Materials within Special Collections include the University Archives; Manuscript Collections; the collections of community organizations including the Rockbridge Historical Society, Brownsburg Museum, and American Shakespeare Center; rare books; university, faculty/staff, and alumni publications; Newspapers; Prints and Photographs; and so much more! Helpful hints on locating these materials include: 

Archival/Manuscript Collections -

  • Letters, Maps, Posters, Speeches, Photographs, Journals, Newspaper Clippings, Websites, Videos, and so much more!
  • Described using Finding Aids are Collection Guides
  • Description at the Collection and “Archival Object” level – often, every item is not listed in a collection description.
  • When searching finding aids, it is important to think broadly and in associations (subjects, events, families, etc.) 

Bibliographic Resources -

  • Books, Yearbooks, Magazines
  • Rare is not the same as old, something can be rare because very few were made or because of who owned it (provenance) or because of who wrote in it (annotated)
  • These are described at the item level and are searchable using specific terms as well as subjects. 

Digital Archive -

  • Items described within finding aids or the catalog that have been digitized are made available through the Digital Archive
  • Searchable and allows you to view items without being physically here
  • Access the important citation information using the “Show Full Item Record” feature