Skip to main content

Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections: Home

A guide to research and resources in the Hampden-Sydney Archives.

Welcome!

Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections contains a variety of primary source documents, photographs, blueprints, maps, rare books, and other one-of-a-kind materials reflective of the nearly 250 year history of the institution and its surroundings. The cataloging and processing of this collection is an ongoing, full-time project, and we are working hard to inventory, describe, and provide accessibility to these unique materials.

Access

Finding aids for our larger collections may be discovered in our archival catalog, but are also accessible through our general library catalog. Our rare book holdings are also discoverable via the general library catalog. We are working to increase accessibility to items of noteworthy visual or historical value as well, and scans or photographs of such items may be found through our digital collections platform.

If you are interested in viewing non-circulating archival material, or if you are unable to find what you are looking for via the methods listed above, we suggest that you contact Sarah Almond, Hampden-Sydney’s Archival & Digital Projects Librarian. You can request materials and make an appointment to visit Archives & Special Collections here.

Appointments

Although a staff member may be available to assist walk-in patrons, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment and describe your research goals prior to your visit. Please note that appointments must be made for times between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday; Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections is not open on evenings and weekends at this time. In addition, we ask that you allow two to three days for location and delivery of your archival items.

Genealogy

Genealogy is a popular research topic for our patrons. Though Bortz Library does not have a dedicated genealogy collection and carries a limited selection of local newspapers, Archives & Special Collections does carry materials related to prior Hampden-Sydney students, staff, and faculty. We have also put together a list of resources available online, visible as part of this guide.

We are happy to assist you with your genealogy research, but can do so most effectively when contacted prior to your visit. For best results, please email our Library Assistant for Public Services, Bret Peaden, or Sarah Almond. Please submit a request for research visit at least two business days prior to your intended visit.

Archives

Though Hampden-Sydney College has acquired and preserved archival material throughout its history, the Archives began in a more focused capacity with the College’s first official librarian, Paul L. Grier, who served from 1949 until his retirement in 1979. During this time, he created what is now known as the Paul L. Grier Vertical Files, a collection of primary source material related to the College that is organized by year, beginning with the founding of the College in 1776.

Library faculty and staff have continued to maintain the Vertical Files while also collecting additional records, photographs, and publications that document the history of Hampden-Sydney College, Farmville, and the surrounding community. Other items that may be found in the College Archives include the original Board of Trustees Minutes, which are stored in an environmentally controlled Vault located in the basement of Bortz Library. Access to all materials in the College Archives is by appointment. Specific items may be requested using our Research Request Form.

Special Collections

Special Collections at Hampden-Sydney College include manuscripts, books, oral histories, photographs, and other materials. It is the mission of Special Collections to gather together resources that document the diverse culture and history of Hampden-Sydney College, Alumni, and Faculty, as well as that of Prince Edward County and South Central Virginia at large.

Rare Books

Included in Special Collections is our Rare Books Collection. Rare Books are items that are considered valuable due to scarcity, age, printing and binding method, or material components, and have either been collected by the College or generously donated by patrons. Our Rare Books Collection includes illuminated incunabula, several first editions, and some unique publications produced in the now-defunct Confederate States of America.

This non-circulating collection is shelved in an environmentally controlled storage vault, located in the basement of Bortz Library. Rare Books may be searched for in the general library catalog, and access requested at the circulation desk or via our Research Request Form.

Hampden-Sydney Collection

The Hampden-Sydney Collection includes books and a small number of manuscripts that are associated with the College, including history as well as works by faculty members and alumni. Most books in the Hampden-Sydney Collection are shelved in a special section on the fourth floor. All items from the Hampden-Sydney Collection may be found in the library catalog. If you are unsure about the location of a specific item, please ask a library staff member for assistance with finding and retrieving materials from this collection.

Patrons may request rare books or manuscripts from the Hampden-Sydney Collection via our Research Request Form, after which a library staff member will contact the patron to set up an appointment to view the materials.

Union Philanthropic Literary Society Collection

The UPLS Collection consists of the books owned by the debate societies and donated to Hampden-Sydney College in the 19th century. UPLS books are housed in open stacks on the 4th floor, but they do not circulate. All items from the UPLS Collection may be found in the library catalog. If you are unsure about the location of a specific item, please ask a library staff member for assistance with finding and retrieving materials from this collection.

Rare and valuable books from this collection are shelved in the vault, and can be accessed by request at the circulation desk, or via our Research Request Form.

Manuscript Collections

Manuscript collections in both the College Archives and Special Collections are listed in a separate Archival Catalog. Though direct access to most collections is not provided online, patrons may peruse online finding aids in order to locate pertinent research materials. Where digital components do exist, they will be linked through the Archival Catalog, or may be directly accessed through our Digital Collections Portal. Please note that Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections has a large backlog of unprocessed archival material that Bortz Library is working continuously to bring to light; patrons searching for specific archival matter or records that are unable to locate information in our general, archival,or digital catalogs should contact Sarah Almond, Archival & Digital Projects Librarian, for a consultation.

