These materials, primarily from VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives, range in subject matter from African-American history in Virginia to Richmond's past and present, from the comic and cartooning arts to the history of VCU, from medical artifacts to oral histories. Collections are presented in a variety of formats, including photographs, art, text, video, and audio. Digital Collections come from a broad range of sources, including materials that are offensive or contain negative stereotypes. VCU Libraries provides access to these items to support research and inquiry.


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Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project, 2013-2015
About this collection
The Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project is a joint venture by Dr. Brian J. Daugherity of Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Alyce Miller of John Tyler Community College. The purpose of the project is to document education in Goochland County, Virginia, particularly the impact of the Rosenwald Schools, and the differences between the education offered to white and black students during the period the Rosenwald Schools operated. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Humanities, the John Tyler Community College Foundation, and the Virginia Community College System.

During the Jim Crow Era, from roughly the 1870s until the 1950s, segregated school systems were supposed to be, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), “separate but equal.” In reality, educational systems for African Americans in Virginia, and elsewhere in the South, were anything but. Starting in the 1910s, “Rosenwald Schools” were constructed for black students as a philanthropic endeavor funded in part by businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. While Rosenwald provided the matching grant funds that supported the program, Booker T. Washington was the initial force behind its creation. The Rosenwald schoolbuilding program began in 1912 when Booker T. Washington asked permission to use some of the money Rosenwald had donated to the Tuskegee Institute to construct several small schools in rural Alabama.

Over a 15 year period, from 1917 to 1932, 4,977 schools, primarily for African Americans, were funded and built. According to Julius Rosenwald Fund records (JRF), the JRF helped construct 367 schools, three teacher’s homes, and eleven school (industrial) shops in Virginia. In addition to providing its own money, the Rosenwald Fund required matching funds from any combination of public and private sources. Of the total cost of Rosenwald-associated buildings, grounds, and equipment in Virginia from 1917 through 1932, African Americans contributed 22%, white contributions totaled 1%, the Rosenwald Fund contributed 15%, and state and local government contributions equaled 62%. In the fifteen states in the South where the school building program operated, African Americans collectively contributed 17% of the funds, the Rosenwald Fund contributed 15% of the funds, private white contributions totaled 4% of the funds, and public funds made up the remaining 64% of the funds.

The majority of the private funding for Rosenwald Schools came from the African American communities where the schools were located, because black citizens organized fundraisers and sacrificed some of their own, often meager, wages in support of a better education for their children.

Rosenwald Schools were built using architectural plans provided by the Rosenwald Fund. Most of the schools were constructed in rural communities that were unlikely to have access to electricity, so they were designed to take the most advantage of natural light. They also had strict guidelines regarding ventilation, interior and exterior color schemes and decorative appointments, the quality of the furnishings and blackboards, and the location of separate outhouses. Often, the walls separating classrooms were moveable to enable the community to create a larger meeting space as needed.

The Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History digital collection consists of 19 video interviews with 18 participants with fully searchable transcripts and tape logs for 15 of the interviews. Additionally, photographs of the schools and documents relating to the Rosenwald Fund are included.

This material is protected by copyright, and the copyright is held by Brian J. Daugherity, Alyce Miller, and Christopher Silvent. You are permitted to use this material in any way that is permitted by copyright. In addition, this material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) ( Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.

Additional research information
The collection is housed in Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library. For more information, see the finding aid for the Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project. Please direct reference and research inquires to or call (804) 828-1108.
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Historic Fulton Oral History Project
About this collection
The purpose of the Historic Fulton Oral History Project is to educate, to raise awareness, and to gain an understanding of life in the Historic Fulton community, located in the East End of Richmond, Virginia. Its need comes from a commitment to preserve the 20th century history of the neighborhood and its residents. This was accomplished through the compilation of the oral histories of Historic Fulton residents, particularly those with strong ties to the Historic Fulton community prior to the City of Richmond's 1970s urban renewal plan.

The Historic Fulton Oral History collection contains 17 interviews with 32 named interviewee participants. The interviewees are teachers, activists, clergy, and community leaders who grew up in the predominantly African-American Historic Fulton community in the 1930s through 1950s.

