Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Tidewater History Collection, 1853-2011, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Special Collections Staff

Collection Overview

Title: Tidewater History Collection, 1853-2011, undated

Predominant Dates:1940-2010

ID: 00/MG 91

Extent: 6.8 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is broken into the following series: I: Norfolk; II: Greater Tidewater and Virginia; III: Hampton Roads Planning Commission IV: Oversize Newspapers; V: Oversize Maps; and VI: Oversize Photos.

Subjects: Hampton Roads (Va.)--History, Hampton Roads (Va.)--Maps, Hampton Roads (Va.)--Photographs, Hampton Roads (Va.)--Printed Materials

Languages: English


The Tidewater History Collection contains materials such as, newspaper clippings, whole newspapers, magazines, maps, and pamphlets related to the communities of Hampton Roads, with primary focus on Norfolk.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Tidewater History Collection consists of newspaper clippings, newspapers, magazines, maps, and pamphlets. The context of the material relates to Hampton Roads facts, history, events, government, culture and the military, with emphasis on the city of Norfolk.

Collection Historical Note

In 1607, twenty years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, a small band of Englishmen sailed into the Chesapeake Bay up the James River and settled on a small island named Jamestown. The settlement of Jamestown marked the origin of Colonial America. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Colony of Virginia became the most productive of all the English colonies. In the late eighteenth century, the influence of Virginians helped the American Colonies gain independence from England. In the mid- to late-eighteenth century, Virginia produced more great leaders than any other place in world history.

Today, there are 1.8 million residents in Hampton Roads, making up one-fifth of Virginia's population. The region is rich in culture, thriving communities and maritime and economic development. Hampton Roads is the home of the world's largest naval base, located in Norfolk, and is known for a strong military presence.

The southeastern region of Virginia is referred to as Hampton Roads. This region includes the communities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Southampton, Surry and York and the following cities and counties of North Carolina – Currituck County, Gates County, Elizabeth City, and Kill Devil Hills (there is no material from the North Carolina cities and counties in the collection).

The meaning behind Hampton Roads is the body of water surrounding this area which incorporates the mouths of the Elizabeth River, Nansemond River, and James River with several smaller rivers and empties into the Chesapeake Bay near its mouth leading to the Atlantic Ocean. Hampton Roads is considered one of the world’s largest natural harbors, with ‘roads’ being a nautical term meaning safe harbor (more accurately a 'roadstead').

Hampton Roads is known for its large military presence, ice-free harbor, shipyards, coal piers, and miles of waterfront property and beaches, all of which contribute to the diversity and stability of the region's economy.

Creating and maintaining adequate infrastructure has long been a major challenge. The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) are major harbor crossings of the Hampton Roads Beltway interstate, which links the large population centers of Hampton Roads. In 2007, the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority (HRTA) was formed under a controversial state law to levy various additional taxes, fees, and tolls to generate funding for major regional transportation projects, including a long-sought but costly third crossing of the harbor of Hampton Roads.

Cooperation between the regions is an ongoing challenge. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) is one of twenty-one planning district commissions in the commonwealth of Virginia. Their purpose is to encourage local government and state-local cooperation in matters such as commerce, city planning, housing, water resources, and emergency management.

Subject/Index Terms

Hampton Roads (Va.)--History
Hampton Roads (Va.)--Maps
Hampton Roads (Va.)--Photographs
Hampton Roads (Va.)--Printed Materials

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 5 Hollinger Document Cases, 1 Hollinger Half-Case, and 2 Oversize Boxes

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Collection is open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Source: Various transfers

Related Materials: Old Dominion University Libraries-Library Guides: Tidewater Regional Resources

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Tidewater History Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Processing Information: This collection was compiled by David Corona in February 2004. Further processing was completed by Kelly C. Barbour in April 2006.

Finding Aid Revision History: The box listing was updated by Mona E. Farrow in January 2016. Finding aid and box listing updated in March 2018 and June 2019, by Kathleen V. Smith.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Norfolk, 1853-2011, undated],
[Series II: Greater Tidewater and Virginia, 1933-2007],
[Series III: Hampton Roads Planning Commission, 1995-2007, undated],
[Series IV: Oversize Newspapers, 1936-1986],
[Series V: Oversize Maps, 1963-1968, 1984],
[Series VI: Oversize Photos, 1960],

Series V: Oversize Maps, 1963-1968, 1984
This sub-series contains oversize maps. Included are planning maps for Portsmouth from the 1960s and a proposed Hampton Roads Beltway map from 1963. Material is arranged alphabetically.
Oversize Box 8
Item 2: Portsmouth City Public Schools, 1967
Item 3: Land Area Awarded City of Portsmouth by Annexation Court, October 14, 1966
Item 4: High Street Non-Residential Corridor, 1967
Item 5: Hampton Roads Beltway, 1963
Item 6: City of Portsmouth, 1968
Item 7: Reproduction of Map and Chart of the Chesapeake Bay by J. Bew, November 30, 1781; reprinted in Edinburgh, Scotland, November 1984
Item 1: Map, Reader's Guide to the Borough and City of Norfolk Before 1899, undated
Photocopy of a map featuring what Norfolk would have looked like in 1899. The map was created using a variety of sources and is not an original map.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Norfolk, 1853-2011, undated],
[Series II: Greater Tidewater and Virginia, 1933-2007],
[Series III: Hampton Roads Planning Commission, 1995-2007, undated],
[Series IV: Oversize Newspapers, 1936-1986],
[Series V: Oversize Maps, 1963-1968, 1984],
[Series VI: Oversize Photos, 1960],

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