What are Special Collections and Archives?

Special Collections and Archives contains collections of unique materials. The Archives house significant or rare manuscripts, books, blueprints, photographs, audiovisuals, memorabilia, and other materials related to Longwood history. These collections are not open to the public; however you are welcome to request items to be retrieved for you. Requests for materials must be made between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday – Friday, and materials must be used under the supervision of library staff in the space designated for you. You may not make photocopies or scans of the material; if you need a copy, Library staff will determine what may be reproduced and will make the copies if possible.

If you have any questions, please contact Lydia Williams at 434.395.2432

Special Collections Descriptions

  1. Folio Collection – This collection includes oversize books that require a special shelving configuration to accommodate their dimensions. The folios fall into two categories; some are rare books and some titles relate to Virginia history and geography.
  2. Inscribed Books Collection– This collection includes books that have been inscribed by the authors, but that do not fit into any of the Library’s other special collections categories.
  3. Rare Book Collection – The treasures in this collection are unique—some because they are signed, some because of their illustrations, some because they are first editions of classics, and some because they are no longer available in print but have enduring value. Rare books may not be taken out of the Special Collections Room.
  4. Virginia Authors Collection – This collection includes works by Virginia authors – authors born in Virginia, authors who live in Virginia and authors who have lived in Virginia at the time of writing. Although the collection consists of classic works by authors such as Ellen Glasgow, Mary Johnston, and James Branch Cabell , it is continually enriched through the addition of contemporary publications. Greenwood Library attempts to obtain two copies of each book—a circulating copy available for personal reading and research purposes, and one copy for the Special Collections Room.
  5. Anhui Collection – In 2007 Greenwood Library was the recipient of books from Anhui University of Technology in Ma’anshan, China. The collection, in both Chinese and English, consists of classic Chinese literature including Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en; Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong; and Dream of Read Mansions by Cao Wuequin and Gao E. This collection also includes pictorial works illustrating China’s antiquities including paintings, sculptures, porcelain, calligraphy, and wood working.
  6. Local Authors Collection – This collection includes publications that have been authored by local authors Francis Wood and William Hoffman.
  7. Drossler Collection – The Alice in Wonderland Collection was donated to the Library in memory of Carol S. Droessler (Longwood Class of 1950) and presented to the University by her husband, Dr. Earl Droessler of Raleigh, North Carolina, in the spring of 1999. The collection consists of numerous and various editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland including versions that are in pop-up format and versions that are in different languages. This collection also includes biographies about Lewis Carroll and several of the book’s well-known illustrators.
  8. Edward Gorey Collection – Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was a writer, illustrator and designer whose distinctive drawings combined with a morbid wit and a taste for the bizarre earned him a reputation as a rather eccentric individual who produced unusual publications. Gorey’s works are unique graphic creations that are a fascination to all who view them.
  9. Faculty Publications – This collection showcases books that have been written by Longwood faculty and administrators over the past one hundred years. The oldest title dates back to 1908 when Columbia University Press published Arithmetical Abilities andSome Factors Determining Them by Dr. Cliff Winfield Stone.
  10. Local History and Virginiana Collection – This collection includes materials that relate to Prince Edward County and the town of Farmville, to the surrounding Southside Virginia area, and to Virginia as a whole. The collection also includes materials related to the closing of the schools in Prince Edward County.
  11. Ellen Glasgow and Mary Johnston Collections – This collection includes books by notable 20th-century Virginia novelists Ellen Glasgow and Mary Johnston.

Archives Descriptions


Selected collections below have finding aids available that describe what a collection contains.  If a collection does not have a link to a finding aid, please contact the Library’s archivist for additional details about that collection.

Alumni Relations Collection #1 (1900 – 1990s)

This collection consists of four boxes of printed materials, three boxes of photos and 4 flat boxes of oversize items.  Included is this collection are random historical documents and photographs related to special school events such as Commencement.  The materials date from the early 1900s to the mid-1990s with just a few items falling outside this date range. 13 boxes (10.5 linear ft.)

Alpha Kappa Gamma (the Joan Circle) (1927 – 1967)

In this collection are records of the Farmville Chapter (Joan Circle) of Alpha Kappa Gamma including the constitution for the Circle, membership rosters, meeting minutes, financial reports, and national records from the Joan Circle era.  Collection is housed in 2 legal size file cabinet drawers.

American Association of University Professionals (AAUP) (1980 – 2006)

This collection of records relate to Longwood’s chapter of the AAUP. 2 boxes (1 linear ft.)

Barbara L. Bishop Collection (1965 – 1991)

Barbara Bishop, an artist in her own right, taught art classes at Longwood from 1965 to 1991. This collection includes biographical documents, framed certificates, diplomas, pictures, and Longwood commemorative memorabilia. 1 box (.5 linear ft.)

