EDHE 6064: Higher Education in the United States: Artifacts & Art

Art works

Although Special Collections and University Archives is not a museum and we don't generally collect art, we do have more than 350 paintings, drawings, framed photographs, and other items related to our collecting areas or to existing manuscript collections. Most of our art works related to the American Civil War, women in architecture and design, and local history. In addition, some are connected to university history through provenance or artist. We are working on descriptive records for items in our art collection which you can browse on ArchivesSpace


Although Special Collections and University Archives does not generally collect 3D objects and artifacts, we do have a variety of items related to university history that were donated along with manuscript collections. These artifacts are noted in the finding aids for those collections.

The largest collection of artifacts we have is the Virginia Tech April 16, 2007 Archives of the University Libraries (Ms2008-020) which includes over 350 textiles, artworks, handcrafted items, or other memorabilia items sent to the university following the mass shooting that took place on campus.

About Special Collections and University Archives


Special Collections and University Archives is currently open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm.

Appointments are not required, but strongly encouraged (**see below)

Appointments can be made by visiting the SCUA Seat Reservation page (instructions are included on this page)

Virtual reference help remains available at specref@vt.edu or by phone at 540-231-6308

**By making an appointment, you will help us limit the number of researchers using our Reading Room at any one time for health and safety; guarantee you a seat at the requested time; and help us plan for your visit, for example, making sure the materials needed are on site and available.

Connect with us

Email: specref@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-6308
Twitter: @VT_SCUA
Information for Visitors

​Find us online

Our website
Our digital collections
Our blog
Our LibGuides

Land Acknowledgement & Labor Recognition

Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that legislation and practices like the Morrill Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands, both locally and in western territories.

We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.

We must also recognize that enslaved Black people generated revenue and resources used to establish Virginia Tech and were prohibited from attending until 1953. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

This guide was adapted with permission from a course LibGuide originally created by Kira Dietz.