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Virginia Tech Libraries

Library Overview

Special Collections at Virginia Tech (VT) welcomes the public in its newly renovated Reading Room in Newman Library, and to a growing number of unique online materials and exhibits. Its wealth of unique resources and rare books largely document 19th- and 20th-century American history and culture. Particularly rich and unique collections include:

The Archives of American Aerospace Exploration document aeronautical and space history through the collections of astronauts (e.g., Michael Collins), artists (e.g., James Dean), NASA administrators (e.g., Christopher C. Kraft), and project managers (e.g., Marjorie Rhodes Townsend), as well as Samuel Herrick, founder of the field of astrodynamics, and John Parsons, the father of numerical control.

Three hundred Appalachian collections include local family papers, oral histories in the Patrick County (Virginia) Project and Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife collections, archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, and more.

The historical records of Virginia Tech, which form the nucleus of the University Archives, extend to statewide activities of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. Scanned yearbooks, historical data, and catalogs are also available online, as are unique digital resources, among them a timeline of Black history, VT in the Spanish-American War, pre–World War II Thanksgiving at VT, 1970 campus unrest, and VT electronic theses and dissertations.

The American Civil War has long been a major collecting focus. Its strength lies in the dual Union and Confederate resources, particularly soldiers' letters and diaries. The backbone of the rare book collection is the Billings donation of 4,500 monographs.

Virginia Tech's rare books are available through Addison, the library catalog, and largely correlate with strengths in the manuscript and archival collections. But also noteworthy are collections such as the Hertzler Children's Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Archive, Peacock-Harper Culinary History, Heron Speculative Fiction, Col. Harry Temple Heraldry, Bailey/Law Ornithology, and John Barnes Victorian Juvenile Literature.

Special Collections welcomes researchers from around the world and encourages undergraduates as well as graduate students, faculty, and others from the university and the wider community to use its resources.

Virginia Tech
University Libraries, Special Collections
PO Box 90001
Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-9001
(540) 230-6308 (t)
(540) 231-7808 (f)