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Archives and Special Collections: Information

A Guide to Averett University's Archives and Special Collections

Averett Archives and Special Collections

Mission Statement

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) defines an archives as "…the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value….  Archival records are the products of everyday activity."

According to the SAA, "the primary task of the archivist is to establish and maintain physical and intellectual control over the records of enduring value.  The archivist selects, arranges, describes and ensures the long-term preservation of such records, and assists researchers who wish to use them.  Archivists with administrative responsibilities must understand and apply principles of sound management."

The Averett University Archives serves the local institution and its constituents by preserving and administering institutional records, university publications, faculty papers, historic treasures of the university, materials by and about former students and faculty, as well as by collecting material on the history of the local community.

The University Archives is divided into three special areas of concentration:          

1.  Averett Collection. Institutional and local history materials,

2.  Baptist Collection. Gifts from local ministers, and

3.  Dan Daniel Collection. Personal items from a local politician.

In addition, the Averett University Archives contains other significant materials:

Paintings, Watercolors and other Art Work by Carson Davenport, a former teacher at Averett College.

The Charles Hawkins Collection

The Robert Phifer Collection


The arrangement of an archives is based on two accepted principles:

  1. Provenance - which means that records must be kept together on the basis of who created them, and
  2. Original Order (respect des fonds) - which means that all records should be kept in the exact order they were created by an office or individual.

Since the first purpose of an archival collection is to document the person or office of creation, retaining the context in which the records were created is essential.  This assures preservation of provenance.

Keeping original order in itself provides information about an office or an individual.  The order reflects the work or activities of the person or organization.  If any items, such as oversized materials, need to be housed separately, a note should be placed in the collection identifying what was removed, where it was originally, and where it is currently located.

Location:  The Averett University Archives and Special Collections is located in Room 303 on the second floor of the Mary B. Blount Library, 344 West Main Street, Danville, VA  24541.

Contact Information:




Access:  As stated in the Averett University Policies and Procedures Manual (#162.5) the Archives is a "closed" collection. Researchers may locate items housed in the Archives through the Averett Library Catalog; however, anyone wishing access to archival materials must do so through the University Archivist. Materials in the Archives are for in-library use only. Under the supervision of the Archivist, materials may be copied or scanned using the equipment located on the first floor of the library.

 Access for non-restricted materials is provided on equal terms to all researchers who abide by the rules and procedures of the Archives.  Privileged or exclusive use of material will not be granted to any single person or group.

Rules for Proper Handling of Archives' Materials

1.  Use only pencils with archival materials.  The archivist will provide pencils to patrons, if requested.

2.  Researchers may take only pencils, loose sheets of paper, note cards, or personal computers to the work table assigned for viewing archival materials.  All personal items such as coats, briefcases, book bags, folders, or bound volumes must be placed away from the work table.

3.  Researchers must never leave archival materials unattended.  If the patron must leave the work table, even for a few minutes, he/she should return all borrowed items to the archivist.

4.  Records must not be altered or defaced.

5.  Use care in turning pages to avoid paper tears.

6.  Use no paper clips; flat slips of paper are available (if requested) to use as markers.

7.  Please ask the archivist to open leaves of a book that have not been cut.  Notify him of any damaged materials before continuing research.

8.  Original records will not be removed from the archives if a photocopy or microfilm is available.

9.  Maintain the same order of all materials brought out of the archives.  If any records appear to be missing or misfiled, notify the archivist.

10.  Return all material to the archivist; viewed material will be examined by both to assure that all items have been returned intact;  and, both will sign the Request Slip to verify such.

11.  Requests for photocopying will be considered as long as no injury could be caused to the material by this process.  The archivist (or her designee) will perform the actual copying.

12.  Researchers are responsible for obtaining all copyright clearances if archival material is used in publications.

Collection Development Policy

The purpose of the Archives & Special Collections is to collect, organize, preserve and make available the following types of records and materials:

1. Averett University administrative records, which can include publications, reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, budgets, policy and procedural manuals, public relations materials, planning documents, and various other records.

2. Student, Faculty, Staff and Alumni Organization administrative records and publications.

3. Graphic productions such as photographs, slides, audio-visual items, etc. that visually present and document the University.

4. Private papers, records and visual materials from individuals with a relationship with Averett University (i.e. emeritus faculty, alumni, scholars and local community members).

5. Records and print material related to the history of Danville, Virginia, especially as it relates to the history and development of the University.

If you are interested in transferring records from within the University or donating materials to the Archives, please contact the University Archivist.

University administrative records should be transferred in accordance with the retention schedule of their respective departments. Materials from individuals or non-university sponsored organizations will not be accepted without a legal transfer of title through a Deed of Gift or deposit agreement. Transfer of copyright to the Archives is encouraged so that scholars using the collections can be granted permission from the Archives to quote from the collection.

History of Averett University and University Publications

Reference and Circulating Collection



 Averett College Alumni:1867 – 1911

 Reference Collection; LD 292.3 .A83

 Averett College Catalog [7 vols., 1966-2000]

 Reference Collection; LH 1 .A9 C3

 Averett College Directory

 Reference Collection; LH 2 .A9 D5

 Averett College Pendulum [16 vols., 1923-1990]

 Reference Collection; LH 2 .A9 D5

 Averett College Potpourri

 Reference Collection; LH 1 .A9 P6

 Averett Journal

 Reference Collection; LD 291.8 A9

 Averett Name

 Reference Collection; LD293.A94 P6 2002

 Averett Seminar: The Liberal Arts Curriculum

 Circulating Collection; LB2393.5.A94 2005

 Averett University Alumni Directory

 Reference Collection; LD 292.3 .A43


Current Magazine: A Publication for the Alumni and Friends of Averett College. Reference Collection; LH1.A94 C87

A History of Averett College. David Wesley Gray. Reference Collection; LD 293 .G7.

A History of Averett College. J.I. Hayes. Circulating and Reference Collections; LD 293 .H39x.

The Lamp and the Cross: A History of Averett College, 1859-2001. Jack Hayes, Jr. Circulating and Reference Collections; LD271.A83 H384 2004.


Name Changes of Averett University



Campus on Patton Street


1854 - 1858                 Danville Female Institute       

1858 - 1859                 Baptist Female Seminary

1859 - 1864                 Union Female College

1864 - 1893                 Trustees of Roanoke Female College

1893 - 1904                 Roanoke Female College

1904 - 1910                 Roanoke College



Campus on West Main Street


1910 - April 1917        Roanoke Institute

May 1917                    Danville College for Young Women             

June 1917 - 2001        Averett College

July 2001                    Averett University

Averett College in the 1920s

Members of the Averett College Mnemosynean Literary Society (a.k.a., The Nemos) (c. 1924).

Averett College Students at the Campus Swimming Pool (c. 1924).

Typing Class at Averett College (c. 1927).

The Staff of the Averett College School Newspaper, The Chanticleer (c. 1924).

Connect with a Librarian or Tutorial

Averett Librarians will help you:

  • find reliable information for assignments
  • develop database search strategies
  • evaluate and cite your sources

During fall and spring semesters a librarian is available until 9 P.M., Monday - Thursday, 4:30 P.M. Fridays, and 7 P.M. on Sundays.

Email anytime. Visit during library hours, or call 434-791-5692 or 800-543-9440. 


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