University was established in 1882 as "The Virginia Normal
and Collegiate Institute" and for over one hundred years
has produced and acquired thousands of documents, photographs,
and other material documenting the Black experience in Virginia.
It was not until 1976 however that the University created the
department of Special Collections/University Archives.
department was not formally established until 1976, there has
existed in the library since the 1930's what was called the "Negro
Room." This served as the foundation for what would become
Special Collections in the 1960's.
Collections/University Archives now consist of three components:
rare books, manuscripts, and University Archives. The rare books
area which originally sought to house books written by African
American authors has now been expanded to include other titles
and in particular local histories of the Southside area of Virginia
and histories of Black Colleges and works written by VSU faculty
and alumni. There are a number of manuscript groups, all of which
document the history of blacks in Virginia since 1772. Included
in this group are the Luther Porter Jackson Family Papers, the
Colson-Hill Family Papers, the Virginia Teachers Association Records,
and the Prince Edward County (VA) Free School Records. The University
Archives consist of School records dating from February 1883.
Archives are the official records maintained by law [The Virginia
Public Records Act, § 42.1-76]. The records are divided into
groups and date from 1883. In these record groups may be found,
minutes of the board of visitors, annual reports, and records
of students documenting their experiences at the University since
Service Research Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., closed on Fridays. Appointments only. For more information feel free to contact Francine Archer at 804-524-1023.