Virginia Bedford Collection (1969-1972)

This collection includes memorabilia related to the naming and dedication of Bedford Hall and biographical information about faculty member Virginia Bedford. 1 box (.5 linear ft.)

Patricia Cormier Collection (Longwood President 1997 – 2010)

This collection includes a sizable number of awards, plaques, resolutions and gifts collected by Cormier while she was the president of Longwood. Among this collection are Longwood memorabilia.  Dr. Cormier’s papers relate to associations and affiliations in which she participated as a member or officer; minutes and notes from various governing bodies at Longwood; correspondence and subject files that deal with a wide variety of topics; a collection of the transcripts of speeches given during her tenure at Longwood; a collection of her writings; and a small group of personal and biographical items. 167 boxes (104.3 linear ft.)

Patricia Cormier & the First Gent’s Collection (1980 – 2010)

This scrapbook-type material is a collection of newspaper clippings, letters, announcements, flyers, and ephemera which was collected by Raymond Cormier.  The material reflects their many activities and accomplishments while at Longwood.  There are a few items that pre-date their Longwood years. 12 boxes (6.5 linear ft.)

Council for the Advancement of Standards for Student Services/Development: Professionals in Post-Secondary Education (1985 – 1997)

The records in this collection relate to the business of the CAS Committee. 1 box (.5 linear ft.)

Delta Psi Kappa (Longwood College’s Beta Lambda Chapter) (1960 – 2002)

This collection includes a variety of print materials related to athletic events and seven albums of photographs featuring activities related to athletics, physical education classes, and social gatherings. 4 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)

Education and Human Services Collection (1995/96 – 2003/04)

This collection includes records related to the Superintendent’s Network, Teachers for Tomorrow, the DAC and the 2007 self-study for the undergraduate social work program. 5 boxes (2.8 linear ft.)

Farmville, Prince Edward County and Regional History Collection

This collection includes a variety of materials such as newspaper clippings, brochures, studies and reports related to individuals, events, landmarks, local government, and civic organizations.  This is a random collection of items that includes a few select items representing every decade since 1930. 4 boxes (2.25 linear ft.)

George William Jeffers Collection (1926 – 1968)

This collection includes Jeffers’ correspondence, writings, materials related to his committee involvements, and information about his personal life.  He taught at Longwood from 1926 until his retirement in 1968. 10 boxes (12.9 linear ft.)

Library Collection (1915 – 2001)

The collection includes a random group of documents and records related to the business and operation of the library. Included are annual reports from 1979 to 2001. 21 boxes (11.4 linear ft.)

Library Building Programs

  • Lancaster Library Expansion Project completed in 1962 – This collection is contained in one box and one oversize folder which hold documents and blueprints related to the addition to the existing library.
  • Greenwood Library Construction Collection (1980-1991) – This collection of documents related to the planning and construction of the Greenwood Library are housed in 8 boxes.

Longwood College Assessment Papers (academic year 1980/81- fall 1996)

The collection includes reports, surveys, statistical information generated by this office. 8 boxes (4.3 linear ft.)

Longwood College Athletic Association Collection (1926-1964)

The materials in this collection document sports-related activities and events from 1926/27 to 1963/64.  Minutes of meetings of the Athletic Association and lists of members date from 1942/43 to 1963/64. 2 boxes (1.0 linear ft.)

Longwood College Institutional Research Papers (1989/90 – 1997/98)

This collection includes surveys and reports used in the Longwood College Fact Book. 2 boxes (1.0 linear ft.)

Longwood College Slide Collection (1950s – 1960s)

This collection of slides came to the library from Dr. Don Merkle of the Department of Natural Sciences.  Dr. Merkle provided no information about the origin or original owner of the slides. The slides feature special events such as May Day, Circus and other student activities.

Longwood Sesquicentennial Celebration Collection (1988/89)

This collection includes print records created by the Office of Public Affairs for the purpose of marketing and promoting Longwood’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.  During the 1988/89 academic year there were many special events that provided cultural enrichment and reflected College-wide excellence. 2 large boxes (2 linear ft.)

Lychnos Society Collection (1957 – 1987)

The collection consists of the records of this local honorary mathematics and science organization.  Photographs and a scrapbook documenting the society’s activities are included. 3 boxes (1.75 linear feet)

Vincent Persichetti Collection (1940s – 1980s)

The collection includes the majority of Persichetti’s published scores: musical scores for piano, organ, harpsichord, orchestra, band, a variety of instrumental combinations, choral groups, and solo vocalists.  Other items in this collection include published articles about the composer and his music, unpublished biographical and analytical papers, an interview with the composer, and a collection of correspondence between Persichetti and Rudy Shackelford, the original collector/owner of these materials. 8 boxes (6 linear ft.)

