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Other times by appointment


The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

Contact Information

Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-5350
fax (757) 683-5954


The Tidewater History Collection

Historical Sketch

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.

The southeastern region of Virginia is referred to as Hampton Roads, 'roads' being a nautical term meaning safe harbor. The name refers to the waterways of the James, Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The 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 county of Currituck in North Carolina. Within this area is the Chesapeake Bay: the world's largest natural seaport and one of the world's largest seaports and military installations.

There are 1.5 million residents in Hampton Roads, making up 1/5 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.

Scope and Contents

The Printed Materials of the Tidewater History Collection consists of newspaper clippings, newspapers, magazines, 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.

Series Descriptions

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

Series I: Norfolk: This series relates to the culture, community, and business of the City of Norfolk, and is broken into six sub-series: A. Businesses; B. Churches; C. Government; D. Personalities; E: Photos; F. Publications; and G. Miscellaneous.

Sub-series A: Businesses. This sub-series contains brochures and pamphlets for Norfolk businesses in the 1960s, as well an index of advertisers from 1945. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series B: Churches. This sub-series contains information about several Norfolk churches. Included are programs, directories, newsletters, dedications, and other publications. Material is arranged alphabetically by the name of the church, and then chronologically if there is more than one folder for the church.

Sub-series C: Government. This sub-series contains material related to the Norfolk City Government and its branches including the Chamber of Commerce, Convention Bureau, Department of Parks and Recreation, Police Department, Museums, and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Materials include pamphlets, plans, studies and reports, information packets, and other publications. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series D: Personalities. This sub-series contains materials related to prominent and notable citizens of Norfolk. Included are materials on General Douglas MacArthur, Irene Leache, a 19th century teacher who opened a school for girls in Norfolk, and Lauren Selden, an Old Dominion College history professor who became the first full-time executive director of the ACLU in Virginia in 1968. Material is arranged alphabetically by each individual's last name.

Sub-series E: Photos. This sub-series contains photos of Norfolk from the collection of photographer, Carroll Walker. Included are photos of Commercial Place and Granby Street from 1868 to 1910 and photos of downtown Norfolk in 1981. Material is arranged chronologically.

Sub-series F: Publications. This sub-series contains publications related to Norfolk history. Included are magazines, map booklets, articles, and flyers. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series G: Miscellaneous. This sub-series contains miscellaneous item related to Norfolk history. This section will be added to periodically. Material is arranged chronologically by decade.

Series II: Greater Tidewater and Virginia. This series contains materials related to areas of Hampton Roads other than Norfolk, as well as the state of Virginia. This series is broken into the following sub-series: A. Hampton; B. Newport News; C. Portsmouth; D. Virginia Beach; E. Yorktown; F. Virginia; and G. Multi-city.

Sub-series A: Hampton. This sub-series contains materials related to Hampton. Included is a program for the 50th Anniversary of Langley Air Force Base. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series B: Newport News. This sub-series contains materials related to Newport News. Included are materials related to the history of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Material is arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series C: Portsmouth. This sub-series contains materials related to Portsmouth. Included are plans for restoration and redevelopment of Downtown and Olde Town Portsmouth including Crawford Boulevard and High Street in 1964 and a bicentennial brochure for Portsmouth from 1952 highlighting points of interest in the city. Material is arranged alphabetically. 

Sub-series D: Virginia Beach. This sub-series contains materials related to Virginia Beach. Included are a 1930 class bulletin from Atlantic University; a listing of civic clubs and organizations in 1968; and a booklet documenting the history of Greystone House. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series E: Yorktown. This sub-series contains materials related to Yorktown. Included is the official program for the Yorktown Sesquicentennial Celebration from October of 1931. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Sub-series F: Virginia. This sub-series contains materials related to Virginia, though not necessarily Hampton Roads. Included is the 1956 Ford Times, Virginia issue highlighting the history of various locations in Virginia.

Sub-series G: Multi-City. This sub-series contains materials that relate to and overlap two or more cities in the Hampton Roads area. Included are materials related to the history of Hampton Roads including the Naval bases; directories and listings of organizations and resources; newsletters, magazines, and other publications; maps and tourist information; and programs from special events including the opening program for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in 1964.

Series III: Oversize Newspapers. This series contains full newspapers and newspaper clippings on topics such as the annual Azalea Festival, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, the funeral of General Douglas MacArthur, Norfolk tourism, Ocean View Amusement Park, and Old Dominion College (now Old Dominion University). Folders are arranged alphabetically by paper name, then chronologically within each group.

