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Virginia Tech History Resources: College of Science

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.

Researching the College of Science and its predecessors (COS)

Here are resources pertaining to the College of Science (COS), its schools, its programs, and its departments. Also included are resources for its predecessors, such as the College of Arts & Sciences, as these included many of the departments and programs that are currently housed administratively in COS.

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. For example, materials relating to COS are identified as RG 49/x and the College of Arts and Sciences [obsolete, 2003] as RG 15/x.

About the College of Science (COS) and its predecessors

The College of Science (COS) formed from most of the science departments of the College of Arts and Sciences when it dissolved in July 2003.

College of Arts & Sciences

In 1961, the School of Science and General Studies formed out of several departments that were part of the School of Applied Sciences and Business, which dissolved that year. However, some of the departments trace their roots back to the founding of the university in 1872. In 1963, the school became the School of Arts and Sciences and the next year became the College of Arts and Sciences, which dissolved in July 2003. Most of the liberal arts departments joined the newly-formed College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, while most of the science departments formed the College of Science (COS).

Online Histories and Exhibits 

COS Collections

COS Collections

Here are several SCUA collections related to the College of Science. 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.

About Special Collections and University Archives


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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.