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Harrison B. Wilson Archives and The African Art Gallery at NSU: Collections

Harrison B Wilson Archives and the African Art Gallery house collections of primary documents used for historical research

Manuscript Collections

Bell Family Papers -- Donated by the Norfolk YMCA.  The Bell family was a very prominent African-American family in Norfolk during the first half of the 20th century. Charles Bell, Sr. (Husband of Lucy Barnes Bell). Charles Bell was a custom tailor for 52 years.

Berry Family Collection -- Donated by Dr. Leonidas Berry.  Dr. Leonidas Berry was born in Woodsdale, North Carolina on July 20, 1902. He was the son of Rev. Llewellyn L. and Beulah A. Harris Berry. Rev. L.L.. Berry was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Civil War Letters Nov. 1963 (25 items) -- A group of seven letters totaling 25 pages written by a confederate woman and her daughter in Portsmouth to their son and brother at war.

Collins, Herbert M. Papers -- Mr. Herbert M. Collins, businessman and political activist was a prominent resident of Norfolk, Virginia.  He was the owner and operator of Long's Market, Inc., located at 1214 Ballentine Boulevard. 

Crawford, Floyd W. Papers -- The collection includes resumes, campus correspondence, news articles, a list of faculty members, faculty senate minutes, history curriculums, National Teachers Examination data, Omega Psi Phi papers and booklets and copies of his research papers.

Darden, Colgate W. Papers -- Colgate Darden served as U.S.. Congressman 1933-41, Governor of Virginia 1942-46, and President of the University of Virginia 1947-59.  In the collection are correspondences, reports, articles, census data and papers related to public school transportation, school bonds an health issues.

Diggs, Ruth -- Dr. Ruth Diggs was the Head of the Special Education Department at Norfolk State University and a national leader in her specialty.

Fields, Zachary Letters 1898-99, 1930-31 (56 items) -- Donated by Ronald Carrier.  Zachary Fields wrote twenty-seven letters from army camps during the Spanish-American War to his wife, Nettie Fields in Norfolk.

Free Black Papers -- Donated by Tommy L. Bogger contains extensive data on free blacks in Norfolk and the surrounding counties from the  1770s to 1860.  Most of the collection is comprised of handwritten notes and photocopies of documents.

Fulcher Family Collection -- Donated by Miss Jean Fulcher and Miss Ruth Fulcher, daughters of the late James Fulcher. Mr. Fulcher was a prominent businessman of the Norfolk area.

Gay, James F. Collection -- James F. Gay emerged as an outstanding academic and student leader at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk.  He attended law school and started a successful law practice in Norfolk, and became involved in politics.

Goss, Jocelyn P. Papers -- Jocelyn Goss was a retired professor in the English Department at Norfolk State University and the author of two books.

Greekfest/Laborfest Papers -- Donated by Ms. Carolyn W. Bell.  There are newspaper articles concerning the riot and the extensive preparation by the city and the Laborfest Committee to avert future clashes.

Guida, Frank Collection -- This collection includes a very large display case, copies of the Norfolk Echo, photographs of Frank Guida, Gary U.S. Bonds, Jimmy Soul, Gene Barge, Tommy Facenda, Lenis Guess, Dick Clark, Jack Holmes and other WRAP disc jockeys.

Harper Illustrations -- A total of 107 sketches depicting scenes in Virginia from the 1850s to the 1880s.

Jacox, Cal Collection -- Cal Jacox, a Norfolk native and former athlete at Lincoln University in Missouri, served as sports reporter and columnist at the Journal and Guide for 25 years.

Jaffe, Louis I. Papers -- "St. Vincent's project for Negro College, 1945-1949." These papers are photocopies from the originals at the University of Virginia Library, Special Collections Department.

Jones, Helen Hampton Collections -- Helen Hampton Jones had a very distinguished career as a librarian and faculty senate leader at Norfolk State University. 

Lowe, Elgin M., Sr. Collection -- Elgin M. Lower, Sr., a Suffolk native, was an educator and administrator in the Isle of Wight and Suffolk Public School systems.

Marshall, Herbert A. Scrapbook, 1952-1968 -- This collection of news articles, photographs and programs documents the civic and social life of one of Norfolk's leading citizens during the 1950s and 1960s.

Minutes of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association -- 1921-1971 (41 booklets). The annual meeting of the Association brings together church leaders from throughout Northern Virginia who had an interest in a wide range of community-based projects.

Morris, William R. Collection -- Documenting a prodigious career that spans more than fifty years, the 56 cubic feet of records in this collection reflects the rich legacy of an African-American who was intricately involved in all aspects of the housing industry.

Norfolk Mission College Papers -- In this group there are short histories of the school, newspaper articles, diplomas, student banners, obituaries, catalogs, photographs, commencement programs, curriculums, enrollment lists, course offerings and the program and correspondence of the Norfolk Mission College Alumni Association.

Quarles, Charles, M.D.. Collection -- Dr. Charles Quarles collection includes: Dr. Quarles' patient account books, thesis and research paper of Catherine Quarles Allen (sister), Master of Science degree in education from Virginia State College belonging to Catherine Q. Allen.

Robertson, D. Robert Papers -- Robert D. Robertson was born in San Francisco, California in 1898.  He worked as a labor organizer. In 1943, he and his wife, Norfolk native, Roberta E. Johnson moved to Norfolk.

Robinson, William P., Sr. Collection -- William P. Robinson, Sr. served as a professor and administrator at several colleges before returning to his native environment in 1962 to establish and head the Department of Political Science at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College.

Schlegel, Marvin Collection -- Dr. Marvin Schlegel retired as a history professor at Norfolk State University after many years of teaching and writing.

