Archives and Special Collections

Selicia Allen
Special Collections Librarian/ University Archivist

Phone: (804) 278-4117
Monday-- Friday
8:00 am -- 5:00 pm
Library Website: http://www.vuu.edu/library/home.htm

Inquiries are welcome.   Researchers planning to visit the archives are encouraged to make an appointment.

In January 1997, for the first time in its 136-year history, Virginia Union University opened a dedicated Archives and Special Collections Department. In addition to preserving the historical records of the campus, the Department endeavors to collect the history of African American Richmond.

University Archives

The University Archives serves as the official repository for the archival records of Virginia Union. The archives collects and makes accessible official university publications and records that document the history of the university and also provides information about VUU activities/events, faculty, and alumni. At this point, the collection consists mainly of university publications such as yearbooks, catalogs (including those for Hartshorn Memorial College), and student newspapers dating from 1950 to the present.

FEES FOR USE OF IMAGES FROM ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Persons or organizations wishing to reproduce images from any VUU archives or special collections will be charged according to the following schedule:

1)  $10.00 per image for personal use, i.e., unpublished and not to be used for profit.

2)  $25.00 per image for commercial use, i.e., if image will be reproduced in publication, including electronically, in art or in any format used for commercial purposes.

  • Fees will be collected in advance.
  • These charges apply to images delivered in a digitized (scanned) format as well as those photographically reproduced.
  • The standard credit line is still required:  "L. Douglas Wilder Library, Virginia Union University"
    Fees do not affect copyright requirements.

 

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

The Special Collections Department is a growing collection of rare books, photographs, manuscripts and sheet music. The rare book collection contains over 1200 volumes, including first editions, signed copies and out-of-print books, with a particular emphasis on African American children's books of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This non-circulating collection is open to anyone for legitimate research purposes.

Rare Books Collection

Our collection of over 1200 rare books has a strong concentration of abolitionist texts, African American children's literature and faculty and alumni publications. The Special Collections Department is especially proud of the collection of Uncle Tom's Cabin editions and ephemera. We have over 40 copies of the book, including foreign language editions, along with a collection of broadsides, postcards and performance programs. The Uncle Tom's Cabin collection allows the researcher to study the various, often derogatory, character and plot illustrations of a book that became a cultural phenomenon.


The Spencer Collection

Since 1998, Dr. Jon Michael Spencer has donated more than 1,100 books from his personal research library as well as selected journals, microfilm of historic papers and research documentation to the L. Douglas Wilder Library at Virginia Union University.

The subject areas reflect his specialties in the history and theology of African-American sacred and secular music, African history and slave culture, and African-American history and sociology. The collection includes a significant number of hymnals from various denominations.

You can browse his collection here or request a printed bibliography from the Special Collections department of the library.  Click here to access the Spencer Collection .



Sheet Music Collection

Our growing collection of sheet music features jazz, blues, rags and spirituals, as well as "coon songs" whose vernacular and illustrations negatively stereotype African Americans. Most of the sheet music titles in the Special Collections Department are available through the Wilder Library on-line catalog.



Manuscripts Collection

MS-0001 - John Malcus Ellison Papers President of VUU, 1941-1955
MS-0002 - Robert Deane Pharr Papers
Novelist and VUU alumnus ('39)
MS-0004 - Oral History Collection
MS-0005 - Tossie P. F. Whiting Collection
MS-0006 - Hartshorn Memorial College Reunion Collection
MS-0009 - Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III Papers
MS-0010 - Edith D. Booker Collection
MS-0011 - Rev. Lloyd P. Terrell Collection
MS-0012 - William Henderson Johnson Collection
MS-0013 - Urban League of Greater Richmond
MS-0014 - Rev. Warren Arthur Evans
MS-0015 - Dr. Norma M. Goode


Archives Collection

AR-0001 - The Records of the Library
AR-0002 - The Records of the Music Department
AR-0003 - The Records of the Speech and Drama Department
AR-0004 - The Records of the Fine Arts Festival
AR-0005 - The Records of the Athletic Department
AR-0006 - The Records of Community Learning Week
AR-0007 - The Records of Storer College
AR-0008 - The Records of the Richmond Theological Seminary
AR-0009 - The Records of the President's Office
AR-0010 - The Records of University Public Relations


Access to other manuscript and archival collections for the state of Virginia can be found at the Virginia Heritage Project Collections website.


 
Lawrence Douglas Wilder at his Inauguration as Governor of Virginia in 1990.

WILDER COLLECTION

The L. Douglas Wilder Collection memorializes the life and career of Virginia's 66th Governor (1990-1994), the first elected African American Governor in U.S. history, and Virginia Union's most celebrated alumnus. Wilder graduated from Virginia Union in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry. He was the first Black legislator to serve in the Virginia State Senate since Reconstruction (1969-1986) and the first Black lieutenant governor of Virginia (1986-1990).  For more information on L. Douglas Wilder, please click here.

The Collection currently houses his awards and memorabilia in a spectacular showcase setting and will be an invaluable resource to researchers when his personal papers are made available.

Press Office Photo Collection

The Press Office Photo Collection of the L. Douglas Wilder collection is now available to students and other researchers in the form of a user-friendly spreadsheet.  These negatives and photos span the years Gov. Wilder was in office 1989-1994.  They are the photo record of his activities as Governor, including special occasions like his inauguration, visits from foreign dignitaries and even the Arthur Ashe funeral and his lying in state at the Executive Mansion.

The collection contains over 1,500 rolls of film and can be searched using keywords or dates, or simply scrolled through using the up and down arrows. To view photos from this collection, please refer to the negative number and contact the Archivist between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays at (804) 278-4117.  The photos must be viewed in the archives; reproduction of any image is subject to a fee.  Click here to access the photo index for this collection.

Audio Cassette Tape Collection of Gov. L. Douglas Wilder

The audio cassette tapes of the L. Douglas Wilder collection are now available to students and other researchers in the form of a user-friendly database. These tapes primarily span the years 1995-2001 and for the most part are recordings of Wilder's popular WRVA radio talk show. Other tapes include public service announcements, campaign ads, press conferences and national news interviews Wilder had with such news organizations as CNN, BBC and CBS.

The database can be searched on key words or dates, or simply scrolled through. There are over 600 entries. To listen to a tape from this collection, please refer to the tape number and contact the Archivist between 8:00 am- 5:00 pm weekdays at (804) 278-4117. The tapes do not circulate, but can be used in the library between these hours.

Video Tape Collection of Gov. L. Douglas Wilder

The video tapes of the L. Douglas Wilder collection are now available to students and other researchers in the form of a user-friendly spreadsheet.  These tapes primarily span the years 1983-2001.  They include the gubernatorial debates between Wilder and Marshall Coleman, political advertisements, public service announcements, Wilder’s inauguration ceremony, the State of the Commonwealth addresses, and Wilder interviews on national news shows such as World News Tonight, Nightline, C Span, Sunday Morning and the Today Show.

The collection includes over 350 videotapes and can be searched using keywords or dates, or simply scrolled through using the up and down arrows. To view a tape from this collection, please refer to the tape number and contact the Archivist between the hours of 8:00 am  – 5:00 pm weekdays at (804) 278-4117.  The tapes do not circulate, but can be used in the library between these hours.