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Architectural History - Richmond

Periodicals in Special Collections and Archives


The April 1929 issue of Richmond Magazine featured the work of Charles W. Smith (1893-1987). The image is that of the headquarters of the National Pepsi-Cola Corporation, 1224 W. Broad Street. In 1998 the building was demolished by VCU to make way for its Sports Medicine Building.

Special Collections and Archives holds a wide variety of Richmond periodicals including the Richmond Free Press, Style Weekly Magazine, and Richmond Magazine (in its many incarnations). Richmond titles that have ceased are also housed here including the Southern Literary Messenger, the Reviewer, the Richmond Mercury, the Richmond Quarterly, the Richmond Music Journal, Throttle, and many others. The collection includes numerous Richmond alternative publications, from underground newspapers of the late 1960s to the 'Zines of the 1990s, from Richmond humor publications like Punchline to LGBT newspapers including Richmond Pride and Our Own Community Press.

The student newspapers of VCU, from the Atlas to the Proscript to the Commonwealth Times, are housed in Special Collections and Archives. Dozens of other VCU produced publications are located in the department including Shafer Court Connections, VCU Today, VCU Vocie, VCU Magazine, and student yearbooks.

[on the right SLANT magazine, published 1985-1993, and now online]

Many Virginia periodicals are also housed in the department and include Commonwealth, the Virginia Cavalcade (which has two online indexes - one from the Library of Virginia and a new one from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). and the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. A number of national magazines are located here including MS  magazine, Rolling Stone (1971 through the 1990s), MAD magazine, EERIE, CREEPY, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and a complete set of LIFE magazine (1930s through 1972). The department also holds several art journals and hundreds of titles related to the Comic Arts as part of  the M. Thomas Inge Collection of Comic Arts Reference Journals (over 1,000 titles). 

The Freeman File

The Freeman File -- An index to articles from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Richmond News-Leader covering the years 1920s-1980s. The index is on microfiche. Just ask a staff member for assistance

Historic Richmond Newspapers Online

Chronicling America - This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1860-1922 from 20 different states plus the District of Columbia. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Six Richmond newspaper titles are currently part of Chronicling America and are as follows (included in the list below is a seventh newspaper,

the Free Lance, published in Fredericksburg, which sometimes had items about Richmond. Also several Richmond architects practiced in Fredericksburg as well).

  • The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) – published from 1850-1884, the Chronicling America site has 1880-01-01 through 1884-06-29.
  • The Daily Times (Richmond, Virginia – published from 1886-1889. The Chronicling America site has 1886-10-22 through 1889-12-31. 
  • Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) – published from 1884-1903. The Chronicling America site has 1884-07-01 through 1903-01-25. 
  • Richmond Planet [Richmond’s African American newspaper] (Richmond, Virginia) – published from 1883-1938. The Chronicling America site has 1889-11-16 through 1910-12-31. 
  • The Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) – published from 1903-1914. The Chronicling America site has 1903-01-01 through 1910-12-31. 
  • The Times (Richmond, Virginia) – published from 1890-1903. The Chronicling America site has 1890-01-01 through 1903-01-24. 
  • The Free Lance (Fredericksburg, Virginia) – published from 1885-1926. The Chronicling America site has 1899-03-25 through 1911-09-07.

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.

To Search in the Library Catalog for historic Richmond newspapers that the library has on microfilm, just do a keyword search in the catalog using the following search term "Richmond" and "newspaper" and "microfilm".

The Richmond Daily Dispatch, November 1860 through December 1865 is available online - the result of a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and collaboration between the University of Richmond, Tufts University's Perseus Project, and the Virginia Center for Digital History.

Selected Newspaper Article about Richmond, VA during the Civil War is available from Civil War Richmond.

30 plus years of The Commonwealth Times, VCU's student newspaper.

The Collegian, the University of Richmond student newspaper, is online, with searchable articles from 1914 to 2006.

  • Virginia Newspaper and Periodical Indexes
    From the Library of Virginia, an online version of print card catalogs which index selected library and archival collections. The Newspaper and Periodical Indexes include The Magazine Index to Selected articles on Virginia 1900-1985 and an index to the Richmond-Times Dispatch and the News-Leader 1940-1985.

Other Online Newspapers:

  • Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective  
    Full-text database of articles from three contemporary newspapers: The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury, and the Richmond Enquirer.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch  
    Full text newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, native and minority press.
  • HarpWeek: The Civil War Era and Reconstruction I and II  
    Searchable scanned images of all pages of Harper's Weekly, the leading illustrated newspaper of its time. All articles, illustrations, advertisements, and literary offerings are indexed.
  • LexisNexis Statistical  
    Abstracts for statistical publications from 1973 forward; full-text of selected publications, 1995+. Power Tables feature searches words appearing in statistical tables.
  • New York Times  
    More than a newspaper for an American city, the New York Times is an international record of national and world news, as well as personal stories of how events affect individuals.
  • Newspaper Source Plus  
    Full text for more than 130 national and international newspapers, including New York Times, Washington Post, Times (London). Selective full text for over 335 US newspapers. In addition, full-text radio and television news transcripts are provided.
  • Pennsylvania Gazette  
    Full-text database of articles from the Philadelphia newspaper considered to be The New York Times of the 18th century. Includes other important writings of the period, e.g., Common Sense and The Federalist Papers.

Top Architectural History Databases

Use databases to search for articles and essays from many different architectural history and humanities journals.

American Architect and Building News



American Architect and Building News - Special Collections and Archives houses the following volumes of this important journal:

v.1 (1876), v.3 (1878: Jan.-June), v.5/6 (1879), v.11/12 (1882), v.23 (1888: Jan.-June), v.71 (1901: Jan.-March) through v.94 (1908:July-Dec.); Title change to the American Architect: v.95 (1909: Jan.-June) through v.98 (1910:July-Dec.), v.101 (1912) through v.102 (1912).


Many copies are also now available online - HERE.