Strong, Ethelyn Ratcliff Collection -- Ethelyn Ratcliff Strong, a graduate of Virginia Union University, received her M.S.W. from Columbia University and the Doctorate of Social Work from Catholic University of America.  She was the Dean and founder of the Norfolk State University School of Social Work.

Tildon, Hollis S. and Laura Papers -- Hollis Sidney Tildon served as professor and department head of Foreign Languages, and Chairman of the Division of Humanities and Communication at Norfolk State.

Tyler Family Papers -- Donated by Mrs. Mary Lou Tyler Henderson (NSU retiree 1975). This collection reflects the history of a prominent African-American family from 1879 to 1996.

Watson, Willie Mae Papers -- A collection of writings by a very prolific teacher and administrator who retired from the Norfolk Public School System.

Women's Council for Interracial Cooperation (1945-1969) -- Donated by Marian Palmer Capps (1,532 items). On Friday, 27 April 1945, an interracial group of women met at Ohef Sholem Temple, upon the suggestion of Mrs. William T. Mason to establish a group to work for better race relations.

Women's Network of Hampton Roads (1980-1999) -- Formerly the Tidewater Women's Network. (4 cubic feet). The collection consists of bylaws, minutes, reports, correspondence, newsletters, bank statements, expense logs, receipts, membership directories, photographs and slides.

Records on Microfilm

Census Records on Microfilm

North Carolina 1870-1930

South Carolina 1870-1930

Virginia 1810-1930

Special Censuses

Census Descriptions of Geographic Subdivisions and Enumeration Districts: Virginia, 1850-1870

1890 and 1900 Census Enumeration Districts Descriptions: Virginia

Census Records for Virginia.  Records of the 1820 Census Manufactures

1910-1920 Census Enumeration District Descriptions: Virginia

Slaves Schedules. Seventh and Eighth Census of Virginia, 1850-1860

Special Schedules for the Eleventh Census, 1890.  Enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans of the Civil War

Colonization Records on Microfilm

Correspondence of the Secretary of the Navy Relating to African Colonization, 1819-1844

Records of the American Colonization Society, Incoming Correspondence, Domestic Letters, 1823-1861

Freedmen's Bureau on Microfilm

Records of the Assistant Commissioner of the State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869

Records of the Superintendent of Education for the State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1870

Register of Signatures of Depositions in Norfolk, Richmond and Lynchburg branches of the Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874

Military Records on Microfilm

Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia

Documents Relating to the Military and Naval Service of Blacks Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Civil War to the Spanish-American

Letters Received from Virginia by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1864-1866

The Negro in the Military Service of the United States, 1639-1886

Selected Documents Relating to Blacks Nominated for Appointments to the U.S. Military Academy During the 19th Century, 1870-1887 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Records on Microfilm

Papers of the NAACP, Part I, 1909-1950

Personal Correspondence of Selected NAACP Officials, Part II

The Voting Rights Campaign 1916-1950, Part IV

Campaign Against Residential Segregation, 1914-1955, Part V

Newspapers on Microfilm

American Beacon, 1818-1834

American Gazette, 1795-1796

Charlottesville, Virginia Chronicle and Weekly Chronicle, 1833-1917

Chicago Defender, 1976-1986

Chicago Tribune, 1865-1866

Cincinnati Commercial, 1865

Cincinnati Gazette Daily, 1865-1866

Hampton News, 1854

New York, Evening Post, 1866

New York, Herald, 1865-1866

Norfolk Dispatch, 1896-1905

Norfolk Journal and Guide, 1916-present

Norfolk Landmark, 1873-1911

Norfolk Virginian, 1875-1886

Norfolk Weekly, 1797-1798

Petersburg Lancet, 1882-1886

Pittsburgh Courier, 1911-1982

Portsmouth Daily Enterprise, 1876

Richmond Planet, 1882-1886

Southern Argus (Norfolk), 1848-1860

Washington, D.C. Constitutional Union, 1865

Washington, D.C. Daily Morning Chronicle, 1865

Washington, D.C. National Republican, 1866

Private Collections on Microfilm 

Fannie Lou Hamers Papers 1966-1978

Fire Insurance Maps from the Sanborn Map Company Archives Late 19th Century to 1985: Virginia

Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Countee Cullen Papers, 1921-1969

The E. Azalia Hackley Collection Catalog

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves

State Records

The Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619-1776

State Free Negro Capitation Tax Books: Charleston, South Carolina, 1811-1860

The Records of the Virginia Company of London, 1606-1626




Oral History Interviews


The Duke University Oral History Collection (Behind the Veil: African American Life in the Jim Crow South)

During the summer of 1993, 1994 and 1995, the Duke University Center for Document Studies had twenty-five graduates students from fifteen universities interview 1,238 people in eleven states about their experiences in the Jim Crow South.  The archives at Norfolk State University was chosen as a depository for copies of the interviews, which were conducted in Virginia.

The Oral History Collection also includes the recollections of local people, as well as some of the early professors and administrators who were pioneers at the university.


The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories  

These oral histories deal with the civil rights movement in Norfolk, Virginia, and feature interviews of African American students and young faculty members active in the movement, as well as African American ministers and activists who later went into politics.  Many of these interviews were conducted by Dr. Tommy Bogger.

Additionally, Dr. Tommy Bogger conducted oral history interviews for the book, Norfolk: The First Four Centuries (1994). The transcripts are located in the Norfolk City Clerk's office.

Access Copy Note: Not all the interviews are transcribed. These interviews are referenced in the archive by the names of the individuals interviewed.

Digital Status: CDs

Number of Interviewees:  35

Photographic Collection


The Photographic Collection consists of historical moments at Norfolk State University.