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

Norfolk State University Archives is the repository of the non-current, official records of the University, its organizations, students and faculty. The African Art Gallery at Norfolk State University supplements the classroom experiences of the Universit

Manuscript Collections (Brief Descriptions)

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 is a prominent resident of Norfolk, Virginia.  He is 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 writes 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 1770's 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 is 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 not only documents the civic and social life of one of Norfolk's leading citizens during the fifties and sixties.

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 (An Abbreviated List)

Census Records on Microfilm

North Carolina

South Carolina


Special Censuses

Colonization Records on Microfilm

Freedmen's Bureau on Microfilm

Military Records on Microfilm

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

Newspapers on Microfilm

Private Collections on Microfilm:

           Fannie Lou Hamers Papers 1966-1978

           Fire Insurance Maps from the Sanborn Map Company

           Hackley Collection Catalog

           Slave Narratives

State Records





Harrison B. Wilson Archives and Art Galley Collections

The collection of the Harrison B. Wilson Archives and Gallery, which functions separately

 from the library, focuses on local African American history and on the history of Norfolk State

 University.  The collection, which includes over 2500 books, also includes selected papers of

 former NSU faculty, copies of theses and dissertations of graduates of NSU’s master’s and

 doctoral degree programs, and photographs, microfilm, and documents related to local and

 University history.


The Harrison B. Wilson Archives is a rich source of primary documents for

 students, local historians and other researchers. The Gallery provides a venue for visiting

 exhibitions of art and historical artifacts. The Archives Reading Room has many individual, familial,

and organizational collections.



Oral History Interviews


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.

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

Pictorial Resources

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