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Special Collections and University Archives: A Basic Introduction: E. Services & Other Activities

This guide will introduce the department of Newman Library that is devoted to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary source materials.

Services and Other Activities

General Information

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm & By Appointment

Contact us:
Telephone: 540-231-6308
Information for Visitors

Find us online!


Aaron Purcell, Director, Special Collections and University Archives
Kira Dietz, Assistant Director, Special Collections and University Archives [appointment calendar]
Ren Harman, Oral History Projects Archivist/Project Manager, VT Stories
John Jackson, Archives Assistant
Alan Munshower, Digital Collections Archivist
LM Rozema, Processing and Special Projects Archivist
Jade Snelling, Collections Archivist
Amelia Verkerk, University Archivist
Anthony Wright de Hernandez, Community Collections Archivist
Kat Zinn, Project Archivist

Services and Other Activities

The primary purpose of Special Collections and University Archives is to collect, preserve, arrange, describe, and provide access to unique historical materials and significant research collections. To support and complement this primary mission, we engage in many other activities and offer several services. 

Reference Services

  • Reference inquiries may be submitted in person, by telephone, or by email via the departmental account, We do our best to reply in a timely manner.

Scanning and Copying

  • A photocopier is available in the Reading Room for patron use on a by-donation basis. The physical condition of a given item may limit an item's availability to be photocopied as will any stated restriction in a manuscript collection's finding aid
  • Scans of materials may be requested, though adequate time, in part determined by the volume of the request, should be allowed for the production of these scans. The physical condition of a given item may limit an item's availability to be scanned as will any stated restriction in a manuscript collection's finding aid. These, too, are provided on a by-donation basis.
  • Digital audio files, primarily from our Oral History collections may also be requested. Files will be provided in an mp3 format, again, on a by-donation basis.

Compliance with copyright restrictions on use of photocopies and scans are the responsibility of the patron. Special Collections and University Archives reserves the right to refuse to accept a request to make copies or scans if, in its judgment, fulfillment of that request would involve violation of copyright law. Permission/order forms are available from Special Collections and University Archives. 

Instructional Services

Special Collections and University Archives has for many years been involved in an effort to make our department—its materials and their accessibility—known across all elements of campus. To that end, an active program of instruction through university courses has been developed, and instructional sessions both to introduce Special Collections and University Archives and to enrich more specific topics are available to all instructors. For more information on these services or to request a session, contact Special Collections and University Archives directly (see contact information to your left) or use the request form on the Library's webpage.

Though we do many sessions for the History and English departments, as one might expect, we have also provided instruction to classes in Art History, Architecture, Africana Studies, Appalachian Studies, Cinema, Engineering, Forest Resources, Humanities, Horticulture, Public Administration, Science and Technology Studies, and others. We  continue to offer sessions to  K-12 classes from time to time, as well.

Outreach and Exhibits

Special Collections and University Archives maintains an active schedule of in-house exhibits. We are also engaged in a busy program of collaborating with other campus departments and, on occasion, off-campus institutions.


The department maintains two weekly blogs, each with the aim of increasing the Collections' online profile and to have some fun promoting our materials: