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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Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive [View Image]
Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive
Newton Ancarrow was a noted environmentalist whose work focused on the James River in the area of Richmond, Virginia. Photographing wildflowers was one of his many interests, and from 1968 to 1971 he documented more than 400 species of wildflowers along the banks of the James. He created a slideshow that he gave to garden clubs, women's groups, and other civic organizations. The presentation featured more than 300 photographs; all of them are included here, along with other documentation created by Ancarrow in the course of his work. Native Plants Only -- Introduced Plants Only About Ancarrow Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1920, Newton Ancarrow served in World War II and then worked at American Tobacco and Experiment Inc. testing rocket engines. His hobby was designing fast luxury boats. He bought a New Jersey-based boat-building business and relocated it to Richmond in 1957. In 1965 he built a boat ramp south of the James (at what is now known as Ancarrow's Landing) near Maury Street and opened it to the public. Soon after the ramp opened, he began to notice that his boats and ramp were covered with an oily film, mostly composed of heating oil dumped into the waters upriver from his business. He contacted city officials, who told him nothing could be done. This oily mess and lack of official responsiveness angered Ancarrow, and he embarked on a clean-river mission that would last until 1979. He was especially upset over the city’s inadequate sewage treatment facilities, which during heavy rains caused raw sewage to be dumped directly into the river. The targets of his outrage and lawsuits included the city of Richmond, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Ancarrow photographed dead fish and eels that would wash onto his boat ramp. He attended City Council meetings with large jars of filthy water and demanded that something be done to clean the river. Determined to document raw sewage outlets along the James, he began exploring the area around his business, his territory closely resembling the current James River Park System boundaries. Ancarrow’s business location was hard-hit by Hurricane Camille in 1969, and again by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The river at his boat ramp became heavily silted in and he could not get permission to dredge. His buildings were damaged by high water and wind. He ended business operations and devoted all of his time to flower photography and his clean water campaign. He began photographing flowers during his search for raw sewage outlets along the banks of the James. The city condemned his land, insisting it was needed to expand the wastewater treatment plant, and paid him $130,000 for the land but would not compensate him for the value of his lost business. He sued and took this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1979 the court rejected his suit. Worn out by the fight, Ancarrow retired to his home in Henrico County, and died there in 1991. Ancarrow thought that his crusade for clean water had failed and that his energy had been wasted. However, he has been recognized for his work and his dogged persistence in a number of ways, during the fight and afterwards. In 1974, he was named Environmentalist of the Year by the Virginia Wildlife Federation, and in 2012, he was named a River Hero by the James River Association. Wildflowers While looking for illegal sewage dumping into the river, Ancarrow began to photograph wildflowers all along the area, eventually amassing a collection of roughly 35,000 slides. In his own words, he "attempted to locate, identify, photograph, and document the flowers and flower like plants on the Richmond James. The area studied consisted of the pre-annexation City boundries [sic] up and down the river (i.e. the ACL Tressel [sic] upstream and Deepwater Terminal downstream), the Kanawha Canal on the north bank, and the Southern Railway on the south bank" (Catalogue of Flowers). In the late 1960s and early '70s, he became a popular conservation speaker, talking about river pollution as well as his wildflower images. In 1982, Ancarrow served on the Advisory Board to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Board of Directors. After his death, Ancarrow's family donated his wildflower slide collection to the Ginter. About the digital collection "Flower Show No. 2" was one of the wildflower slide shows put together by Ancarrow featuring his photography. All 354 of the slides from that presentation are presented here, along with accompanying documentation and other material, including:
  • Catalogue of Flowers on the Richmond Scenic James thru 1971: A typed inventory of all of the wildflower species Ancarrow identified along the James River.
  • The Fleet of the Future: A 1959 boat catalog from Ancarrow's boat company.
  • Flower Show No. 2, February 1972: Ancarrow's slideshow script, annotated with flower numbers to indicate when to change the slides.
  • Notebooks: Five loose-leaf notebooks compiled by Ancarrow, detailing his research on each species. He assigned a number to each flower; these numbers formed the basis for the numbering of the slides, with letters used to differentiate different shots of varying parts of the plants.
  • Slide Order Cards: Two typewritten cards indicating the order of the slides for Flower Show No. 2.
