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Digital Collections

Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive
Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive

From 1968 to 1971 noted environmentalist Newton Ancarrow documented and photographed over 400 species of wildflowers along the banks of the James River in Richmond, Virginia. This collection features photograph and accompanying documentation for a slideshow Ancarrow created to highlight his work.

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Artistic Tiles From The American Encaustic Tiling Company
Artistic Tiles From The American Encaustic Tiling Company

This early twentieth century catalog for The American Encaustic Tiling Company showcases seventy-one color plates of floor tile design. These plates depict the intricate patterns, sizing, colors, lettering and numbers available for myriad styles of mosaic floor tile.

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Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889)
Baist Atlas of Richmond, VA (1889)

The Baist Atlas of the City of Richmond reveals the structure and ownership of the city as it was in 1889. Twenty detailed plates of Richmond and the City of Manchester depict buildings, streets, waterways, alleys, sewers and parks. Names of the owners of hundreds of properties and stretches of land are seen on the maps. The Atlas is presented here in its entirety.

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Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia
Broad Street Old and Historic District, Richmond, Virginia

This 1986 publication served as an architectural guide for owners and developers of projects in the Broad Street Old and Historic District in Richmond, Virginia. Over fifty historical images of Broad Street buildings are included, as well searchable, block by block descriptions of architectural detail and recommendations for restoration and preservation.

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Building VCU’s President's House
Building VCU’s President's House

This online collection of correspondence is from the papers of James W. Allison, a late 19th century wealthy Richmond businessman. The correspondence documents the construction in 1894-1896 of what is today VCU’s President’s House, 910 W. Franklin Street.

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Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection
Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection

These 15 oral history interviews deal with the history and culture of Carver, a primarily working class African American neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, just north of VCU's Monroe Park campus. Originally recorded in 2000 as part of a grant funded project described as a "Living Newspaper," the interviews are presented as MP3 files with complete PDF transcriptions.

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Commonwealth Times
Commonwealth Times

The Commonwealth Times (1969-present) is the student newspaper of VCU.

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Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond
Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond

This digitization of the 1964 work by Robert W. Waitt, Jr. is an illustrated directory of Civil War-era hospitals in Richmond, Virginia.

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Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools
Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools

From 1959 to 1964, Prince Edward County, Virginia, chose to close its public schools rather than integrate them. Through photographs, documents, and maps, this collection explores the history of Prince Edward County segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. Edward H. Peeples, Emeritus professor at VCU, photographed over 100 images of schools in the county and environs in 1962 and 1963, documenting the disparity between African American and white facilities. Also included are contemporary images of the schools and events surrounding the anniversary of the 1951 student strike and other occasions, as well as additional published and unpublished materials on the topic. The Edward Peeples Collection was celebrated as the 1,999,999th addition to the VCU Libraries during VCU's 2,000,000th volume ceremonies on October 2, 2009.

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Fan Free Funnies
Fan Free Funnies

The Fan Free Funnies were an illustrative example of the growing influence of "underground comix" on young comic artists in the early 1970s, when 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.

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Farmville 1963 Civil Rights Protests
Farmville 1963 Civil Rights Protests

In 1963, the Rev. L. Francis Griffin organized a series of protests in Farmville, Va., to draw attention to racial discrimination in Farmville and Prince Edward County. These 491 photographs, never before seen by the public, provide a vivid documentation of the protests.

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First 125 Years of the Medical College of Virginia
First 125 Years of the Medical College of Virginia

The Medical College of Virginia (MCV) celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1963, culminating in the publication of this volume. Copiously illustrated, the 96-page book was the college's first full-length history.

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Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project, 2013-2015
Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project, 2013-2015

The Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project documents 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. 19 video interviews are included, as well as photographs of the schools and documents relating to the Rosenwald Fund.

