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Architectural History - Richmond

Image Resources in Special Collections and Archives


There are a number of different types of image resources housed in Special Collections and Archives and include black and white photographs, vintage postcard views, color slides from the 1960s to the 1980s, digital images, and published and unpublished sources. Several of these collections are now part of the VCU Libraries Digital Collections site and can be accessed below. For other online resources of images check this Research Guide's Websites section.

The VCU Photograph Collection includes thousands of photographs of buildings, events, and individuals of the Monroe Park Campus (1920s-) including hundreds of off campus images of Richmond. There is a collection of Richmond and Virginia maps and prints dating from the mid-19th century through today. The department also houses a number of published works that feature historical images of Richmond.

 Old City Hall, Richmond, Virginia, postmarked 1909.



Jim Stubbins Collection of Postcards of U.S. Municipal Buildings (Court Houses and City Halls) - A recent donation of over 2,000 postcards, the bulk of which dates from 1900 to the 1920s, showing examples of municipal buildings from across the United States. 



  • Rarely Seen Richmond: Early 20th Century Richmond As Through Vintage Postcards -- Richmond Postcard Collection includes scanned images of over 600 postcards of Richmond buildings and scenes dating primarily from 1900-1930. Researchers can also view the Richmond postcard collection of nearly 2,000 images in the department.
  • Through the Lens of Time: Images of African Americans from the Cook Collection. Online researchers can search nearly 300 nineteenth and early twentieth century images of African Americans from the Valentine Museum's Cook Collection of Photographs. Many of these images show both rural and urban architecture from the central Virginia area.
  • Jackson Ward Historic District Collection. This site is part of VCU Libraries' Digital Collection. It presents a series of photographs documenting Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood used for the book _The Jackson Ward Historic District_, published in 1978.
  • Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection. The collection contains more than 7,000 color images of the city of Richmond. Taken over a period from 1965 to 2000, these images document many of the changes within the city. In some cases the images serve as a record for properties which have since been either renovated or demolished. Images range from close-ups of architectural details and shots of single buildings to photos of entire city blocks and aerial views.