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

Virginia Baptist Historical Society

Introductory Information

Virginia Baptist Historical Society External

VBHS Collections Link External

Mailing Address: 410 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173

Physical Address: 261 Richmond Way, Richmond, VA 23173

Telephone number: (804) 289-8434

Contact information External

Access Policies

Hours of service External: see appointments link

Open to the public: Research is by appointment (primary research hours are scheduled for 1-4 pm, Mon-Fri). Requests for gallery tours may be initiated through the website.

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Reference requests are received via email through our For Researchers page External, (preferred), and also by telephone.

Background note:
VBHS reflects the history of Baptists in Virginia from their beginnings (c. 1715) to the present. Through its historic relationships, particularly with the Baptist General Association of Virginia (1823), the Society has accrued unparalleled holdings across its approximately 150-year role in the field. It enjoys a longstanding relationship with the University of Richmond (founded by Baptists in 1830), which it has called home since 1876.


Books and monographs
There are approximately 25,000 volumes, spanning the 18th through the 20th centuries, with extensive holdings of congregational records of Virginia Baptist churches and printed matter related to Baptists in Virginia.

Periodicals and newspapers
The Library has a complete run of The Religious Herald, the Virginia Baptist periodical (1828-2013), as well Baptist news, editorials, opinion, obituaries, and marriage records.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
There are more than 7,000 manuscripts, spanning primarily the 18th century through the present. This includes personal papers collections for over 350 individuals and families, as well as the Virginia Baptist Church Document Depository, with records from over 500 congregations, as well as related agencies and institutions.

The Library contains 250 microfilms of church records.

Videos and sound recordings

Vertical files
Includes biographical, church and denominational information.

Subject Headings

Baptist Church--History; Baptist Church--Virginia--History