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Historic Fulton Oral History Project
Historic Fulton Oral History Project

The Historic Fulton Oral History Project is a collaborative project that consists of 17 interviews with 32 named interviewees. Presented digitally for the first time with streaming audio and searchable transcripts, the interviewees are teachers, activists, clergy and community leaders who grew up in the predominantly African-American Historic Fulton community in Richmond, Virginia during the 1930s through 1950s. Interviewees discuss their upbringing, schooling and community memories, as well as the City of Richmond's 1970s urban renewal plan that permanently changed the landscape of Historic Fulton.

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History of the Richmond Professional Institute
History of the Richmond Professional Institute

Before VCU became a university and merged with MCV, it was the Richmond Professional Institute. Explore the history of RPI in this 1973 book written by Dr. Henry Hibbs, long-time leader of the school.

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Jackson Ward
Jackson Ward

The Jackson Ward Historic District documents the architecture and history of Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood through photographs taken in the 1970s of over 500 buildings, maps showing the locations of those buildings, and text from the book published in 1978 by the City of Richmond.

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James Branch Cabell's Library
James Branch Cabell's Library

The library of writer James Branch Cabell was originally cataloged by VCU Department of English Professor Emeritus Dr. Maurice Duke in his 1968 dissertation from the University of Iowa. The catalog was the first attempt to fully represent the contents of James Branch Cabell’s library as it existed 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.

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Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection
Kay Seidenberg Nursing Postcard Collection

This collection of 72 American and European postcards features the English nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed by the Germans in 1915 for assisting Allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium.

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Low Art Tile Book Collection
Low Art Tile Book Collection

Low Art Tile Works, founded in 1877, was one of a handful of companies to advance the development of decorative tiles in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During its twenty-five years of business, Low Art Tile Works published several editions of catalogues. It marketed one catalogue in particular as an art book. The digital collection includes three Low Art Tile publications: two catalogues (1884 and 1887 editions) and the art book Plastic Sketches (partial 1886 edition).

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Medical Artifacts Collection
Medical Artifacts Collection

The Medical Artifacts Collection consists of instruments and equipment related to the history of health care in Virginia over the last 150 years. The collection contains representative instruments from nineteenth-century medical practice including lancets, amputation sets, medicine chests, stethoscopes, obstetrical forceps, microscopes and dental forceps.

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Newlyweds and Their Baby
Newlyweds and Their Baby

An early example of hardcover comic books, The Newlyweds and Their Baby (1907) features comics from George McManus's The Newlyweds, the first American family newspaper strip.

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Oral Pathology Review Images
Oral Pathology Review Images

From the VCU School of Dentistry's Dept. of Oral Pathology, these 57 images illustrate the most common abnormalities of the oral cavity.

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Proud Heritage: 100 Years of Nursing Education
Proud Heritage: 100 Years of Nursing Education

A Proud Heritage, a digitization of the book originally published in 1992, is an abundantly illustrated school history chronicling the development and growth of the eight diverse schools and programs that formed the foundation of the VCU School of Nursing.

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PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly

VCU Libraries is honored to present these rare examples of the incomparable art work of the late Will Eisner. In an effort to encourage soldiers to keep better care of their equipment, the US Army hired Eisner's American Visuals Corporation to do a digest-sized publication focusing on preventive maintenance. Each issue consisted of a color comic book style cover; eight pages of four color comic continuity story in the middle; and a wealth of technical, safety, and policy information printed in two color. Eisner drew and was artistic editor for PS Magazine from its inception in 1951 until 1972. Presented here are complete scans for the entire run of Eisner issues, issues 1 to 229.

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Rarely Seen Richmond: Early twentieth century Richmond, Virginia as
		  seen through vintage postcards
Rarely Seen Richmond: Early twentieth century Richmond, Virginia as seen through vintage postcards

More than 600 postcard images of Richmond, most dating from 1900-1930, can be accessed here. The intent of this online exhibit 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.

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Richmond Architectural Survey Collection
Richmond Architectural Survey Collection

This collection contains data sheets and photographs that identify and evaluate over 600 structures located in Richmond, Virginia'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.

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Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection
Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection

This slide collection consists of over 7,000 color photographs of Richmond, Virginia, taken from 1965-2000. These images document many of the changes within the city. In some cases the images serve as a record for properties which have since been either renovated or demolished.