Archival Collection Policy
Goals
The goals of Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections are
  • to support the educational mission of Bortz Library and Hampden-Sydney College in their efforts “to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning”
  • to collect materials that document the diverse culture, history, and interests of Hampden-Sydney College students, alumni, and faculty, as well as that of Prince Edward County and Southside Virginia at large
  • to encourage the development of exhibits and the use of historical materials as a learning tool for Hampden-Sydney students
  • to provide historical information and research services for Hampden-Sydney College students, alumni, and faculty, as well as the surrounding community
  • to serve faculty, student, alumni, and non-affiliate research interests related to College history and Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections’ holdings
Collecting Scope
In an effort collect materials that document the diverse culture, history, and interests of Hampden-Sydney College students, alumni, and faculty, as well as that of Prince Edward County and Southside Virginia at large, Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections preserves, acquires, and builds unique collections that document historical and contemporary aspects of fields of study that are strengths for the College, including
  • American history
  • Biology and the Biological Sciences
  • Business and Managerial Economics
  • History of the Presbyterian Church
  • Local History
  • Military History
  • Political Science and Government
  • Virginia history
Materials and Formats
The following materials will be collected
  • Documents, correspondence, accounts, policy statements, summaries, statistics, projections, programs, reports, papers, maps, books, photographs, or any items, regardless of physical form, that are determined to have historical value and are created by an employee of the College in the performance of their responsibilities
  • Official college publications, communications, and printed materials
  • Manuscripts and personal papers that fit within the collecting scope of the College Archives & Special Collections
  • Official records of the college containing useful or significant administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential, or historical information that are both inactive and correspond to retention schedules established by the Library of Virginia
Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections actively collects materials in all textual, non-textual, and digital formats.
Language

English is currently the primary language represented in College Archives & Special Collections.

Dates of Coverage
The Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections includes rare books and incunabula from the 15th century as well as Roman and Babylonian artifacts created before the common era. The bulk of the collection, however, dates from the establishment of the College in 1775 up to the present.
Retention Policy

The role of the College Archives is to identify, acquire, manage, preserve, and make available records of archival value. These records provide unique testimony to the achievements of individuals and entities within the Hampden-Sydney College Community and provide a collective memory. They also protect the college, its students, faculty, and staff as well as its business associates.

College Archives & Special Collections is the official repository for records at Hampden-Sydney. Records of the College are considered archival if they contain useful or significant administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential, or historical information and the records are not currently being used. This includes any documents, correspondence, accounts, policy statements, summaries, statistics, projections, programs, reports, papers, maps, books, photographs, or any items, regardless of physical form, that are created by an employee of the College in the performance of their responsibilities, and which are appropriate for preservation as evidence of institutional internal structure, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other basic activities, or because of the inherent informational value of such material.

Examples of such records could include Board of Trustees materials, records of the President, records of academic departments, and records of administrative departments, among other resources. College Archives also collects publications created by or under the authority of Hampden-Sydney College, records of student and faculty organizations, student publications, faculty and staff publications, and alumni publications. In addition, College Archives also houses memorabilia and ephemeral materials relating to the College.

Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections is currently in the process of drafting an official retention policy to be used throughout the campus. This policy will, in large part, be informed by schedules established by the Library of Virginia with regards to the retention and disposition of state and local public records.

Forms
Researchers might wish to familiarize themselves with our Archival Access forms, which outline access policies and explain reproduction costs. Our online Research Request form is available here, as well.
For patrons interested in donating collections, we have two available Deed of Gift forms. Our longer form is for manuscript collection donations, whereas our shorter form is limited to donations of a few items at a time.

Physical Collections

Physical Collections held at Hampden-Sydney include the College Archives and as well as Special Collections materials. With the exception of Rare Books, which are in the general library catalog, descriptions of physical collections (known as Finding Aids) may be searched using our archival catalog.

Access to all physical collections is by appointment only. Specific items may be requested using our Research Request Form.

Please note that Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections has a large backlog of unprocessed archival material; patrons searching our physical collections that are unable to locate information in our general or archival catalogs should contact Sarah Almond, Archival & Digital Projects Librarian, for a consultation.

1 / 5
Advertisement, Vanity Fair, April 09, 1903
2 / 5
Herbert C. Bradshaw's handwritten manuscript
3 / 5
Biblia Latinae, printed by Nicolaus Kesler in 1491
4 / 5
Babylonian Clay Tablet
5 / 5
Original 1777 Hampden-Sydney Lottery Tickets

Digital Collections

H-SC Archives staff are working hard to make digital scans of our most unique primary source material and archival items available on our new digital collections platform. In the future, born-digital items such as pertinent email correspondence, oral history recordings, and research data may be stored on the platform as well.

Please note that our Digital Collections are updated frequently. Patrons unable to locate specific scans, or with suggestions for material to be digitized, should contact Sarah Almond, Archival & Digital Projects Librarian.

Visit Us

Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections is located on the fourth floor of Bortz Library on the Hampden-Sydney College campus at 257 Via Sacra. While everyone is welcome to explore Archives & Special Collections, holdings are closed to the public; it is recommended that all researchers (including students and faculty) contact the Archives to make an appointment to view requested materials.

