About the Library

In 1955, the Frederic William Boatwright Memorial Library was officially dedicated and opened on the University of Richmond campus. It serves as a memorial and testimony to Boatwright's sixty-eight years of service to the institution as student, professor, president, and chancellor.

Continuing into the 21st century, the Boatwright Memorial Library strives to provide University of Richmond students, faculty, and staff with information resources and services that enable them to excel in their academic and intellectual pursuits.

The Boatwright Memorial Library includes major collections in the sciences, fine arts, music, humanities, film, maps, theater, government documents, and rare books and manuscripts. At present, the library’s physical collection comprises approximately 500,000 volumes of books, more than 100,000 bound periodicals, and thousands of multimedia items. Over 110,000 journals, 245,000 books, and nearly 375 research databases are accessible through library computers and university computer labs and off campus.

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  • Mission Statement

    The University of Richmond Libraries function as a pivotal catalyst for the success and well-being of our community by producing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge to further the production of scholarly and creative work and supporting the holistic development and creative expression of students, staff, and faculty.

  • Vision Statement

    The University Libraries will work together with our campus to empower and sustain a research and learning community that is inclusive, intercultural, and innovative.

  • Values Statement

    GROWTH

    The University of Richmond Libraries prioritize the personal and intellectual growth of all members of the campus community, including those who work for us, those who work with us, and those who use our resources. We are committed to the success of students, staff, and faculty and to the sustainability of the environments in which we all live and work.

    KNOWLEDGE

    The University of Richmond Libraries value intellectual curiosity, scholarly and creative work, and education as a lifelong process of discovery and growth. We are committed to academic freedom and promoting a vibrant intellectual community that encourages thoughtful disagreement, the vigorous exchange of ideas, and active and continued engagement with the intellectual domains our community represents.

    DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

    The University of Richmond Libraries respect all individuals’ dignity, worth, and contributions.  We value thoughtful and respectful engagement with a broad diversity of perspectives and experiences and view them as essential to intellectual growth. We value our role as a bridge between, and an inclusive gathering place for, many communities. We strive for inclusivity, equity, and diversity in our staff, teams, collections, and services by reckoning with our past, engaging current challenges, seeking out opportunities, and aligning our actions with our aspirations.

    ETHICAL ENGAGEMENT

    The University of Richmond Libraries value integrity, responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions, and meaningful engagement with our local and global communities. We are committed to treating people with respect and understanding, facilitating access to information and knowledge while honoring content creators’ rights, and being as transparent as possible while attempting to protect individual privacy.

    STEWARDSHIP

    The University of Richmond Libraries value the trust that has been placed in us by students, staff, and faculty. We are committed to the careful stewardship of institutional and environmental resources and the relationships that provide our university community’s foundation. We are committed to making the best use of our assets by providing equitable access to resources and encouraging supportive partnerships between the libraries and the broader Richmond community.

  • Galvin Rare Book Room & Special Collections

    The Galvin Rare Book Room houses some 25,000 books, broadsides, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, music scores, facsimiles, and photographs. Among the collections are historic works on Richmond and Virginia; women’s domestic literature; historic children’s literature; some 500 Confederate Imprints published between 1861-1865; rare facsimile volumes of The Books of Kells, the Mazarin edition of The Gutenberg Bible, The Lindesfarne Gospels, and Alfonso X’s Cantigas De Santa Maria. Archival collections include autographed first editions, letters, photographs, manuscripts, and other memorabilia of Richmonder Mark Lutz and his close friend, Carl Van Vechten, the novelist and renowned New York Times music critic; Congressmen Watkins Abbitt and David Satterfied; and civil rights leader Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. There are also over a hundred volumes from the Dunlora Academy and the Virginia Baptist Seminary, the antecedents of the University of Richmond. Print materials can be located through the UR Libraries online catalog. The Galvin Rare Book Room is open to anyone conducting research Monday to Thursday 1:00-5:00 p.m. when classes are in session and by appointment.

  • Book Arts Studio

    The Book Arts Studio, housed on the 4th floor of Boatwright Memorial Library, exists to enrich the creative and scholarly culture at the University of Richmond by promoting the history and art of the book as a mode of communication, expression, and education. While exploring historic and contemporary book structure and craft, the goals of the Book Arts Studio include: creating a hands-on learning space for interdisciplinary projects; developing a program of educational courses, workshops, discussions, presentations, and exhibits; building collaborative partnerships across campus and the community; and highlighting the diverse library resources available for research into the history of the book.

    During 2012–2013, Boatwright Memorial Library at the University of Richmond received a generous donation of the equipment and supplies of Shiu-Min Block, a professional bookbinder previously located in Connecticut. In September of 2014, the library added a platen press, several cabinets of type, and letterpress equipment from local printer and print historian, David M. Clinger. These donations became the foundation of the University of Richmond’s growing Book Arts Studio.

    The Book Arts Studio has facilitated several drop-in student maker events in the library and has worked with faculty, students, and staff on projects ranging from bound oral histories, linoleum block printing, poster design, introductory bookbinding workshops, and comic making, among others. If you would like to schedule a tour of the studio or have an idea for a class or staff project with a book arts focus, contact Jen Thomas, Book Arts Studio Coordinator, for more information.

  • Parsons Music Library

    Parsons Music Library holds over 17,000 scores, 13,000 CDs, and 9,000 books about all types of music. Our video collection consists of operas, musicals, concerts, instructional programs, and documentaries in both DVD and VHS formats. We also have a variety of audio and video playback equipment for onsite use, as well as five laptop computers that work with our wireless network.

  • William Taylor Muse Law Library

    The William Taylor Muse Law Library is a spacious and attractive facility in which to study and conduct legal research. Housed in the Law School building, the library features four levels of space with ample seating on all floors. There are a number of group study rooms available for law student use in the library’s basement. The online public catalog terminals provide accessibility to the collection.