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

University of Virginia: Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Introductory Information

University of Virginia Library: Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library External

Address: P.O. Box 400110, Charlottesville, VA. 22904-4110

Telephone number: (434) 243-1776

Contact information External

Online catalog External

Access Policies

Hours of service External

Open to the public: External Yes

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: External Reference requests are accepted by: Ask-a-Librarian form, chat, telephone, email, in-person

Background note:
Thomas Jefferson founded the University in 1818; the first class began in 1825.


Overview of the collections:
The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library holds more than 16 million objects including manuscripts, archival records, rare books, maps, broadsides, photographs, audio and video recordings and more.
Collections are particularly strong in American and British literature, the history of Virginia and the southeastern United States, the history and archives of the University of Virginia, sporting books and manuscripts, World War I, bibliography and book arts (including fine press books, pop-up books, artists’ book, and typography).

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
The entire collection of manuscripts is 10½ million documents. It is not certain how much of this pertains to religion. The religion collection is primarily 19th to 20th century. Below are some of the religion-related highlights:

  • Bondurant-Morrison Family Papers including those of the Reverend James Morrison (1797-1870) - prominent subjects include religion and the Presbyterian Church.
  • Thomas A. Breslin interviews (1971-1972) - American Catholic missionaries to China.
  • Rev. Russell Cecil Sermons (1853-1925) - Presbyterian minister.
  • Christian Conference, and Methodist churches.
  • Robert Lewis Dabney Papers (1820-1898) - Presbyterian clergyman and chaplain in the Confederate Army.
  • Collins Denny and Denny Family Papers (1872-1943) - Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1910-1939, and professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt, 1891-1910.
  • Fontaine Family Papers (18th-19th century) - Rev. James (Jacques) Fontaine was a Huguenot minister who fled from France to England in 1722; collection includes his autobiography, as well as undated religious essays.
  • Alfred C. Garnett, Jr. Papers (1868-1945) - includes religious letters and circulars, and records of West Buckingham Methodist Episcopal Church Quarterly Conference.
  • John Cowper Granbery Papers (1861-1876) - itinerant preacher and missionary; chaplain in the Confederate Army; professor of theology at Vanderbilt University; Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
  • Grinnan Family Papers - includes papers of Randolph Bryan Grinnan, Southern Presbyterian missionary to Japan, 1885-1898.
  • Henkel Family Papers (1800-1846) - includes correspondence on Lutheranism and doctrinal differences between various Protestant denominations.
  • Sam Higginbottom Papers (1844-1971) - Presbyterian agricultural missionaries in India particularly at Allahabad Agricultural Institute.
  • Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church Records (1891-1954) - Charlottesville, Virginia Church.
  • Robert Green Ingersoll Collection (1877-1909) - includes essays criticizing Christianity and expounding agnosticism.
  • Samuel K. Jackson Papers - contains sermons, 1826-1844, possibly of the Rev. William M. Jackson.
  • Frances Parkinson Keyes Collection (1952-1971) - manuscripts of books on religion and Christian missions.
  • Lebanon Presbyterian Church Records (1835-1903).
  • Wilbur Earnest Macclenny Papers - includes information on American Sunday School Associations, Baptist churches, Christian churches, Church officials, Eastern Virginia.
  • S. Vernon McCaslan Papers (1938-1970) - University of Virginia Professor of Religion, 1939-1967.
  • Methodist Episcopal Church, South - records (1836-1932).
  • Francis Pickins Miller Papers - major files on World Student Christian Federation, World Council of Churches, and the Presbyterian Church in the United States.
  • Missionaries Collection.
  • Frederick W. Neve Papers (1900-1940) - Archdeacon in Episcopal Church at Blue Ridge Diocese. Mountain mission work in Virginia.
  • Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith Papers (1823-1894) - includes manuscripts of sermons from Independent Church, Canastata, N.Y. Topics include spiritualism.
  • Taylor Family Papers (1896-1966) - Harry B. Taylor and Alma Booth Taylor, Episcopal doctor and missionary, Anking, China.
  • Beverley D. Tucker Letters (1925- ) - Episcopal missionary priest to Japan.
  • Ernest F. Ward Papers (1878-1930) - Free Methodist Church missionary to India.

Many finding aids to the manuscript collections are available on our site. External

Databases and/or electronic resources External

Subject Headings

Confederate military chaplains; Evangelical Lutheran Church; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Missions and missionaries; Presbyterian Church