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Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection
Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection

This slide collection contains over 8,000 photographs primarily depicting the city of Richmond, Virginia. Taken and compiled by City of Richmond staff, the collection functioned as an archive of planning imagery used for city planning presentations.

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Richmond Illustrated Imprints
Richmond Illustrated Imprints

Over 200 images of late 19th and early 20th century Richmond are presented in this collection, along with fully searchable text. The publications describe and depict a variety of Richmond structures and landmarks that range from city parks to street landscapes. Domestic, civic, religious, and commercial architecture is also featured in the collection.

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Richmond Nineteenth-Century Print Collection
Richmond Nineteenth-Century Print Collection

The Richmond Nineteenth-Century Print Collection includes 146 images of buildings, streetscapes, events, and scenes of daily life of Richmond, Virginia. Because of its status as the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond was often the focus of interest by American and British journals during and after the Civil War. The digital images presented here date from 1853 to 1901 and were scanned from six different periodicals that are part of the larger print and map collection at the VCU Libraries.

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Robertson Hospital Register
Robertson Hospital Register

1,329 patient entries were recorded in the register of Robertson Hospital, a small, private hospital located in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. The Confederate hospital was in operation from July 1861 through June 1865. This collection is a searchable database of the entries, including patient name and rank, regiment and company information, admission and dismissal dates, and medical reason for admission.

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RPI Student Newspapers
RPI Student Newspapers

The Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) had two student newspapers before it merged with the Medical College of Virginia to become Virginia Commonwealth University in 1969. Both are presented here: the Atlas (1929-1939) and the Proscript (1939-1969).

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Saint Philip School of Nursing
Saint Philip School of Nursing

The Saint Philip School of Nursing was established by the Medical College of Virginia to provide Saint Philip Hospital with trained African American women personnel at a time when separate facilities were demanded by both law and social practice. The School graduated 791 nurses during its 42-year history, and their history, training and service are detailed in this digital Historical Bulletin.

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Sanger Historical Files (1859-1865), Excerpts
Sanger Historical Files (1859-1865), Excerpts

The materials presented in this digital collection, excerpts from the Sanger Historical Files, tell the story of the Medical College of Virginia's struggle and ultimate survival during the Civil War. The files were compiled by Dr. William T. Sanger, president of MCV from 1925-1956.

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Stubbins Collection of U.S. County Courthouse and Municipal Building Postcards
Stubbins Collection of U.S. County Courthouse and Municipal Building Postcards

Over 2,000 picture and "real photo" postcards showcase the county and municipal buildings of 49 of the 50 states. Postcards published by both European and American publishers depict court houses, town halls, and city halls in the early 20th century.

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Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection
Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection

Charles Henry 'Bill' Sykes (1882-1942) was a well respected editorial cartoonist whose work appeared in a number of periodicals including newspapers in Philadelphia. The Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection consists of 297 original editorial cartoons, four unfinished sketches, a U.S. War Bond poster, and a U.S. Victory poster by Sykes. The cartoons appeared in the Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia) and illustrate the events of the late 1930s and early 1940s with a focus on American reaction to the aggressions of the Axis powers before the U.S. entry into World War II.

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The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries 1956-66 Report
The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries 1956-66 Report

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) 1956-1966 report is full searchable and covers topics ranging from the aims and objectives, membership, and policy statements of ASERL institutions to domestic and foreign newspaper projects, guides to distinguished collections, and a survey of Southeastern State documents.

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Thomas E. Stagg, Sash, Doors, and Blinds (1898)
Thomas E. Stagg, Sash, Doors, and Blinds (1898)

Thomas E. Stagg was a nineteenth century Richmond, Virginia firm and manufacturer that produced sashes, blinds, and doors for the construction of homes and businesses. This "vest pocket" catalog includes hundreds of detailed images of window sashes, doors, columns, mantles and plinth blocks, as well as pricing and order details.

