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Virginia Tech History Resources: College of Engineering

This guide details resources intended to help those doing research on the history of Virginia Tech, including the use of Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, and related resources.

About the College of Engineering (COE)

The College of Engineering (COE) has roots going back to the beginning of Virginia Tech's history. When the university began as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1872, it offered "Mechanical" (now a department of mechanical engineering) as one of its 13 "courses of study," what would today be considered "departments." When the first administrative instructional divisions were established in 1903, engineering was one of four academic departments for which a dean was appointed. In 1920, the department became the School of Engineering and then, in 1964, the College of Engineering.

Online Histories and Exhibits

COE Collections

General Resources

Record groups may include posters, flyers, photos, organizational records, and more. Materials are divided into assigned Record Groups based on the office, division, or unit and designated by the prefix, RG. Materials related to COE are in RG 18/x and subgroups, while the  Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (VT-WFU SBES) is RG 49. 

Collections of COE and COE-Related Individuals

Here are several SCUA collections related to the College of Engineering. This is not a comprehensive list of all our related collections. To find more, please search within our collections on Virginia Heritage.

COE Publications & Additional Resources

About Special Collections and University Archives

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Land & Labor Acknowledgement

We thank the American Indian & Indigenous Community Center for providing this statement:

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.