Manuscript Collections

The major emphases of Special Collections’ manuscripts collections are American history and literature. The manuscripts collections total approximately 13 million items in over 14,000 discrete collection units and over 250,000 photographs and small prints, over 8,000 reels of microfilm, nearly 8,000 microfiche, and substantial holdings of audio recordings and motion picture films. The Library focuses collecting attention in several subject areas including Virginiana, African-American studies, Civil War and Reconstruction history and many other social and political history topics. Papers and manuscripts relating to American and British literature form a substantial collection along with the Rare Book Holdings in these areas. Additionally there are other smaller subject collections such as medieval manuscripts, and World War I.