Rare and Unique: Treasures from Special Collections and Archives
Showing afternoons in February.
A fundraising priority for VCU Libraries in 2018 is to establish a $1 million endowment for Special Collections and Archives to support its collection of rare and unique materials for research and teaching.
In late 2017, VCU Libraries received a boost in starting this endowment with a challenge grant of $30,000 from an anonymous donor. VCU Libraries hopes to meet the challenge and thus begin the endowment with at least $60,000 invested by June 30, 2018. Fundraising will continue until the $1 million goal is reached.
To inspire fundraising for this new endowment, this Cabell Screen exhibit showcases just a few of the many wonderful materials available to researchers in Special Collections and Archives on both the MCV and the Monroe Park campuses. The exhibit shows on the screen during afternoons beginning Feb. 8.
VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives’ focus is in subject areas such as comic arts, artists’ books, Richmond history, including businesses, civic associations and professional organizations, African-American, women’s and LGBTQ community histories, social movements and activism, materials on the history of health care in the Commonwealth, and medical artifacts. The historical records of VCU and its two predecessor institutions, the Richmond Professional Institute (RPI) and the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), also form key parts of the collections.
“This endowment presents a powerful giving opportunity for those interested in helping VCU strengthen collections that reflect VCU’s distinctive scholarly community, embrace its legacy and heritage, and contribute unique resources to research and teaching worldwide that are found nowhere else,” says Director of Development and Major Gifts Kelly Gotschalk. “This fund has particular importance for alumni who want to help with the ongoing preservation of VCU historic materials through our University Archives program.”
Want to know more about how you can help? Contact Kelly Gotschalk, Director of Development and Major Gifts.
Images in order of appearance in the exhibit:
- “This Original Self,” 2001 by Sandra Turley, Women’s Studio Workshop, features photographic portraits that are screen-printed onto satin devore material, resulting in transparent images that appear to be burned into the fibers. Turley produced the piece at the Women’s Studio Workshop, which is the largest publisher of artists’ books in North America. VCU Libraries is among a select number of institutions that serve as a repository for the workshop. From the Book Art Collection
- “Bernoulli Equation for Unsteady Potential Flow,” 2008, by Amadine Nabera-Piomelli is a book bound together with string. It is meant to visually and tactilely mimic the action of a body of water, and is named after the equation devised by 18th-century mathematician Daniel Bernoulli that is used in the theory of ocean surface waves and acoustics. From the Book Art Collection
- “The Veil,” 2002, by Julie Chen, Flying Fish Press was created in response to the widespread confusion and anxiety felt after 9/11. It’s supposed to echo the veil covering women’s faces — the burqa — in Afghanistan. The text on the back is the U.N. preamble from 1945. From the Book Art Collection
- “Edges”, 2007, by Alisa Banks is part of a series of altered books that feature hair crocheted onto the edges of the books’ pages. “The ‘Edges’ series is based on African/African ancestry braided styles,” the artist wrote. “Each book features a different ‘hairstyle.’ The pieces were created during a time when there was much political dialog on the national, state and local level concerning (illegal) immigration. Often the dialog took an underlying tone of intolerance and had little to do with immigration status. The tones of intolerance (which were cross-cultural), reminded me of growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s during integration. The hair treatment symbolizes how much activity, creativity, and life happens on the ‘edges’ of mainstream society, regardless of whether or not it is recognized.” The piece is an example of a sculptural artists’ book, It’s not meant to be read as a book but is more meant to be seen as a piece of art. From the Book Art Collection
- Queen Bee by artist Mackenzie Browning represents a cultivated and controlled paper garden, much like many living gardens that are meticulously manicured and regulated to avoid overgrowth, weeds, unwanted insects, and stinging pollinators. The grand display that this book makes … denotes the importance of the honeybee to human survival. …The accordion style honeycomb pages move and flex with the reader’s hands, creating a colorful floral sculpture, which transforms at every moment. From the Book Art Collection
- “Songbirds of the World,” from an Allen and Ginter Album. Published in the late 19th century by the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia, these beautiful chromolithography albums gathered artwork from trade cards included in cigarette packs.
- “50 Fish from American Waters” detail from an Allen and Ginter Album. Published in the late 19th century by the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia, these beautiful chromolithography albums gathered together artwork from trade cards included in cigarette packs.
