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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

Randolph-Macon College: McGraw-Page Library: Methodist Collection

Introductory Information

Randolph-Macon College: McGraw-Page Library: Methodist Collection External

Address: 305 Henry St, Ashland, VA 23005

Telephone number: 804-752-3203

Contact information External

Online catalog External

Digital Collections link: Not yet available but expected in 2023.

Access Policies

Hours of service External

Open to the public: Yes, by appointment via online request External

Interlibrary loan: No, although limited copying will be considered.

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: Online form External chat, telephone, email, in person

Background note:
Founded in 1830 by the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church, Randolph-Macon College is the oldest chartered Methodist-affiliated college in continuous existence in the U.S. College history and Virginia Methodist history are intertwined, and the College Library served as an early repository for Virginia Conference materials.


Books and monographs
Over 3,000 books with inclusive dates from the 18th to the 21st century. The strength of the collection is printed collections relating to the history of the Methodist Church in Virginia. This includes the Methodist Episcopal Church; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Methodist Church; Evangelical Association; United Brethren in Christ; Evangelical United Brethren; Methodist Protestant Church and the United Methodist Church.

Periodicals and newspapers
74 titles; 5 current subscriptions. The collection covers mainly the 19th and 20th centuries. The major emphasis is Virginia Methodism. Of special interest are the Annual Conference Records (1773-); the Richmond Christian Advocate (1847- , with a few gaps); and Virginia United Methodist Heritage (1973- ), the journal publication of the Virginia Conference Historical Society.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
Over 20,000 cubic feet covering mainly the 19th and 20th centuries. The focus of the collection is Virginia Methodism with the following special highlights: Historical Virginia Methodist Conference Records (contemporary records are held at the Virginia Conference Archives); Bishop John Early Papers and Bishop Paul Neff Garber Papers, and a large collection of church histories. There is also the Randolph-Macon College Archives, a collection containing personal papers, Methodist history and early administrative correspondence pertaining to Methodism and Education in Virginia (1825-). The manuscripts and archives in the Virginia Methodist Collection generally do not contain birth, marriage, or death records. A genealogist will find the records primarily useful if they are looking for information about an ordained minister in the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church, although the Richmond Christian Advocate (unindexed) includes birth, death, and marriage announcements and other information useful to genealogists.

49 microfilm reels of the Richmond Christian Advocate.

Vertical files
550 vertical files primarily from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. The emphasis of this collection is on Virginia Methodism and includes the following material types: historical sketches, pamphlets, sermons, diaries, church histories, news clippings, and photographs. The collection has a file list.

Photographs and prints from the 19th and 20th centuries. Photographs and prints include Methodist founders and conference-related material.

Databases and/or electronic resources External

Digital collections
Not yet available but expected in 2023.

Subject Headings

Evangelical Association; Evangelical United Brethren; Methodist Church--Virginia; Methodist Episcopal Church--Virginia; Methodist Episcopal Church, South--Virginia; Methodist Protestant Church--Virginia; Religious education; United Brethren in Christ; United Methodist Church--Virginia