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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 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.

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 across the nation. 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 Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) - 1914-1922
  • 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".

VCU Libraries offers access to the Richmond Times-Dispatch online through the Access World News database

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

The Commonwealth Times, VCU's student newspaper. 

Richmond Professional Institute's student newspapers.

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

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.