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Special Collections and Archives

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The Flavia Reed Owen Special Collections and Archives Room at the McGraw-Page Library houses several significant historical and literary collections in addition to preserving the historic archives of the college. The room was named in honor of Flavia Reed Owen was the much beloved College Librarian from 1946-1984.

We kindly ask that you make an appointment to visit the collections. Current hours can be found on the library's hours page.

Learn about our collections, oral history projects and special online exhibits below.

Our Collections

The Collections of J. Rives Childs

J. Rives Childs, a 1912 R-MC graduate, worked as a code breaker during WWI and his papers include correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to deciphering of German codes during World War I. He also was a bibliophile and during his years in the Foreign Service, he collected extensively, bequeathing his personal collections of editions of Casanova, Henry Miller, and Restif de la Bretonne to the library.

The Henry Miller Collection

Mr. Childs’ extensive correspondence with the author Henry Miller as well as a large collection of Miller’s works compose the core of this collection, which also includes other writers and artists who came within Miller's orbit.

Virginia Methodism

Special Collections houses the historic archive of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The collection documents the history and growth of the Church in Virginia starting in the colonial period through the present. This collection includes books, papers, documents, publications, diaries, photographs, maps, paintings, church silver, filmstrips and projectors, and numerous other types of objects and artifacts.

College Archives

The Randolph-Macon College Archives include materials dating from the founding of the college to the present, including books, documents and papers, publications, newspapers, microfilm and microfiche, drawings, photographs, scrapbooks, blueprints, film and audio recordings, and objects and artifacts.

The Casanova Collection

The J. Rives Childs Collection of Casanoviana is one of the world’s most extensive collections of rare editions of Casanova’s Memoires. The collection consists of over 2000 items including numerous rare volumes in many languages. In addition to the Memoires and writings of Casanova, the collection contains numerous bibliographies, biographies, sales catalogs, correspondence, playbills, and illustrations.

The Davis Collection: Intellectual Life in the Colonial South

The Library has the 4,000 volume personal book and journal collection of Richard Beale Davis, an R-MC alumnus who won the National Book Award in 1978 for his seminal work, Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763.

The Herald-Progress Collection

McGraw-Page Library holds the 40,000 piece archive of the local newspaper, the Hanover Herald-Progress, which includes primarily photographs, but also contains many documents, articles, histories, and memoirs documenting the history of Hanover County, Virginia, and the Town of Ashland from colonial times to the present.

Oral History Projects & Online Exhibits