- Cover of “50 Fish from American Waters,” an Allen and Ginter Album. Published in the late 19th century by the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia, these beautiful chromolithography albums gathered together artwork from trade cards included in cigarette packs.
- Beautiful publishers’ bindings, from books on display in The Cabell Room.
- Fables de La Fontaine cover – Benjamin Rabier (PZ 23 .R18 F32 1906)
- Cover of one version of “Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice,” author James Branch Cabell’s best-known work.
- Photograph of James Branch Cabell, circa 1930.
- Caricature of James Branch Cabell by Hart, Holland H., “The Devil’s Own Dear Son. More
- “Olga’s Lair,” a pre-production set design for “The Ogg and I,” season 3, episode 8 of the “Batman” TV series, which aired on Nov. 2, 1967. The painting shows the lavishly decorated lair of Egghead’s accomplice, Olga, Queen of the Bessarovian Cossacks, with Commissioner Gordon trapped in a cage set on a square platform. Batman and Robin can be seen peeking out of the top of a giant Samovar of Genghis Khan. This painting is one of 38 set design paintings from the 1960s “Batman” TV series by artist Leslie Thomas held by VCU Libraries. The paintings were donated to VCU Libraries’ Comic Arts Collection in 2005 by David Anderson, D.D.S., an alumnus of VCU’s School of Dentistry.
- This is a detail from “Int: Penguin Sub,” a set design painting from the 1966 “Batman” movie that depicts the interior view of Penguin’s submarine. At the center, The Joker peers through a periscope. In the background, portholes and doors can been seen leading to the individual quarters of The Joker, Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman. This painting is one of 38 set design paintings from the 1960s “Batman” TV series by artist Leslie Thomas held by VCU Libraries. The paintings were donated to VCU Libraries’ Comic Arts Collection in 2005 by David Anderson, D.D.S., an alumnus of VCU’s School of Dentistry.
- “Brother Man No. 1” from the Comic Arts Collection.
- “Static No. 1” from the Comic Arts Collection.
- “All-Negro Comics No. 1,” exceptionally rare volume from the Comic Arts Collection. All-Negro Comics, published in 1947, was a single-issue, small-press American comic book that represents the first known comics magazine written and drawn solely by African-American writers and artists.
- “Love and Rockets” No. 1 Written by the Hernandez brothers, “Love and Rockets” debuted in 1982 as one of the first comics of the alternative comics movement in the 1980s. An Hispanic work that was part of the L.A. punk rock scene of the time, this book was a big influence on that small publishing, alternative comic movement in the ’80s. “Love and Rockets” is known for its groundbreaking portrayals of strong female characters. Written by men, it paved the way for female cartoonists and characters. From the Comic Arts Collection.
- Wonder Woman as she looked in the 1940s. A detail from Wonder Woman No. 34, 1942 from the Comic Arts Collection.
- Suffrage sash from the Adele Goodman Clark papers.
- Shout the song of “Votes for Women”! Ring it out upon the air! Published in 1915, this suffrage rallying song was composed by Marie and Edward Zimmerman of Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell on the cover reminded women to “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof” as they sought the right to vote. The song is dedicated to Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and “the Great Cause of Woman Suffrage.” From the Adele Goodman Clark Papers.
- Photograph of Central Virginia African-American Girl Scouts at camp, circa 1940. From Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia Records.
- The bulletin for the 1866-67 course of study at the Medical College of Virginia, which operated continuously throughout the Civil War years and beyond. From University Archives.
- Medical illustration from Physiologikē, seu, Oeconomia animalis: aereis tabulis illustrata By Herman Boerhaave (1741), among some of the oldest books in the library holdings.
- 26-36 Various images of nurses and nursing from Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Special Collections and Archives.
37. Photograph of Virginia Hospital Nurses, class of 1898. University Archives
- 38. Photograph of the medical and nursing staff at Westbrook Sanitorium.
- 39. MCV Medicos baseball uniform, donated by an alumnus, and on display at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. At the turn of the 20th century, one of the most popular outlets for students was sports. The MCV Campus fielded a baseball team, dubbed the Medicos, as early as 1907. The recreational team continued competing through 1956.