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Special Collections

A guide to all of Stanley Library's special collections and archives, cataloged and uncataloged.

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Special Collections - Stanley Library

Special Collections - Stanley Library



The Stanley Library Special Collections is almost wholly located in a dedicated, climate-controlled archive room among the top floor’s book stacks, on the north side of the building. The remainder of the collection, the Inge Methodist Archive, has a special room in the upper book stacks on the building’s south / Annex side, at the entrance to the book stacks.

The archives are free for viewing by anyone in the campus community and outside visitors, but materials cannot be checked out, must remain within the library at all times, and may be viewed only under supervision by a member of library staff.


Ferrum College Archives

The college archives are a multifaceted collection of material directly and indirectly related to the school from its beginnings in 1913 as the Ferrum Training School to the present day.


Cataloged Material

  • Books and other publications about Ferrum College, including studies and reports commissioned by the school.
  • Books authored by college faculty and staff.
  • Anthologies containing smaller works by faculty and staff, such as essays and articles.
  • College publications, including student literary magazines and the faculty literary magazine, the Ferrum Review.
  • Student materials, including student handbooks and course catalogs
  • Minutes of the Board of Trustees from 1913-1984.
  • Minutes from the Faculty from 1966-2009.
  • Minutes from the Dean's / Academic Council from 1965-1985.
  • Bound volumes of the campus newspaper, the Iron Blade, from 1955-57, 1964-1975, and 1977-2013.


Uncataloged Material

  • Three cabinets of files, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera relating to every aspect of the college since its establishment.
  • Nine scrapbooks of newspaper clippings of Ferrum athletics.
  • Three binders of letters written by Ferrum’s founder and first president, Dr. Benjamin M. Beckham (1868-1957), primarily to Ferrum alumnus and professor Dr. Frank B. Hurt (1899-1992).
  • Newspaper clippings and other ephemera related to Dr. Beckham.
  • Memorabilia related to Ferrum’s fifth president, Dr. Nathaniel H. Davis (1903-1979), and seventh president, Dr. Ralph Arthur (1917-1970).
  • The Elizabeth Pryor collection of campus photographs and other material from the school’s first fifty years: Pryor was an English professor and sponsor of the yearbook, the Beacon, and the bulk of those photographs appeared in yearbooks.
  • Three archival boxes of unsourced photographs from the campus’ first sixty years, mainly the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Videos – filmstrips and videotapes – used as promotional materials from the 1970s through 1990s.
  • Athletic memorabilia from the 1950s through 1970s, including ephemera and clothing.
  • Plaques giving the names of rooms, some including donor information, that either no longer exist or have since been renamed.
  • Campus building sketches and floor plans, including those of Stanley Library.


Franklin County

 A wide-ranging collection of books, photographs, maps, and ephemera related to this history of the county since its establishment in 1786.


Ferrum Methodist Archive

The Ferrum Methodist Archive was made possible in part by a donation from the Rev. Dr. John Wesley (Wes) Inge, Jr. (1917-2011), area minister and Ferrum College professor.

The archive is dedicated to all aspects of the Methodist Church and its services, particularly missions such as the one that helped establish what would become Ferrum College. The books and magazines are catalogued, and relate to the church and Methodism at large, Ferrum College, and the church in southwest Virginia. 


Governor Thomas Stanley Archive

Thomas Bahnson Stanley (1890-1970) was a southwest Virginia industrialist – the founder of Stanley Furniture – a Virginia state delegate, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and governor of Virginia from 1954 to 1958. He and his wife Anne Bassett Stanley (1898-1979) provided a $200,000 donation to what became the college’s Stanley Library, allowing it to be constructed in 1970. The Stanley family also donated the family home, Stoneleigh, to Ferrum College in 1980.

The Stanley Archive is an uncatalogued collection of nineteen boxes of Stanley’s personal and political papers, material related to Ferrum College, material related to Stoneleigh, newspaper clippings, photographs, and related ephemera; books primarily related to Virginia politics and acquired during his time as a politician; and various items of political memorabilia acquired during his time in office.


T. Keister Greer Archive

Thomas Keister Greer (1921-2008) was a Franklin County lawyer, historian, and lifelong county resident. He studied law under and worked for former Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Ferrum College counsel C. Carter Lee (1906-1958). Greer is best known for his book The Great Moonshine Conspiracy of 1935 and various works about local history.


The Greer Archive was donated by his widow and former Ferrum College Trustee Elizabeth Taylor (Ibby) Greer (1950- ), who billed it as "The library of a Southern Gentleman”. The uncatalogued collection consists almost wholly of books, primarily the history of Britain and the American Civil War, as well as other histories related to the U.S. and Western Europe. There is also a small collection of law books, some of which were passed down to Greer by Carter Lee. 


T. Keister Greer Research Collection

Thomas Keister Greer (1921-2008) was a Franklin County lawyer, historian, and lifelong county resident. He studied law under and worked for former Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Ferrum College counsel C. Carter Lee (1906-1958). Greer is best known for his book The Great Moonshine Conspiracy of 1935 and various works about local history.

The Greer Research Collection includes the complete collection -- approximately 9 linear feet -- of Greer’s research for his book The Great Moonshine Conspiracy of 1935.


Marshall Wingfield Collection

Wingfield (1893-1961) was a Franklin County native and historian best known for writing a history of the county to the 1930s, biographies of early county settlers, and publishing county court records from the late 18th century.

The Wingfield items are catalogued. They include books he authored, a bibliography of works by and about Wingfield, collections of letters, and ephemera primarily consisting of newspaper articles.


Aerial Photo Land Use Surveys

Grid maps corresponding to 24 1/2" x 24 1/2" aerial photographs of the county taken in 1937, 1955, 1959, and 1971. The photographs are not comprehensive and most in the collection date to 1955, but they are a valuable resource documenting the changing landscape of Franklin County, particularly in the area that is now Smith Mountain Lake, and as a chronicle of farmland being developed into neighborhoods over the years.


Large Maps

Oversized southwest Virginia-related maps, including reconnaissance, mineral resources, topographical, TVA, and older and antique road maps. 


Stillwell Collection

A catalogued trove of mostly 19th century religious / Methodist books, including thirteen volumes of John Wesley's sermons, donated to Ferrum by Mrs. Lucy Stilwell on May 13, 1970.