The interviewees were also witness to the City of Richmond's 1970s urban renewal plan that permanently changed the landscape of Historic Fulton. These interviews present the unique perspectives of those who were Historic Fulton residents by allowing the community to speak for and about themselves. With the Greater Historic Fulton area undergoing continued change and development in the 21st century, understanding Historic Fulton's past is an invaluable resource for the neighborhood's future.

The project was developed in 2011 in partnership among the Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The Valentine, the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton, and the Greater Fulton Future Legacy Work Team. Physical copies of audio recordings and written transcriptions were distributed to a variety of local institutions to ensure that the oral histories may be accessed widely. Contact information for institutions where physical recordings and transcripts are available for on site research and use can be found below.

VCU Libraries is honored to also host the streaming digital collection of the Historic Fulton Oral History Project to further aid in the discovery, access and use of the collection.

This material is protected by copyright, and the copyright is held by The Valentine. You are permitted to use this material in any way that is permitted by copyright. In addition, non-commercial use of this material is permitted. For any commercial uses, permission is required.

Using the collection
Full streaming copies of all audio interviews are available for use through this digital collection.

Each interview has been fully transcribed and is also searchable.

All of the interviewees in the Historic Fulton Oral History Project were born, raised or lived within the boundaries shown in red on this map.

Evelyn Bowman
Linda Braxton, Pamala Rogers and Sheila Smith
Theresita Braxton
Estelle Braxton-Davis
Bernadette Tart Clark
Forrest Dowden
Ida Ellet
Alice N. Ellis and Dudley R. Lanthrip
Carolyn Fuller
Joseph Highsmith and Annesto Highsmith Younger
Larcenia Johnson and Lula Mae Brady
Milton Johnson
Raymond Jones
Blanche Henderson Lewis and Samuel Henderson, Sr
Reverend Mary Patricia Perez
Linda Sutton
Historic Fulton Field Interview: Federal Branch, Ephraim Briggs, Wanda Brown, Charles Crawley, Waverly Hughes, Patricia Melvin, Eric Robinson, Willie Robinson, and Douglas White
Spencer Edward Jones, III (In-person access only. Please contact The Valentine for further information on how to access this interview.)

Spencer Edward Jones, III statement
January 15, 2015

"Tell the Truth – Shame the Devil!!"

My name is Spencer E. Jones III. I live today as I lived in 1977, when this photo was taken, by the mantra "Living In Truth." I was born in the middle house to the left of me, in the same room, delivered by the same doctor as was my mother, Mrs. Marion McNair. The address of that house that my mother and I were born in was 702 Denny Street. Those three homes were located at the corner of present day Fulton Street and Old Denny Street. I am very proud to say that I was the one who came up with the name Old Denny Street and Old Nicholson Street. The street pictured is 4700 Old Williamsburg Ave. To my right all the way to the James River is Rockett's. The 356 acres that made up the community then known as Fulton was leveled by the 1970 Fulton Urban [Removal] Renewal Plan. My mother and I along with our attorney Saad El-Amin, fought for our home in federal court and I say this proudly, we Won and are still Winning. Those 356 acres formerly known as Fulton is now known as Historic Fulton. Historic Fulton, which comprises Rockett's, is The Birthplace of Richmond.

We the people of Historic Fulton are here,

We the people of Historic Fulton survived,

We the people of Historic Fulton are special,

The time is now to Shame the devil!!

Spencer E. Jones III
Founder and CEO
The Historic Fulton Foundation

This project is in memory of the legacy of Earl A. Robinson, 708 Goddin Street.

Special thanks to all interviewees who shared their stories for this project. Additional thanks to the following:

  • Greater Fulton Legacy Work Team
  • Historic Fulton Oral History Project Sub-Committee:

    • Keith B. Conley
    • Corliss Freda Johnson
    • Reverend Mary Perez
    • Linda Sutton
    • Octavia Banks
    • Virgil Hockaday
    • Spencer E. Jones, III

  • Meg Hughes
  • Veronica Fleming
  • Rebecca Fralin
  • Dr. Caroline Morris
  • Erin O'Donnovan
  • Suzanne Savery
  • Jason Sawyer
  • Autumn Reinhardt Simpson

Spencer E. Jones, III, Reverend Mary Perez, and Linda Sutton worked tirelessly to obtain permission from all participants to include their interviews in this VCU Library project.

