Archives and Special Collections
General inquiries are welcome. Researchers planning to visit the archives for extensive research are required 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, located in the L. Douglas Wilder Library and Learning Resource Center. In addition to preserving the historical records of the campus, the Department endeavors to collect the history of African American Richmond.
VIRGINIA UNION UNIVERSITY YEARBOOK COLLECTION
The Archives Department is pleased to announce a new digitization project: Panthers Through the Years: Virginia Union University’s Yearbook Collection. Click the link to see the 2007 VUU yearbook - the first of many digital editions of the University’s annual yearbook. Watch this page and the Library’s social media for updates.
UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES COLLECTION
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. The Archives is also home to Doctor of Ministry Projects and Bachelor of Divinity Theses.
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.
L. DOUGLAS 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).
SAMPSON WATSON COLLECTION
The Rev. Dr. Frederick G. Sampson and Rev. Dr. Lance D. Watson Preaching Collection captures and cascades the legacy of great African American preachers while celebrating their connections. Housed at Virginia Union University’s L. Douglas Wilder Library hundreds of sermons limited to nationally known preachers from various generations will be available to researchers.
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.
SEARCH FINDING AIDS
Try our NEW searchable database for primary sources in our manuscript and archives collections.
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM or By Appointment
Selicia Allen: Special Collections Librarian/ University Archivist
Phone: (804) 278-4117
Adam Zimmerli: Public Services Librarian – Special Collections
Phone: (804) 278-4112
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: "Virginia Union University Archives and Special Collections"
- Fees do not affect copyright requirements.