Rare Books & Special Collections
Located within Boatwright Library, the Galvin Rare Book Room and Special Collections supports the educational mission of the University of Richmond by preserving and providing access to our diverse collection of materials for use by students, faculty, staff, scholars, and the general public. We hope to provide an environment that challenges researchers of all types to engage with historical materials and primary sources while building connections to earlier generations and gain an understanding of the use and care for such materials. Items in both locations can be found in the library catalog.
The Galvin Rare Book Room
Located on level B-1, the Rare Book Room houses some 10,000 books, broadsides, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, music scores, facsimiles, and photographs, including manuscript and print materials dating from 1470 to the present. The eclectic and wide-ranging nature of the collection offers extensive opportunities for students and faculty to explore across the curriculum and for researchers to explore a tremendous variety of topics and resources. Areas of particular strength include Richmond and Virginia history, the Civil War, historic children’s literature, and the history of the book.
Our manuscript collections contain original historical items and unpublished primary sources of interest across a broad spectrum of topics. Collections of note include the Dr. and Mrs. Wyatt Tee Walker Collection; the Carl Van Vechten – Mark Lutz Collection; Civil War diaries, maps, letters, and photographs; faculty research collections and University-related scrapbooks and items; and two congressional collections. Highlights of smaller collections include incunabula, maps, journals, diaries, individual book arts publications, and a whaling journal.
Book Arts Collection
Designed to support our Book Arts studio, the Book Arts collection combines technical manuals, descriptive and historical works, and artists' books and creations. Manuals and artists' books are housed in Special Collections, while more general descriptive and historical works are located in the circulating collection. All are noted as part of the Book Arts Collection, so that the collection may be searched as a whole.
The University Libraries' Special Collections are housed in the closed stacks of Boatwright Library. These materials include items which are separate from the libraries' main circulating collections because of their unique nature or value. Included are faculty and alumni publications, specially autographed materials, late 19th and early 20th century literary and scholarly journals, and out of print materials too fragile for the circulating collections.
Some of the materials from Rare Books & Special Collections have been digitized by the Discovery, Technology, and Publishing division of Boatwright Library.
Digital Collections available include:
- Richmond Daily Dispatch Newspaper digital archive from November 1860 to December 1865. The Richmond Daily Dispatch is the result of a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and collaboration between the University of Richmond, Tufts University’s Perseus Project, and the Virginia Center for Digital History. There are currently 1384 issues of the paper available online.
- America at War 1941-1945 contains World War II documents from two publications. Army Talks was a newsletter published by the U.S. Army’s Orientation Branch containing tips for surviving combat, morale boosting articles, and other relevant information. G.I. Roundtable sought to education American military personnel about why they were fighting.
- Civil War era sheet music
Digital collections of university materials available include:
- The Collegian archive, which documents more than 2600 issues of the University of Richmond student newspaper since 1914
- Presidential Correspondence of Frederic W. Boatwright, who served nearly 52 years as President of the university
- UR Football Comes Home, a digital exhibit tracing the history of football at the University of Richmond
- For the Centuries: The UR Centennial Exhibit, a digital exhibit exploring the landscape, people, and places of Richmond College in 1914-1915, when the campus relocated to its current location
The University Archives are housed in and administered by the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, located in a separate wing of Boatwright Memorial Library. Further information is available on their website at http://www.baptistheritage.org or via phone at 804-289-8437.