the 15th century to the present, is strong in dogs, Virginia-related items, early Virginia family libraries, gardening and natural history, religion, book arts, printing history, travel, science, and medicine. The University Archives documents the history of William & Mary from 1693 to the present, including a wide range of materials from administrative records, student organization records, and alumni papers to photographs, audio-visual materials, and artifacts.

William & Mary Wolf Law Library

Point of Contact: Kathryn H. Downing

Phone: (757) 221-1348


Physical Address: Wolf Law Library
College of William & Mary
613 S. Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Mailing Address: Wolf Law Library
College of William & Mary
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795

Primary Collecting Areas: William & Mary Law School documents and publications; Virginia legal materials; rare books and documents related to George Wythe and his library

Description: From the first printed edition of the earliest English law treatise to presentation volumes inscribed by some of the greatest legal scholars of the twentieth century, the Wolf Law Library's Special Collections includes the Institutes of Justinian, foundational works of the American judicial system, and a re-creation of the library of George Wythe, America's first law professor. It encompasses a broad range of formats, including a pleading prepared and signed by Wythe in 1746, a piece of the "Charter Oak", and the family Bible of Chief Justice John Marshall.

No Profile Provided

Note: The following institutions did not provide a profile. The information listed was collected from their websites, if available.

Averett University

Point of Contact: Patrick Wasley

Phone: (434) 791-5695


Physical Address: 344 West Main St.

Danville, VA 24541

Montgomery County Circuit Court

Phone: (540) 382-5760

Physical Address: Montgomery County Circuit Court

55 East Main Street, Suite 1

Christiansburg, VA 24073

Roanoke College

Point of Contact: 

Phone: (540) 375-2490


Physical Address: Fintel Library

220 High Street

Salem, VA 24153-3794

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum

Phone: (540) 885-0897

Physical Address: 20 N Coalter Street

Staunton, VA 24401


Wythe County Historical Society

Phone: (276) 228-6061


Physical Address: 115 West Spiller Street

Wytheville, VA 24382

Wytheville Community College

Point of Contact: George Mattis or William A. “Bill” Veselik

Email/Phone:, (276) 233-4744 and,(276) 223-4876