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Rare Books Collection

Our collection of over 1200 rare books has a strong concentration of abolitionist texts, African American children's literature and faculty and alumni publications. The Special Collections Department is especially proud of the collection of Uncle Tom's Cabin editions which includes over 40 copies of the book, including foreign language editions.

The Spencer Collection

Since 1998, Dr. Jon Michael Spencer has donated more than 1,100 books from his personal research library as well as selected journals, microfilm of historic papers and research documentation to the L. Douglas Wilder Library at Virginia Union University.

The subject areas reflect his specialties in the history and theology of African-American sacred and secular music, African history and slave culture, and African-American history and sociology. The collection includes a significant number of hymnals from various denominations.

You can browse his collection here or request a printed bibliography from the Special Collections department of the library. Click here to access the Spencer Collection.

Sheet Music Collection

Our growing collection of sheet music features jazz, blues, rags and spirituals, as well as "coon songs" whose vernacular and illustrations negatively stereotype African Americans. Most of the sheet music titles in the Special Collections Department are available through the Wilder Library on-line catalog. 

Manuscripts Collection

 Access to other manuscript and archival collections for the state of Virginia can be found at the Virginia Heritage Project Collections website.