Ancarrow used his script to record himself on audiocassette giving his presentation. Using the audio, the script, the flower numbers, and the slides, we have been able to recreate the hour-long slideshow "Flower Show No. 2." There is also a special online exhibit which includes the full slideshow video. For each individual wildflower shot, there is information giving the plant family, genus, and species. Much of that information has been augmented and corrected by staff from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and from VCU's Rice Rivers Center, who also supplied information on whether the species identified are native to the region or introduced. Any additional information from the slides has been transcribed. Slide titles come from the slides themselves or the slide envelopes. Supplied titles are indicated by brackets. Also included are photographs from the Ancarrow family collection, showing Ancarrow at work in various locations, Ancarrow's Landing, and several of the boats he designed. These photos are owned by the Ancarrow family and are not part of the Garden collection. Copyright This material is protected by copyright, and the copyright is held by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Inc. 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 This collection is housed in the Library of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For more information about Ancarrow, see their Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive site. Please direct reference and research inquiries to library@vcu.edu.
Artistic Tiles From The American Encaustic Tiling Company [View Image]
Artistic Tiles From The American Encaustic Tiling Company
About this collection The American Encaustic Tiling Company was established in Zanesville, Ohio in 1875. By the 1930s, the company was one of the largest tile manufacturers in the world. The company manufactured art tile, plain and ornamental wall tile, and floor tile. The Ceramic Mosaic Tile catalog was published in the early twentieth century to showcase and promote American Encaustic Tiling Company floor tile. Seventy-one color plates depict available patterns, sizing, colors, lettering and numbers for myriad styles of floor tile design. Copyright 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 The catalog is housed in Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library and is part of the Charles E. Brownell Collection. For more information, see the catalog record. Please direct reference and research inquires to libjbcsca@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-1108.
Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889) [View Image]
Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889)
Downloads Combined Baist Atlas and Linked Street Index Baist Atlas Only Street Index Only Baist Atlas Geospatial Data If downloading, please note: File sizes are very large. Google Earth or other mapping application needed to view geospatial data. The Combined Baist Atlas and Street Index PDF may be particularly useful for researchers as it contains links from the street index directly to each corresponding map plate. About the Baist Atlas The Baist Atlas of the City of Richmond was published in 1889 and is a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in Richmond’s urban archeology, architectural history and historic preservation. The atlas consists of an index map and twenty large linen plates (18 ½ inches tall by 28 inches wide) mapping all areas of the city including parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties and part of the City of Manchester, now Richmond’s South Side, which was then an independent city. The map was published in 1889 by the Philadelphia firm of George William Baist (1859-1927). The company produced real estate and insurance maps of some twenty different American cities from the 1880s through 1967. For a few cities, including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., they published multiple maps. The 1889 atlas of Richmond was their only published map of the city. The original atlas is housed in Special Collections and Archives at the James Branch Cabell Library. The atlas presents a bird's eye view of Richmond of 1889 showing a variety of buildings and structures, including commercial and public buildings, places of worship, stables, etc. Framed wooden structures are shown in yellow, brick and stone buildings in red. Waterways are highlighted in green. Also illustrated are streets, roads, alleys, railroad lines, sewers, water pipes, streams, green houses, monuments, parks, and fire plugs. Probably the most important aspect for early users of the map were the property lines that are detailed. The map gives the names of owners of hundreds of properties and buildings including the large tracts of undeveloped areas still held in private hands. This is especially true in the western area of the city known today as the Fan District and the city’s North Side. Richmond was divided into six political wards (Clay, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, and Monroe) and those areas are also indicated on the map. Copyright 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 Researchers might want to consult and compare changes to the city to the first atlas of this kind published 13 years earlier. That map, the Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond published in 1876 by Frederick W. Beers, another Philadelphia map maker, is available on the Library of Congress' American Memory site. VCU Libraries also provides digital access to the numerous Sanborn Maps of Virginia. These fire insurance maps are similar to the Baist and Beers atlases and date from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century.
Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia [View Image]
Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia
About this collection Published by Historic Richmond in 1986, the Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia publication was intended as a guide for the owners and developers of projects located in the Broad Street Old and Historic District. The publication was a result of the collaborative efforts of the Historic Richmond Foundation, Richmond Renaissance, the Commission of Architectural Review, the Virginia Division of Historic Landmarks, and the Urban Design/Historic Preservation Section of the City of Richmond’s Department of Planning and Community Development. Download PDF version The Broad Street Old and Historic district was designated on October 28, 1985, and initially spanned the area between Henry Street and First Street. After a 1995 district expansion, the District now covers more than 20 acres and 115 properties between Belvidere and First Streets in Richmond’s downtown. Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia discusses the unique history of Broad Street as a commercial center and its wealth of significant architecture with the aim to provide a “common framework for the renovation of shop exteriors, bringing out the best in the existing architecture of Broad Street and discouraging the introduction of inappropriate designs and materials.” As such, the fully searchable publication features an inventory of architectural detail and guidelines for the renovation of Broad Street buildings focused on form, facade, materials, color and scale. Architectural detail delves into friezes, cornices and storefronts. Architectural commentary related to renovation and improvement of Broad Street buildings is provided on a block by block basis and is supported by detailed images. Each individual building is juxtaposed with others by an architectural triptych of sorts; each block features a historical 1920s panorama image, followed by a renovation drawing, and finished with a modern photograph. Over 50 historical images of Richmond are presented as part of the guide, providing an informative and fascinating look into the history of this stretch of Broad Street over time. Copyright This material is protected by copyright, and the copyright is held by Historic Richmond. Acknowledgement of the Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested. Additional research information This resource is housed in Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library. For more information, please see the catalog record. Please direct reference and research inquires to libjbcsca@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-1108. Other architectural digital collections that supplement and inform this publication include: The Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection The Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection
Building VCU’s President's House [View Image]
Building VCU’s President's House
James W. Allison Papers (1891, 1893-1896), Architects’ Correspondence This online collection of correspondence is from the papers of James W. Allison, a late 19th century wealthy Richmond businessman. The collection includes over 100 documents - letters and a few telegrams - concerning the construction in 1894-1896 of what is today VCU’s President’s House, 910 W. Franklin Street. Fully 104 of the documents are from the hands of the architects that Allison hired to design his mansion. Much of the correspondence includes replies to questions by Allison during the construction of his house. The letters also describe the selection of such elements as fireplace mantles, gas-and-electric fixtures, decorative tiles, and scenic wallpaper. Soon after the Civil War, James W. Allison (1833-1898) established the seed and fertilizer firm of Allison & Addison with Edmund B. Addison. By the 1890s the company had expanded greatly and become one of the most successful fertilizer producers in the South. The earliest letter in the collection is from Allison to his wife, Minnie Clemens Jones Allison (1870-1927). It notes their intention to construct a new house. A year later they chose the site on W. Franklin Street, at that time Richmond’s most fashionable residential neighborhood. At the time of his death in 1898, Allison left an estate of nearly one million dollars. In 1938, the Allison family sold the house to Richmond Professional Institute (RPI), the forerunner to VCU on the Monroe Park campus. The building was used as the residence of the head of RPI for thirty years. Since 1968, when VCU was formed, it has served as the main offices of the President of the University. James W. Allison, Jr. (1894-1979) donated the collection of his father's papers to VCU Libraries in the early 1970s. They contain original architectural drawings, correspondence, and other materials. The James W. Allison papers are a valuable resource for those interested in late 19th century architectural history. These documents are housed in Special Collections and Archives at the James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries. For more about the collection, see the finding aid for the James W. Allison papers. The Architects: Percy Griffin and T. Henry Randall Allison chose the New York architectural firm of Griffin & Randall to design his house. Both partners boasted fine architectural pedigrees. Percy Griffin (1866-1921) graduated from the architectural school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1884 and then worked in the office of H. H. Richardson. T. Henry Randall (1862-1905) had also worked for Richardson after attending Johns Hopkins University, MIT, and the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris. Randall, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, was