Book Arts, Archives, and Rare Books

Located within Boatwright Library, the Book Arts, Archives, and Rare Books division 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 and providing opportunities to research and explore through a variety of distinctive collections and experiences. 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. For questions or additional information, please email us at

Rare Book Collection

Located on level B-1, the Galvin Rare Book Room houses some 15,000 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 works pertaining to the history of the book. Information concerning specific rare book materials and artists’ books can be located in the library catalog.

Archival Collections

Also housed within the Galvin Rare Book Room, our archival collections contain original historical items and unpublished primary sources of interest across a broad spectrum of topics.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, alumni, and University-related items; World War II correspondence; and two congressional collections. Highlights of smaller collections include incunabula, maps, journals, diaries, individual artists’ books, and naval and maritime materials, including a whaling journal and ship logs. Descriptions and inventories of collections currently open for research and use are available online at

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. Artists' books are housed within the Galvin Rare Book room; more technical manuals and project guides are housed in the Book Arts Studio, and more general descriptive works are located in the circulating collection. More information on individual items is available in the library catalog, and all are noted as part of the Book Arts Collection, so that the collection may be searched as a whole.

Digital Materials

Some of the materials from Book Arts, Archives, and Rare Books have been digitized by the Digital Engagement division of Boatwright Library and are made available online.

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 or via phone at 804-289-8434.