Physical copies and written transcriptions
Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
00 W. Clay Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 780-9093

Boatwright Memorial Library
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173
(804) 289-8876

James Branch Cabell Library
Special Collections and Archives
Virginia Commonwealth University
901 Park Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
(804) 828-1108

L. Douglas Wilder Library & Learning Resource Center
Virginia Union University
1500 N. Lombardy Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 257-5820

Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 692-3500

Mount Calvary Baptist Church
4401 Hobbs Lane
Richmond, VA 23231
(804) 236-0557

Neighborhood Resource Center
1519 Williamsburg Road
Richmond, VA 23231
(804) 864-5797

Richmond Public Library (Main Branch)
101 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 646-7223

The Valentine
1015 E. Clay Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 649-0711

Virginia Historical Society
428 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23221-0311
(804) 358-4901
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Jackson Ward Historic District
Browse original book

About Jackson Ward
Richmond's Jackson Ward neighborhood is located on the northern edge of the downtown district. It was originally built by European immigrants attracted to and made prosperous by Richmond's status as a central retail hub. Freed slaves began moving into the neighborhood during Reconstruction, and by 1920 Jackson Ward was one of the most active and well-known centers of African-American life in the country.

Jackson Ward hosted a thriving entertainment district centered on the famed Hippodrome theatre. Among the names that appeared regularly were Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Richmond's own Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The neighborhood was the home of a number of large and well-known African-American churches, including the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, founded by famous orator John Jasper. It also hosted a strong retail and business community in which Maggie L. Walker became the first woman in America to found and lead a bank in the United States when she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings. Jackson Ward was also the home and headquarters for civil rights advocate John Mitchell, Jr., editor of the Richmond Planet, which crusaded against the discrimination and persecution of African-Americans in the South.

The late 1950s would have a devastating effect on the unity of Jackson Ward. City and state officials designed the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (now part of I-95) to pass through Jackson Ward, bisecting the neighborhood and tearing down many structures. At the same time, desegregation and white flight were opening other neighborhoods to blacks, beginning a scattering that gradually left more and more of Jackson Ward in the possession of absentee landlords and real estate speculators. As buildings began to deteriorate, the area was further targeted for new development such as federal housing projects, the City Coliseum that opened in 1970, and the building of additional administrative buildings by the city, state, and VCU. A number of the buildings pictured here have been demolished in the thirty years since these photographs were taken.

The National Park Service has information on Jackson Ward and its architecture. Additional information about present-day Jackson Ward can be found at the site of the Historic Jackson Ward Association.

This collection
VCU Libraries, in cooperation with the City of Richmond, is proud to present this series of photographs documenting Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. These photos were taken by John Zehmer as part of a City of Richmond project, and published in 1978 in the book The Jackson Ward Historic District, with text by Robert P. Winthrop, Virginia architect and specialist in the architectural history of Richmond. Items in this collection were digitized in 2007.

The online collection presents the entire book as originally published, page by page. We have also digitized each of the original photographic prints used, scanned from the mock-up boards used in the preparation of the book for printing, from the collection housed at James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Each photograph is presented with the accompanying text from the original book, with additional information about the architectural style and features of the building depicted. Obvious errors (primarily spelling errors) have been corrected. Addresses have been supplied for the photographs on pp. 36-40.

In some cases, the photographs on the boards were different from those used in the book; these instances are noted in the description, designated as "Image Note." If no print was available for a photograph used in the book, the book version was enlarged. Again, this is noted in the description. Many of the photographs were cropped extensively for inclusion in the book; we have scanned the entire image of each print. Also, there are several prints that were not used in the book; these have been scanned and designated as such. The photographs are presented in JPEG 2000 format.

This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.
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James Branch Cabell's Library
About this collection
The Special Collections and Archives at Virginia Commonwealth University’s James Branch Cabell Library proudly houses the library of writer James Branch Cabell, originally cataloged by Dr. Maurice Duke’s 1968 dissertation from the University of Iowa (James Branch Cabell's Library : A Catalogue). Created by VCU Department of English Professor Emeritus Maurice Duke, the Catalogue was the first attempt to fully represent the contents of James Branch Cabell’s library in 1967: its organization, contents, and functions. This collection consists of digital presentations of the two copies of this dissertation currently held by VCU Libraries, as well as a dataset containing other information about each entry.