Series IV: Oversize Maps: This sub-series contains oversize maps. Included are planning maps for Portsmouth from the 1960s and a proposed Hampton Roads Beltway map from 1963. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series V: Oversize Photos. This sub-series contains a portrait of the Colley-Mottu-Johnson House in 1960 and a post-1908 photo of the Industrial Commission of Norfolk.




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


4.75 linear feet, 3 Hollinger Document Cases and 2 Oversize Boxes

Contents Listing

Box 1

Series I: Norfolk

Sub-series A: Businesses

Folder 1: Business Pamphlets [circa 1960s]
Folder 2: City Gas Co. brochure [n.d.]
Folder 3: Index to Advertisers 1945

Sub-series B: Churches

Folder 4: Colonial Avenue Methodist Church Program "The Messiah", December 2, 1951
Folder 5: Epworth Methodist Church [1959-1964]
Folder 6: First Baptist, 1950
Folder 7: First Baptist, Program "Elijah", November 15, 1959
Folder 8: First Baptist, Historic Landmark Dedication, 1983
Folder 9: First Methodist Church, 1964
Folder 10: Grace Protestant Episcopal, Golden Jubilee, 1934
Folder 11: The Jamestown Churchman: Official Organ of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, 1957
Folder 12: Old St. Paul's Church, 1945
Folder 13: Port Norfolk Baptist Church Program, Charles E. Vogan Organist, October 25, 1955
Folder 14: Port Norfolk Baptist Church Directory 1976
Folder 15: Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church [1953-1964]
Folder 16: Trinity Methodist Church, Charles E. Vogan Organist, 1960
Folder 17: Unitarian Universalist, Two Centuries of Unitarianism and Universalism in Norfolk and vicinity, 1982

Sub-series C: Clubs and Organizations

Folder 18: Norfolk Organizations 1969

Sub-series C: Government

Folder 19: Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, "For a Better Form of Government," 1915
Folder 20: City of Norfolk "Your Government in Brief" 1941-1945
Folder 21: Norfolk Police Report 1944
Folder 22: City of Norfolk: Recreation Survey and Long Range Plan, 1946
Folder 23: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, "This is it," 1946
Folder 24: Norfolk Department of Parks and Recreation, Norfolk Botanical Garden: First Annual Report, 1959
Folder 25: Norfolk Museum Bulletin Annual Report 1963
Folder 26: Norfolk Convention Bureau, "Norfolk: A Model Convention City," 1978
Folder 27: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Information Packet on Ghent Square and Freemason Harbor, 1978

Sub-series D: Personalities

Folder 28: Leache, Irene Memorial [1974, 1978]
Folder 29: MacArthur, General Douglas, "Last Journey for an Old Soldier"
Folder 30: Selden, Lauren - Old Dominion College Professor and Executive Director of Virginia ACLU [ 1968-1969]

Sub-series E: Photos

Folder 31: Photos of Norfolk from the Collection of Carroll Walker 1868-1910
Folder 32: Photos of Norfolk from the Collection of Carroll Walker 1981

Box 2

Sub-series F: Publications

Folder 1: Account of Rolleston Hall which appeared in Harper's Weekly, January 6th, 1866
Folder 2: Berkley Ward of the City of Norfolk, 1889-1919
Folder 3: A Chronological View of Granby Street Facing North
Folder 4: Chronology of Slum Clearance in Norfolk, 1935-1969
Folder 5: The Colley-Mattu-Johnson House Description (see photo in oversize)
Folder 6: Escape from Internment on the Yacht Eclipse: 1915
Folder 7: Know: the Navy and Norfolk, August 1944
Folder 8: Know: Norfolk's Postwar Plans July 1945
Folder 9: Norfolk Harbor Tour, April 1954
Folder 10: Norfolk: An Historic City with a Destiny of Greatness
Folder 11: Norfolk Map and Information, 1939
Folder 12: Norfolk Map and Information, 1942
Folder 13: Norfolk's Progress and Norfolk's Problem [circa 1940s]
Folder 14: The Norfolk Story in Painting: A Twenty Pictorial History as Painted by Kenneth Harris [circa 1960s]
Folder 15: The Norfolk Survey 1937
Folder 16: Norfolk, Virginia on Hampton Roads [circa 1944]
Folder 17: Preliminary Feasibility: Proposed Norfolk-Baltimore Steamship Service, 1963
Folder 18: Understanding Norfolk: Its History and the Evolution of Granby Street, December 1966
Folder 19: The Vigilant: Official Souvenir Norfolk's 250th Anniversary, August 16, 1932

