Digital Documents and Images Collections

Institutional Archives and Manuscripts

We have begun a new effort to create digital collections available to all researchers, using the digital archiving tool ContentDM.  This method enables us to post searchable information from the history of Union Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education online, thereby serving one of the purposes of the Hal Todd Library Without Walls initiative.

Collections of historical photographs, institutional documents, and materials from the personal papers of faculty in the Archives are being made available in digital formats.  Our intention is to focus upon unique materials in our Special Collections that otherwise are inaccessible for study, and that represent significant developments in the history of our institution and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1861-1983).

Our library is a contributor to the Social Welfare History Image Portal at VCU, which received the Center for Research Libraries’ Primary Source Award for Access in 2018.

A central connection point for the existing digital collections is available HERE.

For an ongoing list of the digital collections created so far, and individual links to them, please see below.

The Seventeenth Street Mission, 1911-1963 :  A social service and Christian Education ministry created and maintained by students of Union Theological Seminary, and later also the General Assembly’s Training School (ATS/PSCE), in one of Richmond’s most deprived neighborhoods; the collection includes many unique photographs.

The Josephine Newbury Demonstration Kindergarten :  An innovative ministry in early childhood development and Christian Education, created by Professor Josephine Newbury of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in 1957.  This beautiful photo series was created by the Dementi Studios and is shared with their permission.

The March on Washington, 1963 :  Artifacts, correspondence, images and information generated by the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  The collection concentrates upon the reactions of churches and clergy in the PCUS to the proposed March, the involvement of students and faculty at Union Seminary, and the coverage of the issues raised by it in The Presbyterian Outlook and the correspondence of its editor at the time, Aubrey Brown Jr.

Robert Lewis Dabney Army Sermons, 1858-1865 :  A collection of manuscript sermons prepared and delivered by Union Seminary professor and theologian R.L. Dabney during the Civil War, while he was serving as chaplain on Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s staff.  These sermons are in Dabney’s own hand and include notations showing when and where they were delivered.

The Ku Klux Klan and Christian Churches :  Documents and artifacts representing the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s-60s and responses by churches (particularly the PCUS) and Christian organizations.  Includes several leaflets and notices distributed by the Klan in central Virginia.

The Michaux Bible :  A rare copy of the French Bible from 1657 played an interesting role in Huguenot history.  It is inscribed with the story of the escape from persecution of members of the Rochet and Michaux families and their arrival in colonial Virginia in 1705.  Photos of those inscriptions are provided here.

Child Labor Pamphlets, 1908-1935 : Difficult and dangerous work by young children in textile factories, glassworks, canneries, mines and other industrial settings became a serious social issue at the beginning of the 20th century.  Churches and social service agencies began to resist the employment of children; among these, the National Child Labor Committee was particularly active.  Pamphlets were an important means of spreading their message.

American Mission in Egypt, 1854-1954 : A collection of glass lantern slides created to celebrate the Centennial of the Presbyterian mission in Egypt, showing rare photos of some of the people and places connected with AME history.  Each slide is identified by a title and usually a date, handwritten on the paper edge of the slide or on a list found with them.

Race Relations Pamphlets, 1919-1944 : A set of 26 pamphlets published by the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, seeking to address race relations in the South before the Civil Rights era.  The organization was particularly concerned with the horrors of lynching, the injustices of tenant farming or sharecropping, and wide disparities in public education.  This effort involved much church participation.



Hanover Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 1 : 1755 – 1769

Hanover Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 2 : 1769 – 1785

Hanover Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 3 : 1786 – 1795

Hanover Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 4 : 1796 – 1804

Synod of Virginia Minutes in Manuscript, v. 1 : 1788 – 1797

Synod of Virginia Minutes in Manuscript, v. 2 : 1798 – 1806

Lexington Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 1 : 1786 – 1792

Lexington Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 2 : 1793 – 1794

Lexington Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 3 : 1794 – 1800

Winchester Presbytery Minutes in Manuscript, v. 1 : 1794 – 1811