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About Special Collections and University Archives
Photograph & Image Collections/Collections with Photographs or Images
Earl Palmer Appalachian Photograph and Artifact Collection, 1880-1989 (Ms1989-025)
This collection contains the photographs of Earl Palmer, an award-winning photographer from Cambria, Virginia, whose work depicted the landscape and traditional culture of rural Appalachia in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The collection is divided among the following series: Photographs, Duplicate Photographs, Written Materials, and Oversize Photographs.
Historical Photograph Collection (List of Subjects), 1890s-present
The photograph collection at Special Collections consists primarily of historical photographs of Virginia Tech, dating back to the 1890s. The collection is also home to historic images of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, the New River Valley, and Southwest Virginia in general. A photograph collection of faculty and staff from the university is maintained separately.
Named/Individual Photograph Collections, 1890s-present
The Named/Individual Photograph Collection include images from alumni and former faculty and staff, or individuals with ties to campus and the New River Valley. Collections (c.1890-present) depict campus life and events, railroad history, agricultural extension research, Blacksburg and surrounding areas, and some local families.
Postcards from Appalachia,c.1900-1950s (Ms2015-032)
This collection contains postcards depicting various locations in the Appalachian region. Postcards show scenery from locations in Tennessee and Kentucky as well as Abington, Bristol, Harrisonburg, Radford, Roanoke, and Tazewell, Virginia. Campus quadrangles of Roanoke College are shown on a few postcards. Other postcards depict historic landmarks such as Excelsior Pocahontas Smokeless Coal Mines No 1. and 2, The Hotel Roanoke, Hotel Patrick Henry, The Old Forge of Clifton Forge, and The Barter Theatre.
Solitude Photographs and Papers, 1960s-1980s (Ms1993-024)
Historic home of Blacksburg, Virginia, built by the Preston family in the early 1800s. Purchased by the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Tech) in 1872, and remains the oldest building on campus. Photographs consist of thirty-four mounted photographs from Eleanor Stover McEver's collection of various views and details of Solitude, with identifying labels. Also includes other papers, such as newspaper clippings and postcards, with information about Solitude.
Stereoview Collection, 1865, n.d. (Ms2017-056)
The collection includes stereoviews, mostly of Civil War-era or Civil War-related images. Items in the collection are individually described in the contents list of the finding aid. Please note: Stereoviews can be viewed without equipment, but Special Collections does have a stereoscope available upon request.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Postal Card Collection,1906-1995, undated (Ms2002-025)
Collection includes eighty postcards. Dated cards range from 1906 through 1995, but many cards are not dated. Cards depict various subjects including campus views, campus buildings, football, Corps of Cadets, and Blacksburg views. Some of the postcards are postmarked and addressed to recipients, while some are blank.
World War I Image Collection (Ms2012-012)
The collection consists of postcards and photographs from World War I (with one postcard from World War II). There are 8 photographs, 32 photo postcards, and one embroidered fabric souvenier postcard. The images (postcards and photos) are a mix of battlefield scenes and tourist destinations. Most of the images are from France and Germany. A few of the postcards have handwritten messages on the reverse.
April 16, 2007 Community Photograph Collection, 2007-2008 (Ms2013-022)
The collection consists of 41 framed photographs having to do with the aftermath of the April 16, 2007 shootings. Photographers were community members who submitted images to be considered for an exhibition at Squires' Perspective Gallery in April 2008. The collection also includes additional digital images not framed for the show and statements submitted by photographers .
Digital Photographs from Special Collections
Video Materials in Special Collections
Film Footage of the State of Virginia, 1980s-2003 (Ms2010-024)
This collection contains 35 Betacam tapes (also available on 9 DVDs) of raw video footage featuring locations throughout Virginia, including Williamsburg, Richmond, Lake Prince, and Alexandria.
Sugar cane, sorghum, and stir-offs: stir-off a mountain tradition
This video is also available online in a streaming format: http://www.cornettmedia.com/documentaries.html.
Video presents the history of sorghum and cane molasses stir-offs, particularly in the Appalachian regions. Documents a molasses stir-off in Kentucky in 2012, from the cutting of the sorghum stalks to the boiling down of the juice into "sorghum molasses."