Each entry in the Catalogue provides the author, title, publisher information, and year, as well as other descriptive elements. Notably featured are signifiers which represent the location of each book, pamphlet, or magazine within Cabell’s home, as his library was largely organized by genre and utility. The Catalogue also provides descriptive information regarding the contents of each book in Cabell’s library, including the bookplate, any autograph or dedication, and the objects enclosed.

The two copies of Duke’s Catalogue consist of identically photocopied pages, though they are dissimilar in binding and annotations. The ‘unannotated’ copy features light corrections from Edgar McDonald, longtime James Branch Cabell scholar in residence, and other librarians and library staff. McDonald’s edits in the introduction amplify the content of Duke’s description of Cabell’s house and the history of his library—including a clarification that Cabell’s first library was not destroyed in a fire. This copy has been imaged in grayscale. The annotated version was used by VCU Libraries Special Collections as a working catalog, revised to update information regarding the nature, state, and location of the books. This version features multiple symbols in varying colors drawn from a variety of sources as part of multiple cataloging efforts; one, for example, to make sure that all of the contents of the library were preserved during its move to the new Cabell room. This copy has been imaged in full color. Some annotations across these two versions are explicitly contradictory (see p. 18, entry 54).

This collection also features a dataset compiled from MARC records of the current holdings of the Cabell collection. The dataset provides OCLC number, author name, title, publisher information, date, extent, series, notes, the number which Maurice Duke assigned to each entry, and an indicator for the location within Cabell’s house where each object was found by Duke in 1967.

This collection is of mixed copyright status and includes items that are in copyright as well as items that are in copyright, non-commercial use permitted. See individual items for item-specific copyright information.

Maurice Duke holds the copyright to his thesis. You are permitted to use the thesis in any way that is permitted by copyright, and acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested. VCU holds copyright for the dataset, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), and acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.

Additional research information
Almost all of the original books from Cabell’s library, as well as both copies of Duke’s dissertation (PS 3505 .A153 Z5582 1968), are housed in Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library and are available for researchers. Please direct reference and research inquires to or call (804) 828-1108.
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Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection
About this collection
The Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection consists of American and European postcards relating to the nursing profession. Seidenberg, a 1985 graduate of the VCU School of Nursing, began collecting postcards shortly after embarking on her nursing career. At first she was more of a generalist in her collecting, but she gradually began to acquire nursing related cards.

While building her collection she learned about Edith Cavell, an English nurse who was executed by the Germans in 1915 for assisting Allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium. Cavell’s story fascinated Seidenberg and she made the martyred nurse the focus of her collection. The Cavell postcards were bought from dealers or obtained at postcard shows primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region. Seidenberg once exhibited her Cavell collection for the Old Dominion Postcard Club.

Cavell postcards were fairly easy to acquire. The British nurse and her story were popular with British, Belgium, and other European postcards producers. These publishers took advantage of the frenzy surrounding Cavell’s execution and produced cards that memorialized the nurse and contributed to the anti-German propaganda campaign. They produced real photo, linen, comic, and serial cards. Representative cards of each type can be found in the Seidenberg collection.

To learn more about Edith Cavell, see the online exhibit of the same name in the VCU Libraries Gallery.

This collection is of mixed copyright status and includes items that are in the public domain as well as items that are of unknown copyright status. See individual items for item-specific copyright information.

Additional research information
The Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection is housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Health Sciences Library. Please direct reference and research inquires to or call (804) 828-9898.
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Low Art Tile Book Collection
About this collection
Low Art Tile Works, located in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was founded in 1877. It was one of a handful of companies, including the Chelsea Keramic Art Works, to advance the development of decorative tiles in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Low Art Tile Works specialized in high relief decorative art tiles for fireplaces, walls, cast-iron stoves, and soda fountains, establishing a prominent reputation for innovation in design.

Inspired by European tiles at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, John Gardner Low, along with his father John Low, established J. & J.G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea the following year. The company reached prominence in the 1880s, when it garnered several prestigious awards in the U.S. and Europe. Also during this period, the company’s name changed, after J. F. Low, son of John Gardner Low, replaced his retired grandfather.

Of the artists and designers who worked for Low Art Tile Works, some went on to establish successful companies. In 1890, George W. Robertson, a chemist and glaze expert for Low, established Robertson Art Tile in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. William H. Grueby, who apprenticed with the company for ten years, founded in 1894 Grueby Pottery, which was known for its matte green glaze called “Grueby Green.” English sculptor Arthur Osborne, who designed the renowned “Plastic Sketches” for Low (which published booklets by the same title) returned to England in 1898, where he began producing his acclaimed “Ivorex” plaques in the market town of Faversham.

During its 25 years of business, Low Art Tile Works published several editions of catalogues. It marketed one catalogue in particular as an art book. VCU Libraries’ Digital Collections include three Low Art Tile publications: two catalogues (1884 and 1887 editions) and the art book, Plastic Sketches (partial 1887 edition).

A complete edition, the 1884 catalogue includes two photographic plates of fireplaces and 28 plates of unglazed designs, a historical chronology, a reference key for the plates depicted, a price list of Low’s art tiles, and 36 pages of advertisements. The VCU Libraries’ copy also is inscribed, "Compliments of J.G. & J.F. Low."

The 1887 catalogue is incomplete. Compared with a 1990 reproduction of an intact 1887 catalogue, VCU Libraries’ copy lacks the following: six of 51 plates of unglazed designs (1-4, 12, and 51), the front and back covers, a title page, a reference key, a price list, and at least three pages of advertisements. Of particular note, however, are four lithographed plates (7-10) labeled “Moorish Designs,” which are not present in other Low catalogues.

Plastic Sketches contains a special series of 47 unglazed tiles modeled by Arthur Osborne. It was published in 1882 as a small, inexpensive booklet and, later, in 1886 as a deluxe edition with a satin cover. The digitized version is of an incomplete deluxe edition of 27 of the plates. Arthur Osborne’s signature, the letter “A” inside a circle, is evident in the bottom right corner of each modeled tile.

Items in this collection were digitized in 2011.

This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.
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Medical Artifacts Collection
About this collection
This digital collection provides access to a representative group of 167 objects from the Medical Artifacts Collection housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Health Sciences Library. Numbering over 6,000 items, the Medical Artifacts Collection includes surgical, dental, and diagnostic instruments, therapeutic devices, uniforms of healthcare professions, and medical furniture related to the history of health care in Virginia since 1838.

In the 1930s former Medical College of Virginia President William T. Sanger and Directing Librarian E.C.L. Miller created a small museum collection in the college library forming the nucleus of the Medical Artifacts Collection. A number of items from the collection are on display in the Peter N. Pastore History of Medicine Exhibit Hall at the Health Sciences Library.

These medical artifacts, represented by images in this collection, have been assigned both uniform object types and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to facilitate access. The object types were derived from MeSH, The Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging, and the Dittrick Medical History Center's subject headings for medical history objects. Only a small portion of the collection is represented here. Please contact Special Collections and Archives about other objects in the Medical Artifacts Collection.

Highlights from the Collection
Brass fleam and lancet, 1820-1850
Brass hinged enclosure with two fleam blades and a lancet blade. The apparatus is roughly constructed, and shows signs of significant use and verdigris on the interior of the brass housing. Fleam blades are approximately equal in width, but vary in distance projecting from the blade arm.

Urethral Sound Set, 1878-1884
Set of urethral sounds in a velvet-lined wooden case. The box is made of dark-colored wood, and has a brass nameplate on the top which is engraved, "Morris L. King M.D. Roosevelt Hospital 1882-83." Box closes with a locking catch. The interior of the case is divided into two compartments, lined with purple velvet and with a padded velvet divider between the two to keep instruments in the upper tray in place which has a gold foil seal reading "Philip H. Schmidt Surgical "Instruments No. 1311 Broadway Cor. 34th St. N.Y." The tray in the upper lid has two large, empty troughs, and has purpose-cut slots for the included catheter and gauge. The lower tray holds a complete set of 16 sounds of different sizes, which correspond to the sizes marked on the included gauge. Each sound's proximal end is engraved with two numbers, signifying the sound's size, and "P.H. Schmidt N.Y."

