Special Collections

The Richmond Room is the access point for Richmond Public Library’s Special Collections.

Richmond Authors Collection

The Richmond Authors Collection is housed in the Special Collections Room of the Main Library, 101 E. Franklin Street. This collection represents the breadth and range of Richmond writers and includes the works of authors who have lived in Richmond (or the adjacent counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, Goochland and Hanover) for at least one year of their lives. The Collection provides an important link to Richmond’s development, growth, heritage and culture as a community and a people.

Books in the Richmond Authors Collection are not available for circulation.

Newspaper Clippings

The Main Library houses about 30 filing cabinets filled with newspaper clippings of Richmond history and obituaries/biographies from the early 1900s into the early 2000s.
Newspaper clippings are sorted by subject and name and can be viewed at Main Library, but are not available for circulation.

Rare Children’s Book Collection

The Rare Children’s Book Collection is housed in the Special Collections Room of the Main Library, 101 E. Franklin Street. This collection includes international and American children’s books of historical interest from the 18th century to the 21st century. Specific collections include Rare Children’s Books (RCB), Rare Children’s Series (RCS), Rare Tucker Collection (RTC), and international children’s books.

Significant gifts from Martha Orr Davenport and Judith Josephine Tucker have provided the core of this collection. The collections were also drawn from the Library’s earlier holdings or from gifts.  Materials owned in the Rare Children’s Book Collection are not available for circulation.

Zine Collection

Zines can contain anything from art to poems to collective histories to recipes and other do-it-yourself tips to … REALLY ANYTHING. A zine can be about as much as everything or nothing that the zine-maker desires. A zine can be any size or any length or make use of different materials, although your basic 8.5×11 sheet of paper folded in half is the most common.

Making a zine can be a radical act even if the zine is about Taco Bell or haikus about your cat because in a world where everything is literally within the click of button and a few keystrokes, putting something in print still matters. That’s why zines attract a diverse group of makers and readers of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. And now you can access a small collection of zines at Richmond Public Library!

Our Richmond Zine program is also actively accepting zine submissions from adults. If you are a maker of zines, and would like your work to be added to our growing collection, check out our submission page to learn more!

The RPL Zine Collection is now at the Main Library, part of Special Collections and housed/accessed via the Richmond Room.  All 78 issues are fully searchable via the library catalog.


Richmond Public Library is designated by the City of Richmond to be responsible for the care and keeping of written public records of the City of Richmond, Virginia.  The City Archives contains non-current, but historically valuable records of city government such as annual reports of the City of Richmond, ordinances and resolutions of the City Council, and departmental records.


Available for use at our Main Library, Richmond Public Library’s microfilm collection includes material from local newspapers and directories including Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Newsleader, Richmond Afro-American, Richmond Planet, Richmond Free Press, Style Weekly, and more. If you have never used microfilm before, our Richmond Room staff are happy to teach you.

Record of Local Organizations

Richmond Public Library holds records of some local organizations including the Rosemary Library, Virginia Mechanics’ Institute, and the Richmond Education Association. For more information about these records, contact Special Collections Librarian Chloe McCormick at chloe.mccormick@rva.gov or (804) 646-0117.