ArchitectureRichmond documents and examines the buildings, spaces, and urban textures of Richmond, both celebrated and undiscovered. It also offers a critical look at the community’s ongoing development and provides an open discussion of broad design issues
Archival Resources of the Virginias (ARVAS) is a consolidated database that provides information about the vast array of manuscripts and archival materials housed in historical societies, libraries, museums, colleges, and universities across Virginia and West Virginia. The continuous addition of new and updated finding aids makes this a great tool for discovering primary source materials documenting the history, culture, and people of these two states.
The Baist Atlas of the City of Richmond was published in 1889 and is a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in Richmond’s urban archeology, architectural history and historic preservation. The atlas consists of an index map and twenty large linen plates (18 ½ inches tall by 28 inches wide) mapping all areas of the city including parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties and part of the City of Manchester, now Richmond’s South Side, which was then an independent city.
The Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond, Va., also known as the Beers Atlas, was published in 1876 and is a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in Richmond’s urban archeology, architectural history and historic preservation. Published for the Southern and Southwestern Surveying and Pub. Co. by F.W. Beers, C.E., the atlas includes a table of contents, 21 maps, 7 illustrations of businesses, and 8 pages of Richmond City Business Notices.
Building Technology Heritage Library Collection of American and Canadian, pre-1964 architectural trade catalogs (many from the late 19th and early 20th century), house plan books and technical building guides. Trade catalogs are an important primary source to document past design and construction practices. Housed at the Internet Archive.
Maintained by the Library of Congress, this site provides access (and an easily searchable index) to six Richmond newspapers from a century ago - as well to nearly 50 other newspapers from across the United States. This database runs only to 1922.
The Internet Archive has an electronic version of this valuable 300 page plus book entitled "The City on the James, Richmond, Virginia - The Chamber of Commerce Book" published in 1893. It is especially good for Richmond architectural history and for a broad survey of its economic conditions, including many profiles of the city's business leaders (unfortunately it almost totally ignores African American life in the city).
This collection, held at the Library of Virgina, include building permit applications, architectural blueprints, and specifications for structures built in Richmond, Virginia from 1907-1976. The structures documented include churches, commercial buildings, municipal and state government buildings, office buildings, schools, residences, etc. Permit forms may include names of applicant, architect, builder, construction materials, cost, dimensions, and a brief building description.
This collection, held at the Library of Virginia, documents the period of expansion in post-Reconstruction Richmond including projects such as the city water works and reservoir, numerous city parks, bridges, armories, and schools. The collection also documents the expansion of the boundaries of the city and includes many nineteenth century maps of Richmond.
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 Postcard Collection, housed in Special Collections and Archives, includes scanned images of over 600 postcards of Richmond buildings and scenes dating primarily from 1900-1930. Only a portion of the collection was scanned - visit the department to use the entire collection.
The Richmond Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary was produced by the National Park Service's Heritage Education Services, the City of Richmond, Richmond National Battlefield Park and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, in partnership with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.
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. The collection is part of VCU Libraries' Digital Collections.
The Collection contains over 8,000 images primarily depicting the city of Richmond - compiled by the staff of the Planning and Preservation Division of the City of Richmond's Department of Planning and Development Review. Date range is primarily 1970s-1990s. The images serve as a record for properties which have since been either renovated or demolished. The collection is part of VCU Libraries' Digital Collections.
Maintained by the Library of Virginian, this site contains hundreds of images, maps, and other information from a 1964-1965 project to inventory historic buildings in Richmond. The project confined the inventory to the central part of Richmond, from Boulevard east to Chimborazo Park, and from the James River north to Shockoe Cemetery.
This site present images, audio and documents, many housed in VCU Libraries' Special Collections and Archive departments, relating to Richmond and Virginia history, comic and cartooning arts, the history of VCU, medical artifacts and more.
Virginia Chronicle is a new digital newspaper resource offered by the Library of Virginia that is fully text searchable and free to all patrons. The online resource contains all the titles found at the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site with additional titles that are either out of scope for the National Digital Newspaper Program or titles the Library believes to be of special interest, such as the Farm Bureau News and Our Church Paper, to name just two examples.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources
is the State Historic Preservation Office - their mission is to "foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia's significant historic architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources."
One of the most important online tools for those interested in Virginia history is the Library of Virginia's Virginia History Listserve -- an "electronic forum where researchers can learn more about the work of other scholars, inquire about the location of sources, debate issues, raise questions, and learn about current events in the field."