Head Mirror, 1925-1945
Adjustable head mirror with adjustable leather strap. Mirror is circular, with a circular aperture and a slightly convex lens encased and backed by steel, which is attached by a fully rotatable and adjustable screw mechanism which allows the mirror to be completely detached from its harness. Strap is of thick brown leather, and has a steel clasp which a snap mechanism for adjusting its length.

This material is protected by copyright, and copyright is held by VCU. You are permitted to use this material in any way that is permitted by copyright. In addition, this material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) ( Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.
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Newlyweds and Their Baby
Dedicated to the memory of Jennifer L. Cason, Digital Specialist at the VCU Libraries from 2007 to 2011.

About this collection
The Newlyweds was the first American family newspaper strip. Created in 1904 by George McManus and published in New York World, the strip centered around an elegant young couple. Baby Snookums was introduced in 1907 to round out the family unit. The strip proved to be so popular that a rival newspaper, The New York American, invited McManus to join their paper. He continued The Newlyweds strip under the name Their Only Child since creators were allowed to take their characters with them if they changed the name of the strip.

American comic books got their start in the early 1900s reprinting popular newspaper strips and were sold at newsstands. The books of reprinted strips varied in shapes, sizes and quality with most being printed on pulp paper with a cardboard cover. The Newlyweds and Their Baby (1907), published by New York World, is an example of an early hardcover comic book with heavy glossy paper and color printing. The library’s copy, held at James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives, is inscribed by McManus with a sketch of baby Snookums.

George McManus (1884-1954) was born to Irish parents in St. Louis, Missouri. He dropped out of school at age 15 and went to work at The Saint Louis Republic where he published his first comic. After winning a fairly large sum of money, he moved to New York and found work creating comics for The Funny Side of the World, the Sunday comics section in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. McManus created many short-lived comic strips during his career; his two most famous and longest running were The Newlyweds and Bringing Up Father, a strip he created after going to work for William Randolph Hearst in 1912.

This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.
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Oral Pathology Review Images
About this collection
Dr. Dennis Page of the Department of Oral Pathology (now Oral Diagnostic Sciences) of the VCU School of Dentistry developed this collection of images to help students learn about the most common abnormalities of the oral cavity. The collection includes images of soft tissue abnormalities and radiographic abnormalities of the oral cavity. The images may be searched by type of abnormality, description, or Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).

This collection is of mixed copyright status and includes items that are in copyright as well as items that are in copyright, non-commercial use permitted. See individual items for item-specific copyright information.

Additional research information
The original slides are held at Health Sciences Library Special Collections & Archives.

Browse suggested topics
Most Common Soft Tissue Abnormalities of the Oral Cavity
Most Common Radiographic Abnormalities of the Oral Cavity
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PS Magazine
About this collection
An Army publication on preventive maintenance would hardly be a common choice when deciding what materials to digitize and make available to a wider audience. But publications aren't filled with the incomparable art work of the late Will Eisner (1917-2005).

Browse by year
Index Issues

Will Eisner was already famous for his work on The Spirit when he was drafted for duty during World War II. While in the service, Eisner put his artistic talents to work in army publications, creating a character named Joe Dope. After the war, the army wanted to design a publication dedicated to preventive maintenance that soldiers would actually want to read, and turned to Eisner's young company, American Visuals Corporation. Eisner was the artistic director for PS Magazine from its inception in 1951 through 1972.

Eisner began a 24 year absence from the comic book world when he founded the American Visuals Corporation in the late 1940s to produce commercial work. As one of the biggest names in the industry, Eisner attracted some of the best aspiring comic artists. Artists you will find in PS Magazine include: Murphy Anderson (Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space, Adam Strange, The Flash, Green Lantern); Mike Ploog (Creepy, Planet of the Apes, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing); Don Perlin (Werewolf by Night, Ghost Riders, The Defenders); Dan Spiegle (Space Family Robinson, Mangus, Robot Fighter, Korak); and comic strip artist/writer Andre LeBlanc ("The Phantom," "Flash Gordon," "Rex Gordon, MD").

Each issue of PS Magazine consisted of a color comic book style cover, often designed and drawn by Eisner; eight full pages of four color comic continuity story in the middle; and the rest was filled with technical, safety, and policy information printed in two color to save money. The continuity story starred his earlier character and was called "Joe's Dope Sheet." Each episode offers the same cautionary tale: a soldier who ignores preventive maintenance learns of its importance in the end. Eisner commanded a high level of freedom to create the continuity section and he used his colorful comic style to draw the reader in.

