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 can be located in the library catalog.

The Galvin Rare Book Room

Located on level B-1, the Rare Book Room houses some 20,000 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; travel and exploration works, historic cookbooks and domestic guides, and the history of the book.

Manuscript Collections

Our manuscript collections contain original historical items and unpublished primary sources of interest across a broad spectrum of topics.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 items; World War II correspondence; and two congressional collections. Highlights of smaller collections include incunabula, maps, journals, diaries, individual book arts publications, and naval and maritime materials, including 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.

Some of the materials from Rare Books & Special Collections have been digitized by the Digital Engagement division of Boatwright Library.

Digital Collections available include:

Digital collections of university materials available include:

University Archives

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 804-289-8434.