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Early American History Resources in the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center has extensive holdings of manuscripts and rare books dealing with early American history. This guide describes the bulk of those holdings, although it is not a comprehensive list.

Collections in the SCRC

Consult the Special Collections Research Center Access Tools to see further descriptions of many of these collections.

Balmaine, Alexander; Memorandum book, minister of Christ Church, Winchester, 1775-1820, Mss MsV Ch1

Benefactions of Francis Nicholson, Esqr. to the Church & Clergy in North America, 1689-1704, Mss MsV Ch14

Billups, Richard, Papers; minutes of Methodist meetings in Gloucester County, 1806, 1813, Mss 65 B49

Blair, James, Papers (I); copies of letters from Blair to Rev. Thomas Bray in England about the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 12 items, 1701-1743, Mss Sm Coll Blair (I)

Blair, James, Papers (II); copies of letters relating to Blair from the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 3 items, 1718-1729, Mss Sm Coll Blair (II)

Boucher, Jonathan, Papers; Anglican clergyman in Maryland and Virginia, Loyalist who fled to England, 1759-1803, 228 items, Mss 93 B66

Bray Papers, of the papers of the Bray Associates, a branch of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel instrumental in providing American churches with libraries and setting up Christian education schools for enslaved children, 1730-1817, Mss 65 Pst B73

Campbell, James; memorandum book kept on behalf of Providence Congregation in with their pastor, the Rev. S. Brown, 1796-1803, Mss MsV Ac17 Oversize

Chapman, William H., Memoir; Methodist circuit rider in western Virginia and Maryland, written in 1824 Mss 2007.37

Charles and New Parish Register, manuscript copy of original, 1648-1789, in York County Papers, Mss 39.4 York

Dawson Papers, copies of the papers of Rev. Thomas Dawson and Rev. William Dawson, Anglican commissaries and Presidents of the College, 96 items, 1721-1775 (Mss 65 Pst D32)

Elizabeth River Parish, vestry book (copy), 1749-1761, (Mss MsV Ch2)

Gloucester Circuit of the Methodist Church, records, includes minutes of quarterly conference meetings, Sunday school class records, and building committee records, 1825-1910, 1,163 items, Mss 69 G51, 2012.392, 2003.16

Grattan, Peachy R.; diary, including poetry and religious writings, Harrisonburg, 1822-1834, Mss MsV D7

Henkel Family Papers, includes papers of Rev. Paul Henkel (1754-1825), a Lutheran missionary in the Shenandoah Valley, and his family, 28 items, Mss 39.1 H38

Jones, Sarah Anderson; diary, Methodist woman, Mecklenburg County, 1792-1793, Mss MsV D3

List () of African Americans instructed and baptized by John , minister of North Parish, 1724, in Richmond County records, Mss 39.4 V82 co Richmond)

Meade, William, Papers; correspondence of Princeton student and later Protestant Episcopal minister and bishop, 1807-1861, Mss 74 M46

Mosby, Mary (Pleasants); Diary, largely religious, 1821-1824, MsV Ame102

Page, John; Memorandum book, includes record of General Episcopal Convention in Philadelphia, 1785, Mss MsV Me4

Pew rental lists, Christ Church, 1721 and 1748, and St. Mary’s White Chapel, 1750, Lancaster County records, Mss 39.4 Lancaster

Pleasants, Robert; Letter book, of Quaker merchant in Henrico, frequently mentions Society of Friends, 1771-1781, Mss MsV Cp9

Preston, William; Notebook of manuscript sermons, 1744, University Archives Bound Volumes, item 35, Acc 1980.45, and notebook of essays and poems, 1739-1757, item 65, Acc 1985.55

St. Patrick Parish, Prince Edward County, vestry book, 1755-1774, Mss 39.4 Prince Edward

Society of Friends, roll book of unidentified meeting, Shenandoah Valley, 1820-1860, Mss MsV Ch13

Somervill, David; notes of sermons he gave, 1768-1784, 3 vols., Mss MsV Se3-5

Toler, Henry; Diary, Baptist minister, 1782-1786, Mss MsV D2

Access Tools

Special Collections Research Center Access Tools: There are a variety of tools available to guide you in finding materials in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Don't forget that you also may come into the SCRC in person and consult with the staff member on duty for guidance.