Sub-series G: Miscellaneous

Folder 20: Miscellaneous 1920s
Folder 21: Miscellaneous 1930s
Folder 22: Miscellaneous 1940s
Folder 23: Miscellaneous 1950s
Folder 24: Miscellaneous 1960s
Folder 25: Miscellaneous 1970s
Folder 26: Miscellaneous 1980s
Folder 27: Miscellaneous 1990s
Folder 28: Miscellaneous 2000s

Box 3

Series II: Greater Tidewater and Virginia

Sub-series A: Hampton

Folder 1: Langley Air Force Base, 50th Anniversary, November 1966
Folder 2: Hampton Miscellaneous

Sub-series B: Newport News

Folder 2: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, "A Blueprint of Your Future", August 1951
Folder 4: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, 75th Anniversary Souvenir Program May 1961
Folder 5: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Shipyard Bulletin, Volume XI, January 1946
Folder 6: Newport News Miscellaneous

Sub-series C: Portsmouth

Folder 7: Portsmouth Commercial Cultural Core Community Civic Center, Olde Towne Restoration, December 1964
Folder 8: Portsmouth Virginia Where Rail Meets Sail 200 Years of Progress Bicentennial Brochure 1952
Folder 9: Portsmouth Miscellaneous

 Sub-series D: Virginia Beach

Folder 10: Atlantic University Bulletin 1930
Folder 11: Civic Clubs and Organizations, Virginia Beach, VA 1968
Folder 12: Greystone: The History of a Home
Folder 13: Virginia Beach Miscellaneous

Sub-series E: Yorktown

Folder 14: Official Program of the Yorktown Sesquicentennial Celebration, October 16-19, 1931
Folder 15: Yorktown Miscellaneous

Sub-series F: Virginia

Folder 16: Ford Times, Special Virginia Issue, March 1956
Folder 17: Virginia Miscellaneous

Sub-series G: Multi-City

Folder 18: The Bells of Tidewater 1959
Folder 19: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, A New Era Opens, April 15, 1964
Folder 20: Directory of Community Resources for Health-Welfare Recreation Services in Eastern Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, June 1967
Folder 21: International Naval Review, June 1957
Folder 22: Newspaper Research: A Service of the National Newspaper Promotion Association, Norfolk-Portsmouth, Virginia 1960-61
Folder 23: Tidewater Music and Arts 1960s
Folder 24: Tidewater Music and Arts 1980s
Folder 25: Tidewater Virginia Facts [circa 1976]
Folder 26: Tidewater Virginia In Years Gone By, 1964
Folder 27: Tidewater Virginia Maps and Information [circa 1950s]
Folder 28: Tidewater Virginia Mural 1959
Folder 29: Virginia State Ports Authority Dedication Ceremony. Project No. 1 General Cargo Terminal, 1964
Folder 30: Multi-city Miscellaneous

Box 4 (oversize)

Series III: Oversize Newspapers

Folder 1: Azalea Festival, Apr. 1971
Folder 2: Azalea Festival, Apr. 1986
Folder 3: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 1C-12C, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 4: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 13C-32C, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 5: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 1E-12E, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 6: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 13E-32E, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 7: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 1F-12F, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 8: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, section 3G-18G, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 9: Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel special edition, pages 18-34, Apr. 11, 1964
Folder 10: City of Abusive Visitors, The Sun, September 19, 1943
Folder 11: For 300 years, Norfolk has persisted despite setbacks, Virginian Pilot, August 13, 1982
Folder 12: General Douglas MacArthur funeral, April 1964
Folder 13: "Rollercoaster" Ran to Hollywood, Virginian Pilot, July 22, 1977
Folder 14: The Spectator (Old Dominion College feature), January 21, 1965

Box 5 (oversize)

Item 1: Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch (partial paper), Sept. 23, 1936

Series IV: Oversize Maps

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

Series V: Oversize Photos

Item 7: The Colley-Mottu-Johnson House 1960
Item 8: Industrial Commission of Norfolk, ca. 1920

Revised 11/03/09