Pi Gamma Mu Collection 

This collection is the result of a mid-1970s project that was planned and executed by Pi Gamma Mu under the leadership of faculty member James Helms.  The members collected historical documents from offices and individuals within the college community and then organized them into the existing collection.  The collection was then given to the Library for permanent retention. Collection is housed in 2 legal size file cabinet drawers.

Presidents’ Subject File

These collections include newspaper and magazine articles and other miscellaneous print materials that relate to the following principals and presidents who have served at Longwood.  There are no collections for the early principals, Lorenzo Coburn, John Coburn, John Tinsley, Benjamin Gould, George La Monte, S.F. Nottingham, James Crawley, Paul Whitehead, Fannie Carter or for the interim President George Healy who served from 1986-1988.  Some collections hold only a few documents. The materials were collected over the years by library staff and others across campus.  These collections serve as subject files that provide basic information about former presidents. 12 boxes (6.5 linear ft.)

  • Dr. Solomon Lea (1841-1842)
  • Reverend Lorenzo Lea (1842-1844)
  • Dr. Arnaud Preot (1862-1869)
  • Dr. William Henry Ruffner (1884-1887)
  • Dr. John A. Cunningham (1887-1897)
  • Dr. Robert Frazer (1898-1902)
  • Dr. Joseph Jarman (1902-1946)
  • Dr. Dabney Lancaster (1946-1955)
  • Dr. Francis Lankford (1955-1963)
  • Dr. James Newman (1965-1967)
  • Dr. Fred O. Wygal (1967-1974)
  • Dr. Henry Willett (1967-1981)
  • Dr. Janet D. Greenwood (1981-1986)
  • Dr. William F. Dorrill (1988-1996)
  • Dr. Patricia Cormier (1996-2010)
  • General Patrick Finnegan (2010-2012)

Public Relations Photo Collection Series 1 (1960s – 1980s)

This is a collection of over 3300 photos taken by the Public Relations photographer or an outside entity hired by the University for promotional magazines, brochures and newspaper articles.  The collection includes a large number of photos taken during Founders’ Day events (1961 – 1978) and during the Miss Longwood pageants (1966 – 1990).  These photos are arranged alphabetically by topic. Collection contained in 33 binders (6 linear ft.)

Dorothy Schlegel Slide Collection (1950s – 1960s)

This collection was a gift to Longwood from the estate of Dorothy Schlegel.  The slides feature special events such as May Day and the Circus.

Francis Butler Simkins Papers (1928 – 1966)

Dr. Simkins taught history at Longwood from 1928 to 1966.  He authored and co-authored many publications and is remembered as a southern historian of great renown.  Simkins’ papers include correspondence, numerous drafts of writings including an unpublished autobiography, personal and biographical information, and a collection of miscellaneous materials. 23 boxes (18 linear ft.)

Speech & Theatre Collection (1970s – 1980s)

This collection includes playbills, program reports, scripts, photographs, and slides related to plays produced by the Department of Speech and Theatre during the 1970s and 1980s when faculty members Dr. Patton Lockwood and Dr. Doug Young headed up the theatre productions. 7 boxes & 3 shelves of boxed slides & oversize scripts (12.8 linear ft.)

Rosemary Sprague Collection (1962 – 1990)

Rosemary Sprague taught English at Longwood from 1962 to 1990; she was the first faculty member to be named Longwood’s Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor.  The collection includes correspondence, writings, personal and biographical materials including a collection of photographs, and a collection of miscellaneous items. 59 boxes (30 linear ft.)

Edith Stevens Collection

Edith Stevens taught science at the State Teachers College from 1928 until 1945 when she was seriously burned in a lab fire from which she never recovered.  This collection includes Edith Stevens’ writings and index cards containing bibliographic references that all relate to the study and teaching of plant sciences.  Two boxes contain manuscripts created in the traditional style and format with the text in typescript on letter size paper.  Two boxes contain sets of intricate ink drawings on 4.2” x 5.5” card stock. There are no dates on any of the materials in this collection. 5 boxes (3 linear ft.)

Leola Wheeler Collection

Leola Wheeler taught at Longwood from 1911 until her retirement in 1949.  The collection includes seven notebooks related to classes taken by Miss Wheeler and one book containing notes related to her overseas travels. The notebooks are not dated. 1 box (.6 linear ft.)

John Peter Wynne (1930s – 1960s)

The collection consists of documents related to Dr. Wynne’s career as an educator and author of 29 books related to the topic of education.  He taught at Longwood from 1924 until his retirement in 1959. 7 boxes (4 linear ft.)

Online Archives

Several Library collections have been digitized and are accessible on the web at the Internet Archive or through our online catalog.  Use the links below to get to specific collections.

Contact Us

Special Collections Request Form