Reading areas for researchers are located on the main floor of the Library, and it is recommended that researchers check-in at the Circulation Desk prior to their appointments. Archival staff will then retrieve all requested materials. Those wishing to conduct more generalized historical research into or seeking a tour through the material history of the College may want to visit the Esther Thomas Atkinson Museum, which is separate from Archives & Special Collections. More information about the museum, including hours of operation, is available here, and researchers may contact museum curator Angela Way using this form. As a general rule of thumb, the museum preserves historical artifacts, whereas Archives & Special Collections holdings primarily include books, records, and manuscripts.

Before Your Visit

Listed below are a couple of tips to help you make the most of your visit to the Hampden-Sydney Archives & Special Collections.

  • Materials can be viewed Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm.
  • Please use the library and archival catalog in advance to locate items to be used in your research, and be sure to request those items.
  • You can simultaneously request materials and contact us with the preferred date and time of your visit using our Research Request Form. Archives staff will retrieve your requested materials and have them waiting for you at the time of your visit. We will require a minimum of two working days’ notice in order to properly retrieve your materials.
During your Visit

Trips to the Archives differ in many ways from regular trips to the library. Please read the guidelines below so that you know what to expect.

  • You will be asked to present photo identification (student ID, state supplied ID, or passport) and to complete our Researcher Registration and Use Record. Archives staff will have paper copies of this form, but you may also download and fill out in advance here.
  • While viewing materials, researchers must leave coats, briefcases, bags, and other personal items with Archives staff on duty.
  • Food, drink, tobacco, e-cigarettes, notebooks, and ink pens are not allowed in the vicinity of archival materials. Pencils, laptop computers, and cell phones may be used for taking notes or photographs. Pencils and scrap paper will be provided upon request.
  • Archives staff reserve the right to inspect researchers’ belongings before they leave the library.
Handling Materials
  • Handle the material with clean hands (no hand creams or lotions) and minimize handling whenever possible.
  • Do not fold, write on, erase from, or otherwise damage the material. Do not lean on or rest anything on top of archival items or write on top of archival items.Tracing is not allowed.
  • Please turn pages gently, one at a time, and with fingers in the non-text areas of the page whenever possible.
  • Archives staff may present book cradles with bound volumes, which are designed to reduce possible damages to the spine of the book. Books presented in a cradle should stay squarely on the table at all times.
  • In the case of archival record boxes, researchers agree to remove one folder at a time, and to keep records in original order within folders, and keep folders in order within boxes. Researchers that notice damaged, out of order, or missing documents should alert Archives staff.
  • When leaving the reading area for more than a few minutes, researchers should return folders to their boxes and close books.
Reproduction, Citation, and Copyright
  • Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections makes no representation that it holds copyright to any materials found within its collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine copyright status and to obtain permission for reproduction if the materials are found to be under copyright protection.
  • Researchers are responsible for observing all U.S. copyright regulations.
  • Researchers may use their own cameras to photograph archival records and items for reproduction at no cost. The use of flash photography is not allowed.
  • Researchers that wish to reproduce archival items (including those that wish to take digital photographs) will be asked to fill out the Reproduction Request Form and indicate the materials they chose to photograph, copy, or scan.
  • Copying and scanning of archival materials is available within the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17, U.S. Code). All copying and scanning is performed by Archives staff. Copies of paper documents are free to Hampden-Sydney College and Faculty; for other researchers, copies or low-resolution scans of paper documents cost $0.10 per page. High-resolution scans up to 12x17 inches are free to students and faculty, and are available to visiting researchers for $5.00/scan.
  • Fees for A/V reproduction and oversize scans will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Researchers are responsible for the correct citation of all archival material. When citing materials from Archives & Special Collections, please do so in the following format: Title or description of the item, Box/Folder number (if available), Collection title, Repository.

    Example: Committee Meetings and Correspondence (6 of 6) 1996, Box 2; Folder 12, Royal E. Cabell, Jr. Papers, Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections.
Contact Us

To personally schedule an appointment to use Archives & Special Collections material, or for more information, please contact Archival & Digital Projects Librarian Sarah Almond, (434) 223-7225.

                                                           

                                                           

Research Tools

Many archival research opportunities are available via the internet. The National Archives and Records Administration is in the process of developing SNAC (Social Networks in Archival Context) to illuminate collections nationwide. Similarly, ArchiveGrid is an extension of WorldCat that can access descriptions of archival collections held at repositories around the world.

More locally, the Library of Virginia is a valuable resource for archival records and material. Similarly, the Virginia Heritage site is a consolidated database of archival finding aids from a variety of Virginia repositories.

Books, records, and other primary source materials are also available online, most reliably through the HathiTrust Digital Library, Google Books, and the Internet Archive. In your search for resources, these sites are always a good place to start.

For archival reference services or help locating particular archival items not held in the Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections, please contact Sarah Almond, Archival and Digital Projects Librarian, to set up a consultation.

This is preheader text. Some clients will show this text as a preview.

                                                           
Search Archives
Explore the Archives Catalog
Explore Digital Archives

Online Genealogical Resources

This is preheader text. Some clients will show this text as a preview.