the partner who decided on the Colonial Revival design of the house – making it one of the first of that style of houses built in Richmond. It pre-dates other early Colonial Revival houses on Monument Avenue by some 10 years. The correspondence also details the demise of the firm. In 1895, Griffin and Randall decided to part ways in the middle of the construction of the Allison house. As the letters indicate, Allison was forced to choose which architect he wanted to oversee the completion of his house. Randall, who was the senior partner and who had the most influence over the building’s design, was selected. For more information about the architectural history of the house, see Ray Bonis and Melissa A. Zimmerman, “The VCU President’s House, 1896-1996: From the Colonial Revival to the World Wide Web,” The Styles of Virginia Architecture: Abstracts of the Fourth Annual Virginia Architectural History Symposium, 1996 (Richmond: VCU School of the Arts, 1996). Editorial Note The following transcriptions of correspondence from the James W. Allison papers, were prepared during the spring 2006 semester in History 691, “Topics in Documentary Editing and Scholarly Publishing,” taught by John Kneebone, in the graduate program of the VCU Department of History. Each document has been given a title, consisting of the names of the author and the recipient and the date of the document. The editors followed a conservative transcription policy. Words in the transcripts are spelled as they are in the original documents. Textual notes follow the procedure of italicizing editorial comments within square brackets, described by David L. Vander Meulen and G. Thomas Tanselle, “A System of Manuscript Transcription,” Studies in Bibliography, 52(1999):202-213. A provenance note in brackets follows each document. Most of the documents are signed autograph letters (ALS) but a few are documents recording texts of telegrams. Because changes in letterheads reflect the dissolution of the architectural partnership of Percy Griffin and T. Henry Randall, texts of letterheads appear in the provenance note. It was James W. Allison’s practice to preserve the letters in their envelopes, on which a summary of the letter’s contents was docketed. The docketed notes on the envelopes are reported in the provenance note. The following silent emendations have been made. The formal elements of the letters—address, date, salutation, and closing—have been standardized in their location on the page (at the left margin) only. Words broken or hyphenated at line ends in the documents have been restored. Ampersands and other symbols representing the word “and” in the documents have been standardized to “&.” Superscripts have been dropped to the line. To facilitate possible future online access to the transcripts along with the document images, the transcriptions mark page changes with square brackets and an italic statement of the image number online. The editors are identified by their initials following the provenance note for each document that they edited. The editors are: Amy Adams (AA), Mary Bezbatchenko (MMB), David Carroll (WDC), Candi Caudill (CEC), Taylor Coble (TOC), Teresa Doherty (MTD), Thomas Hanna (TMH), Alyssa Holland (AGH), John Kneebone (JTK), Mary Richie McGuire (MRM), Jessica Munsch (JBM), Kay Peninger (KCP), Laura Ping (LJP), Vicki Rogers (VR), Suzanne Shepherd (SS), Arthur Striker (APS), and Morgan Thomas (MT). Copyright 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.
Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection [View Image]
Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection
About this collection The oral history interviews presented here are part of the ongoing Carver-VCU Partnership that began in 1996. The Partnership's stated goal is to "create a shared urban community with a commitment to improving the neighborhood's quality of life." Carver is situated in Richmond, Virginia, just north of VCU's Monroe Park campus, and is primarily a working class African American neighborhood, home to some 1,500 residents. The Carver name is derived from the neighborhood school named for George Washington Carver (1864-1943). The area was once called Sheep Hill because of its proximity to early stockyards. These fifteen oral histories were conducted in 1999 and 2000 as part of a project funded by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. The project, described as a "Living Newspaper," produced a play entitled "Sheep Hill Memories — Carver Dreams." Those interviewed include longtime residents, including Barbara Abernathy, former president of the Carver Area Civic Improvement League, and Dr. Roy A. West, former mayor of Richmond, as well as newcomers to the community and those who have moved away from the neighborhood. The documentary play, which used information collected from the oral histories and other sources, focused on the history and survival of the Carver neighborhood. These interviews are part of a collection documenting the Carver neighborhood housed in VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives at the James Branch Cabell Library. They are presented as MP3 files with complete PDF transcriptions. Learn more about the Carver-VCU Partnership and the history of the Carver neighborhood. This collection was digitized in 2008. Interviewees Barbara Abernathy Marguerita Austin & Frances Gordon Waverly Robert Crawley Duane Finger Barksdale Haggins & Irving Haggins Brenda Hudson Doug Kleffner & Jim Hill Allen Knight Lucy Lucas James McBride & Carolyn Hawley Viola Robinson Selma Taylor Nellie Weatherless Dr. Roy West Mr. & Mrs. Charles Wood Copyright 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) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.
