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Rare and Unique Collections
VCU Libraries hosts a growing digital library collection: the departments at James Branch Cabell Library and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences provide access to rare publications and primary source materials; digital collection
Special Collections and Archives
Open to all researchers, the Special Collections and Archives departments at James Branch Cabell Library and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences provide access to rare publications and primary source materials. Archivists and special collections librarians welcome requests for research consultations, classes, community programs and collaborative initiatives.
- Collections at James Branch Cabell Library include book art, comic arts, manuscripts and rare books and periodicals.
- Collections at Tompkins-McCaw Library include manuscripts, medical artifacts and rare books and periodicals.
VCU Libraries offers an array of digital collections as a way to enhance access to our rich collections. We digitize materials from our own Special Collections and Archives collections and partner with faculty and regional organizations in a Community Digitization Program.
- VCU Student Alternative Publication Collection
- Historic Fulton Oral History Project
- Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection
Some digitized items are also available through our archival finding aids.
Community Digitization Program
Our Community Digitization Program seeks community partners interested in digitizing and exposing their special collections, archival records, photographs, publications, and other documents.
Digital exhibits and projects
- VCU Libraries Gallery features curated selections of rare materials held in VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives. Exhibits, which can educate and inspire further research and exploration, include:
- Making VCU, an overview of the university’s history
- Tom Robbins: An Imaginative Life, an homage to the author alumnus
- Virginia Nursing Hall of Fame, capturing the contributions of many to the profession
- Remembering Theresa Pollak, a compilation about the revered founder of VCUArts
- View all online exhibits
- The Social Welfare History Project seeks to help the public understand the history of social reform and social welfare services in American society in the 20th century.
- The Social Welfare History Image Portal gathers and makes available images from partner institutions nationwide.
- The Work of Newton Ancarrow, a companion exhibit to the Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive, offers insight about pioneering environmental activism and the James River.
- Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940, a digital map and timeline of the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan between 1915 and 1940.
Institutional scholarship repository
VCU Scholars Compass is a publishing platform for the intellectual output of VCU’s academic, research, and administrative communities. Its goal is to provide wide and stable access to the exemplary work that is produced, submitted, or sponsored by VCU faculty, researchers, or staff, and demonstrates scholarly, educational, or research value.
Types of collections include:
- VCU theses and dissertations
- Journals and peer-reviewed series
- Conferences and events
- Departments and units
Contact Us James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections: firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 828-1108. Hours: Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Appointments are recommended. Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections: email@example.com or (804) 828-9898. Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Appointments are recommended.Email us