VBHS welcomes researchers by appointment.
Our reading room is situated within the first floor gallery of the VBHS wing of Boatwright Memorial Library. As an archival, closed stack repository, researchers do not access materials directly, but work with VBHS staff to request materials which will be brought to them. Items are non-circulating and remain in the reading room when in use. Careful handling and security practices help to ensure the long-term preservation and availability of the material record of Virginia Baptists and the University Archives. Many items are fragile, one of a kind and irreplaceable. VBHS is a private, non-governmental, cultural heritage institution which makes its collections available through the generous support of its membership and longstanding partners.
Schedule a Research Appointment
To schedule a research appointment, please contact us through one of the two forms below.
Research is by appointment. Appointments will be scheduled for the hours between 1-4 pm, Mon-Fri, depending upon availability. Additional hours may be made available for those coming from beyond the Richmond metro area. Various closures occur throughout the year due to holidays, university breaks, special events and collections maintenance days. Kindly inquire about scheduling a visit as far ahead as possible, preferably at least five business days in advance, as this helps us to optimize our support for each researcher.
If you are beyond a reasonable distance from VBHS (e.g., out of state or international) our staff may be engaged via phone/e-mail to conduct limited research for a modest, hourly fee. Results are not guaranteed. Otherwise, in-person research is encouraged.
Baptist Collection N.B.
Many items in the collection are of a sacred nature and exist as the cultural heritage products of the faith communities which produced them. Occurring in the context of self-governing communities which hold individual conscience in highest regard, the Baptist congregational meeting is a sacred practice and reflects a conviction of direct communion with the divine, without the intervention of external authorities in spiritual matters. Thus, minutes are the material record of these experiences. In addition, the congregations reflected in the materials often continue as living communities. Thank you for your consideration of these matters as you interact with the records and the information they hold.