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Archives and Special Collections


Radford University Digital Collections

Radford University Archives

The Appalachian Collection

Special Collections

Library Research Award

Winesett Book Collecting Contest


Appalachian Music and Culture Blog

Madame Russell Hall 1930s    
The Archives reading area is open for research without an appointment on Mondays from 3-7, and other times by appointment.
The Archives reading area is located on the 5th Floor of McConnell Library.
Radford University Archives and Special Collections supports the teaching, research and public service missions of McConnell Library by collecting, preserving, organizing, and making accessible materials that document the history of Radford University, Southwest Virginia, and Appalachia.
For information or to arrange an appointment to visit the Archives please contact
(Postcard at right: Madame Russell Hall at night, circa 1930s)

Radford University Archives


The Radford University Archives contains official records, documents, publications, photographs, and other materials related to the history of Radford University. The Archives contain official minutes and notes from the Board of Visitors, RU presidential papers, historic academic and business records, publications such as catalogs, yearbooks, and the student newspapers. Some online collections include:

1937 freshman class in front of McConnell Library 


Library Research Award and Winesett Book Collecting Contest

McConnell Library sponsors two awards, the Winesett Book Collecting Contest, which is offered in the Fall Semester, and the Library Research Award, offered in the Spring Semester. Winners of these awards have their papers placed in the Archives and made available on the Archives web site. More information on the winners of these awards is available here:

Appalachian Collection

The Appalachian Collection contains manuscripts and other primary materials that document the history and culture of Southwest Virginia and Appalachia. Collections include the Highland Summer Conference Collection and the Virginia, Iron, Coal and Coke Company Collection . In addition to these collections, McConnell Library has an extensive collection of books, CDs, video recordings, journals, and other materials related to Appalachia and Southwest Virginia.


Students by the New River on the way to Ingles Ferry, 1938


Special Collections

Finding Aids for Special Collections

Special Collections includes manuscripts and other collections that are not part of the RU Archives or Appalachian Collection, including items from Radford alumni, manuscripts from Supreme Count Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, and other materials.

The Rare Book Collection includes over 6,000 books, including the core collection originally housed in the library when Radford University first opened as the State Normal and Industrial School at East Radford, Virginia, in 1913. Collection strengths include Appalachian and Virginia literature, Virginia and regional history, and 19th Century history and literature. The Rare Books Collection can be searched through the library's online catalog (this search limits to Special Collections).

Visiting the Archives and Special Collections

For information or to arrange an appointment to visit the Archives please contact

All photos are from the Radford University Archives