Skip to Main Content

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 Archival Resources of the Virginias.

COE Publications & Additional Resources

About Special Collections and University Archives

Hours
Monday-Friday
9:00am-5:00pm

Information for Visitors

Contact
Email: specref@vt.edu
Telephone: 540-231-6308
Twitter: @VT_SCUA
Staff Directory

SCUA Online
Website
Digital Collections
Blog | Culinary Blog
SCUA Research Guides

Virginia Tech's 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 the Morrill Land-Grant College Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands 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.

Virginia Tech acknowledges that its Blacksburg campus sits partly on land that was previously the site of the Smithfield and Solitude Plantations, owned by members of the Preston family. Between the 1770s and the 1860s, the Prestons and other local White families that owned parcels of what became Virginia Tech also owned hundreds of enslaved people. We acknowledge that enslaved Black people generated wealth that financed the predecessor institution to Virginia Tech, the Preston and Olin Institute, and they also worked on construction of its building. Not until 1953, however, was the first Black student permitted to enroll. 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.

Full and short version of the acknowledgement can be found on InclusiveVT's website.