Commonwealth Times [View Image]
Commonwealth Times
About this collection The Commonwealth Times is the student newspaper of Virginia Commonwealth University. This archive covers 1969 to 2011. See the current issue at commonwealthtimes.org. For over forty years, the Commonwealth Times has served as the student newspaper of Virginia Commonwealth University, documenting the history and culture of VCU and Richmond. This digital collection includes over 1,760 issues of the Commonwealth Times, spanning the years from 1969 through 2011. The Commonwealth Times, often referred to as the CT, began publishing in September 1969, at the peak of the political and social turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The changing cultural attitudes of those times were reflected in the newspaper and over the decades the CT has continued to try to capture the events and essence of the university. As the student body of VCU expanded over the years, the turnover of new editors and writers increased. This brought about fluctuations in the scope of news coverage and the type of feature articles published from year to year. The CT continues to publish in print but is also available online. The CT has generally come out twice weekly, with a few exceptions (occasionally coming out as little as once a week or as much as three times a week). While students from numerous majors have worked for the CT, the majority of writers and editors have come from VCU's School of Mass Communications, which offers classes in newspaper and broadcast reporting. For many years, the School provided a faculty advisor to the newspaper, but its editors have always exerted editorial control over its content. The CT's masthead currently states that it is "the independent student press of VCU." The Commonwealth Times is the successor to the Proscript, the student newspaper of Richmond Professional Institute (RPI), published from 1939 until May of 1969 (the Proscript replaced the Atlas, which ran from 1929 through 1939). After VCU was created with the 1968 merger of RPI with the Medical College of Virginia, it was only a matter of time before the student newspaper's name and mission would change. Beginning in 1968, the Proscript began to include news from the medical campus (the Skull and Bones, the student newspaper at MCV, ran from the 1930s until the 1950s). Each issue up to the summer of 2004 has been scanned in its entirety from original print copies in the collection at James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Starting with September 2004, we are presenting digital archive PDFs received directly from the Commonwealth Times. The complete text of every issue is fully searchable. A text search can also be narrowed to only search front page headlines. For each issue, there is a link to a full PDF of the entire issue. This site will be updated twice a year after the end of the fall and spring semesters, with all issues from that previous semester. This digital collection represents more than 96% of all the known issues. The issues listed on the right were published, to the best of our knowledge, but are not included in this collection. If you have a copy of any of these issues that you would be willing to donate or share for scanning, please contact James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Missing issues If you have a copy of any of these issues, please contact James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. 1970s April 18, 1974 (Vol. 5, no. 21) Oct. 17, 1975 (Vol. 7, no. 6) Feb. 20, 1976 (Vol. 7, no. 18) 1980s Oct. 26, 1982 (Vol. 14, no. 8) March 22, 1983 (Vol. 14, no. 20) Oct. 8, 1985 (Vol. 18, no. 5) Oct. 7, 1986 (Vol. 19, no. 3) Dec. ?, 1986 (Vol. 19, no. 10) Jan. 27, 1987 (Vol. 19, no. 12) Jan. 25, 1988 (Vol. 20, no. 16) Oct. 4, 1988 (Vol. 20, no. 7) 1990s Sept. 16, 1993 (Vol. 25, no. 6) Sept. 30, 1993 (Vol. 25, no. 10) April 8, 1994 (Vol. 25, no. 49) Sept. 16, 1994 (Vol. 26, no. 9) Jan. 23, 1995? (Vol. 26, no. 42) April 21, 1995? (Vol. 26, no. 72) Oct. 25, 1995 (Vol. 27, no. 24) April 15, 1996 (Vol. 27, no. 66) April 26, 1996 (Vol. 27, no. 71) Feb. 26, 1997 (Vol. 28, no. 57 ) March 24, 1997 (Vol. 28, no. 63 ) Sept. 1, 1997? (Vol. 29, no. 2) Nov. 7, 1997 (Vol. 29, no. 29) Dec. 1 or 3, 1997 (Vol. 29, no. 35) Dec. 8, 1997? (Vol. 29, no. 37) Feb. 19, 1998 (Vol. 30, no. 48) March?, 1998 (Vol. 30, no. 51) May?, 1998 (Vol. 30, no. 64) Sept.?, 1998 (Vol. 30. no. 65) Jan. 18, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 1) Feb. 25, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 12) March 4, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 14) March 8?, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 15) March 11?, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 16) April 8, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 20) April 19, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 23) Sept.?, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 27) Sept. 23, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 31) Oct. 4, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 34) Oct. 21, 1999 (Vol. 31, no. 38) 2000s March 23, 2000 (Vol. 32, no. 15) April 24, 2000 (Vol. 32, no. 24) Sept. 9, 2002 (Vol. 37, no. 4) Sept. 16, 2002 (Vol. 37, no. 6) Oct. 3, 2002 (Vol. 37, no. 11) Oct. 31, 2002 (Vol. 37, no. 20) Nov. 18, 2002 (Vol. 37, no. 26) Feb. 3?, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 7) Feb. 6?, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 8) Feb. 13, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 10) Feb. 17, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 11) March 17?, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 16) April 17, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 25) April 21, 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 26) April ?. 2003 (Vol. 38, no. 27) Aug. 28, 2003? (Vol. 39, no. 3) Nov. 6, 2003 (Vol. 39, no. 19) Feb. 5, 2004 (Vol. 40, no. 4) April 19, 2004 (Vol. 40, no. 20) Copyright 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) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.
Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond [View Image]
Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond
Download PDF print version About this collection Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond, by Robert W. Waitt, Jr., was originally published in 1964 by the Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee. The 40-page directory gives alphabetical listings of the general hospitals in Richmond during the Civil War, as well as private residences, commercial buildings, churches, and parks temporarily used as hospitals. Several of the pages are illustrated with photographs and maps. The text of this book was originally used in the first digital efforts of the VCU Libraries in the late 1990s. We are pleased to present the work in its entirety for the first time, in its original context, digitized from the copy held by Health Sciences Library Special Collections & Archives. For detailed information about one of the hospitals listed in this work, see the Robertson Hospital Register Collection. Each page of the book is presented as a high-resolution JPEG 2000 file suitable for zooming. Copyright Materials in this collection are in the public domain, and thus are free of any copyright restriction. We ask that you acknowledge the VCU Libraries if any of the materials are used.
Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools [View Image]
Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools
Context for this collection The Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools Collection explores the history of school segregation issues of the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1950s Prince Edward County would become the focus of the public schools desegregation issue in Virginia. On 23 April 1951, African American students at Robert Russa Moton High School walked out to protest squalid conditions at the segregated site. Four years earlier the school had been ruled inadequate by the State Board of Education. Attorneys Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill of Richmond met with the student leaders and agreed to represent them in court if they agreed to challenge Virginia's public school segregation law. The students' challenge to Virginia's law eventually became one of five such complaints heard in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. In 1954, the nine Justices ruled unanimously in favor of the students, overturning the "Separate But Equal" precedent established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The decision also set in motion a course of "Massive Resistance" by segregationists and the Virginia political power structure. In Prince Edward County, rather than integrate their public schools, segregationists chose instead to close their public schools from 1959-1964. On the ground documenting these events was Edward H. Peeples (RPI graduate '57 and Emeritus professor at VCU). By the late-1950s, Dr. Peeples had become active in the Civil Rights Movement and participated in activities seeking to reform social injustices. While earning his graduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, his concerns for the state of race relations in Virginia prompted him to return to Prince Edward County to research his thesis, A Perspective of the Prince Edward County School Issue (1963). The Collection During the course of his research, Dr. Peeples photographed over 100 images of schools in Prince Edward County. In addition to taking photographs of segregated public schools that had been in use prior to 1959, he also took images of the private schools established after the public schools did not open in 1959. These photographs were taken from 1961 through 1963 and are illustrative of the lack of resources provided by the state and the county for its African American students. VCU Libraries is proud to present all of the images here, digitized from the original negatives in 2009. Also included are Dr. Peeples' original annotations. In addition, the collection includes contemporary photographs and several of Dr. Peeples' written works in order to provide context for the early 1960s images. The contemporary photographs were taken by Dr. Peeples from 1988 until 2003. He photographed buildings, persons, and events, such as the ceremonies conferring national historic recognition on the Robert Russa Moton School in 1998 and the 50th anniversary of the Prince Edward County Student Strike in 2001. Among the text documents are a mimeographed chart dated 1965, titled "13 Known Private Schools in Virginia Established Since 1958 to Circumvent Desegregation", and two highway maps, annotated by Dr. Peeples, pinpointing the location of the Prince Edward County photographs. Using these maps and other information, we have identified and supplied GIS coordinates for most of the buildings in the 1960s photographs. Browse by time period: 1960s (segregation era) -- 1988-2003 (commemorative events) Browse by format: Photograph -- Document -- Map Browse schools by racial orientation: African American -- White To browse by name of school or building, use the facets on the left side of the search/browse for this collection For more information on works by Dr. Peeples, see the two finding aids describing his papers, Accession Number M 68 and Accession Number M 342, housed in Special Collections and Archives at the James Branch Cabell Library. For more on civil rights activities in Farmville and Prince Edward County, see Farmville 1963 Civil Rights Protests. Copyright 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) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required. In honor of Dr. Edward H. Peeples With gratitude for his devotion to justice for all the people of Virginia. VCU Friends of the Library, 2007–2012. "A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Ghandi to come back - but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you." – Marian Wright Edelman
Fan Free Funnies [View Image]
Fan Free Funnies