Eisner had always believed that the comics medium had teaching potential and the work of American Visuals Corporation helped confirm this for him. The company produced educational cartoons and illustrations and giveaway comics for a variety of clients and industries. Eisner took on a number of roles within the company. In the case of PS Magazine, he created the continuity section and the art of each issue based upon the technical manuscripts provided to him by the Army's PS staff. As part of his contract with the magazine, Eisner was sent on location to places like Japan, Korea, and Vietnam in order to meet soldiers and better understand the situations they and their equipment experienced.

Will Eisner revolutionized the world of comic books twice. First with the 1939 comic The Spirit, a gritty urban crime fighter tale written for adult readers and distributed as a newspaper insert. Then with his 1978 , A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories, one of the first modern graphic novels. In between, he and his company showed how comics could be used as popular educational tools.

We are pleased to offer a complete run of all Eisner issues, issues 1-229, as well as 3 special issues and 22 index issues, primarily digitized from the print copies held by James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Special thanks go to the PS Magazine Division of the U.S. Army for generously donating 92 issues for scanning to help us fill in the gaps.

This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.

Additional research information
For more on Will Eisner, see Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman. PN6727. E4Z55 2005
For more on PS Magazine or to view current issues, visit:
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Rarely Seen Richmond
About this collection
Rarely Seen Richmond: Early twentieth century Richmond, Virginia as seen through vintage postcards is a digital collection of over 600 postcard images of Richmond, most dating from 1900-1930, from the James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. The intent of the collection is to help document early twentieth century Richmond by displaying a unique collection of images of the city. Many of these images include buildings and structures that either no longer exist or have since been altered. The subject matter of these postcards also lends insight into the social and cultural attitudes of those times.

Postcards began to be widely used in the United States soon after the passage of the Private Mailing Card Act in 1898. It freed private publishers from what was considered unfair competition from government issued cards. In the next few years the demand for postcards grew as a craze for collecting them spread throughout the country. Dozens of postcard printers, both American and European, began producing postcard views. This "golden age" of postcard publishing and collecting lasted from 1898 through 1912 when thousands of cards were produced, mailed, and collected by the public. According to figures issued by the U.S. Post Office for fiscal year 1907-1908, 677,777,798 postcards were mailed in the United States in that year. Though the craze for postcards diminished by the time World War I began, postcards continued to be published and collected. One estimate has put the number of Richmond, Virginia postcard views at 2,000. Many of the postcards in this collection were colorized from original black and white photographs.

This collection is of mixed copyright status and includes items that are in the public domain, in copyright, and of unknown copyright status. See individual items for item-specific copyright information.

Additional research information
For more information about Virginia postcard history, see Kelly Henderson, "The Art of the View: Picture Postcards of Virginia, 1900-1925," Virginia Cavalcade, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Autumn 1990), 66-73.
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Richmond Architectural Survey Collection
About this collection
This collection contains data sheets that identify and evaluate over 600 structures located in Richmond’s Jackson Ward and Oregon Hill neighborhoods. The surveys were compiled by the City of Richmond’s Department of Planning and Community Development in the mid-1970s. The evaluations were intended to be used in preservation plans and for city planning as a whole. These data sheets predate the standard survey forms used in Virginia used since the 1980s.

The survey form included a section identifying the building, its basic architecture, and the date of construction. A separate section was used to evaluate the structure’s architectural significance. The forms were color-coded: yellow for Jackson Ward, green for Oregon Hill. Many of them also included one or more photographs of the buildings that were evaluated. In presenting these, we show the original data sheet with the photograph attached, as well as separate images of the photographs themselves. Occasionally, there were also separate Assessors Property Cards included, with further details on the buildings, presented here as separate images.

The data sheets reflect the bias at the time against vernacular architecture. Often, smaller and more simply designed buildings were considered less important architecturally, and less important to preserve. These views began to change in the 1980s when city planners and architectural historians began to consider vernacular architecture as important as other designed buildings. These changing views led preservation efforts to save entire blocks and not just key buildings.

The physical collection is housed at James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives.

Browse these suggested topics
Jackson Ward
Oregon Hill

This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.