VCU Libraries works with two volunteer boards, the Friends of VCU Libraries and the James Branch Cabell Library Associates. (More about the board of the Friends of VCU Libraries 2019-20 members and their biographies)
Founded in 1972, the James Branch Cabell Library Associates work to promote the critical study of writer James Branch Cabell and the interests of VCU’s James Branch Cabell Library.
At the time of his death in 1958, acclaimed Richmond author James Branch Cabell left a distinctive literary legacy and a 52-volume body of work. Many of his contemporaries, including Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis and fellow Richmonder Ellen Glasgow, complimented his work and current British novelist Neil Gaiman has cited him as an important influence.
In the late 1960’s his widow, Margaret Waller Freeman Cabell, donated Cabell’s personal library and papers to the newly formed Virginia Commonwealth University. A few years later she helped establish the James Branch Cabell Associates Board and they work to keep the legacy of Cabell’s work alive.
In addition to promoting the critical study and preservation of Cabell’s collection, the Cabell Associates sponsors public programs designed to encourage literary discussion. The board also supports the acquisition and preservation of Cabell-related materials housed in Special Collections and Archives at Cabell Library.
The Cabell Associates are a long-time sponsor of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award - a nationally recognized literary prize that helps keep Cabell’s name in front of important literary audiences.
While preservation is critical to the group, progress is equally significant. In 2014 the Cabell Associates made a lead gift of $100,000 to VCU Libraries’ new building fund.
Through the years the Cabell Associates have helped form the nucleus of academic pursuit at the VCU through the establishment and growth of what is now one of Virginia’s busiest libraries.
All checks should be made payable to "VCU Foundation" with the particular fund written on the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:
VCU Libraries c/o VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Richmond, VA 23284-3042