About this collection The Fan Free Funnies were an illustrative example of the growing influence of "underground comix" on young comic artists in the early 1970s. Underground comix first appeared on the United States' West Coast in the mid to late 1960s and were small press or self-published works whose themes were tied closely with the counterculture concerns and ideology of the time. Beginning in the 1970s, a number of Fan District residents and VCU fine arts students began creating comic art inspired by the popular underground comix scene. In the spring of 1973, VCU's student newspaper The Commonwealth Times took advantage of this phenomenon and produced three issues of an all-comics black-and-white tabloid called Fan Free Funnies. All three issues are presented here in their entirety, digitized in 2008 from the print copies held by James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Some of the artists featured in Fan Free Funnies went on to achieve success in the field of comic and animated arts, including Phil Trumbo, who won an Emmy Award for his animation direction for the lead-in segment on Pee Wee's Playhouse. VCU alumni Charles Vess and Bill Nelson were also featured artists in Fan Free Funnies and have won several awards for their comic art illustrations. Vess graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1974, and worked for a brief time in Richmond, Virginia, before moving to New York City in 1976. While there he became a freelance illustrator and worked for many comic publications, including Heavy Metal and National Lampoon. His award-winning work has appeared on the pages of numerous comic books for publishers such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Epic. In 1991 Vess shared the prestigious World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story with Neil Gaiman for their collaboration on Sandman #19 -- the first and only comic book that has held this honor. He later collaborated again with Gaiman, creating 175 paintings for Stardust. For that work Vess won "Best Artist" at the 1999 World Fantasy Awards. Copyright 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) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). Acknowledgment of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is required.
Farmville 1963 Civil Rights Protests [View Image]
Farmville 1963 Civil Rights Protests
Suggested Searches: Diners Movie Theater Supermarkets Interactive exhibit: Freedom Now Project A select group of these images is being presented on Flickr as the Freedom Now Project in the hopes that we might better identify the people and locations photographed. Comments, including remembrances of these events, are highly encouraged and appreciated. About this collection This collection of 491 images dates primarily from the summer of 1963, when the demand for equality and for an end to racial segregation brought a series of protests to Farmville, Virginia, the county seat of Prince Edward County. The images show dozens of Prince Edward County African-American high school age students and others using an array of protest tactics to draw attention to racial discrimination in Farmville. The protesters were demanding that local and state authorities eliminate racial segregation in public facilities and reopen the public schools in the county, which had been closed since 1959 to avoid integration. The protests were organized and led by the Rev. L. Francis Griffin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmville. They called their summer of protests a “Program of Action.” With the help of members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and others, Griffin trained the students in nonviolent protest. Richmond lawyers Samuel Tucker and Henry Marsh advised the students on how to conduct themselves with law enforcement officials. Many were arrested during the course of the summer. Civil unrest in Farmville began in late July and continued through September. Protests varied from day to day, week to week, and included sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, picketing segregated businesses, marches that blocked traffic, and other forms of civil disobedience. A large portion of the images show protesters trying in vain to purchase tickets at the segregated movie theater, then picketing the theater. On one Sunday, the protesters participated in a “church-in,” during which African-Americans tried to integrate four white churches in Farmville with mixed success. Many of these activities are documented in this collection of images. A large number of the original black and white photographs were taken by J.D. Crute, an amateur photographer hired by the Farmville Police Department, under the supervision of Police Chief Otto Smith Overton, who served 42 years before retiring in 1996. These photographs were intended to be used in court proceedings as evidence against any protesters who were arrested. Historian Brian E. Lee, Ph.D., became aware of the photographs during his research and coordinated their use by VCU Libraries for this digital project. Currently the originals are in a private collection. For more information about the 1963 civil rights protests in Farmville, see “Program of Action: The Rev. L. Francis Griffin and the Struggle for Racial Equality in Farmville, 1963,” by Brian E. Lee and Brian J. Daugherity, in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 2013. For more on the history of Prince Edward County segregation in the 1950s and 1960s, see the Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools Collection. Copyright 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.
Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project, 2013-2015 [View Image]
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. Copyright 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) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/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 libjbcsca@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-1108.

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