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Through the Lens of Time: Images of African Americans from the Cook
		  Collection
Through the Lens of Time: Images of African Americans from the Cook Collection

This collection features over 250 nineteenth and early twentieth century images of African Americans from the Cook Collection of Photographs. These digitally scanned images are of prints taken by George S. Cook (1819-1902) and Huestes P. Cook (1868-1951) primarily in the Richmond and Central Virginia area. The online collection is the result of a joint effort between VCU Libraries and the Valentine Richmond History Center.

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VCU Alumni Publications
VCU Alumni Publications

The Scarab is the alumni magazine for VCU's MCV Campus, published by the MCV Alumni Association. All issues, from the very first one of February 1952 to the summer 2010 issue, are available for viewing and downloading. This project was made possible through the LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative, a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program that has made digitization easy and affordable for libraries and cultural institutions across the country. Through the Collaborative's partnership with the Internet Archive, all items were scanned from cover-to-cover and in full color.

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VCU Board of Visitors Minutes
VCU Board of Visitors Minutes

Here are the official minutes for the VCU Board of Visitors and its Executive Committee, complete from 1968 to summer 2007.

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VCU News Publications
VCU News Publications

Nearly 30 years of VCU history are represented in this digital collection of VCU News Publications. These publications were essentially the same periodical published under four different titles by the Office of University Relations. This online collection of the periodical contains a wealth of information on VCU’s past. In addition to news stories, feature articles, and event calendars, there are hundreds of images of campus life and of former students, staff, faculty, and administrators. What might be most significant is the wide range of University reports that were frequently published. Departments and schools also submitted articles and other news items that they thought would be of interest to the university community. Letters to the editor, editorials, and formal messages from Deans and the President are some of the other examples of the content found in the 542 individual issues that make up this digitized collection.

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VCU Oral History Archive
VCU Oral History Archive

These oral histories were collected by VCU Libraries to capture information otherwise unavailable to researchers, supplement our rich documentary research collections, and learn more about how to create, store, and give access to these unique resources. Currently there are 10 interviews with 3 individuals, presented in MP3 format with PDF transcriptions. It is an on-going project and we hope you will check back for more oral history audio files and transcripts.

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VCU Student Alternative Publication Collection
VCU Student Alternative Publication Collection

The three publications that make up this collection help document VCU's history and are important companions to the Commonwealth Times and other VCU-produced publications. Reflections In Ink (1978-1994) and its successor publication The Vine (1994-2008) gave African American students a voice that they had not previously had at the university. Ink (2008-present) describes itself as "VCU's alternative student publication of pop culture and campus life."

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VCU Student Literary Publications
VCU Student Literary Publications

VCU has a rich tradition of student-run literary publications featuring fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork by VCU students. This collection brings together digital archives of these publications.

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VCU Yearbooks
VCU Yearbooks

The X-Ray was the yearbook of VCU's MCV Campus. Every issue of the yearbook is included, from 1913 to 2010, including two yearbooks from 1943 to acknowledge the large number of graduates to support the war effort. The X-Ray ceased publication with its 2010 issue. This project was made possible through the LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative, a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program that has made digitization easy and affordable for libraries and cultural institutions across the country. Through the Collaborative's partnership with the Internet Archive, all items were scanned from cover- to-cover and in full color.

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Voices of Freedom
Voices of Freedom

This collection of eleven videotaped interviews of leaders and activists in Virginia's Civil Rights movement was produced by the Virginia Civil Rights Movement Video Initiative, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2002. The transcripts of the unedited interviews are available online. These interviews focus on statewide activities from the 1950s through the early 1970s and includes stories about the "Jim Crow" segregation laws that prevailed up until the mid-1960s; stories about the struggles to change the laws and to change public attitudes; and advice from these civil rights veterans to future generations of Virginians/Americans.

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Wayne Commission Report
Wayne Commission Report

This is the full text of the 1967 report of the Wayne Commission recommending the creation of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Its full title is "Report of the Commission to plan for the establishment of a proposed state-supported university in the Richmond Metropolitan Area."

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