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HUM/RLCL5204: Books & Manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives

Suggested collections & resources in Special Collections, at the University Libraries, and online for HUM/RLCL5204. This was originally created for Fall 2016, but was updated in February 2019.

About Special Collections and University Archives

New Theatre (the Lyric) and Store Building for the Blacksburg Realty Company
New Theatre (the Lyric) and Store Building for the Blacksburg Realty Company

Hours: 
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm & By Appointment

Contact us:
Email: specref@vt.edu
Telephone: 540-231-6308

Twitter: @VT_SCUA
Information for Visitors

Find us online!
Our website
Our digital collections
Our blog
Our LibGuide (Information about us and our collections)

Books

Locating books in Special Collections and University Archives that relate to aspects of (public) humanities, culture, and other topics depends on a few factors and may take multiple searches. We recommend using the library's catalog. If you have having trouble generating search terms, try some of the tools listed in the "Additional Guides & Search Tools" section.

A few tips:

  • Limiting your search to Special Collections and University Archives will ONLY include materials housed within the department (books, manuscript collections, and media). You can do this by going to "Advanced Seach," selecting "Item Type," and checking the boxes for "SPEC material rstor" and "Spec in-house." This will find materials that are part of Special Collections housed in our off-site facility and in the department, respectively.
  • A general search will find materials in Special Collections, in Newman Library, the Art & Architecture Library, and the Library Service Centers (off-site materials which can be requested). It will NOT include E-books and databases (use the main search box on the library's webpage that includes the discovery system).
  • Catalog records, by nature, contain a mix of subjective and object elements. Subject headings are authoritative and control, but are applied to a record by an individual who may interpret an item in a specific way. Don't be afraid to explore different words or headings.

If you are having trouble searching, we encourage you to contact Special Collections (specref@vt.edu or 231-6308) or come by when we're open (M-F 8am-5pm) and our staff will be happy to lend a hand!

Manuscripts

Special Collections and University Archives is home to more than 1,900 manuscript collections, many of which deal with aspects of Appalachian culture. Finding aids (collection guides) for processed manuscript collections are available through Virginia Heritage, a state-wide database. The general search page is here: http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/search. You can limit your search to "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University." Searching all collections will do a full-text search of all guides.

We have specifically identified more than 570 of our guides which relate to local/regional/Appalachian history, which you can browse online. You can also limit these results using facets or search within this results list for a specific word, words, or phrase. 

We also have unprocessed collections and collections with limited descriptions. If you are having trouble locating relevant materials we encourage you to contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 231-6308) or come by when we're open (M-F 8am-5pm) and our staff will be happy to lend a hand!

Digitized Materials