A Guide to the James and Goldie Nicholas Papers 1995 Nicholas, Goldie and james 1995-73

A Guide to the James and Goldie Nicholas Papers 1995

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives
Collection Number 1995-73


Johnston Memorial Library, Virginia State University

Special Collections and Archives
Johnston Memorial Library
P.O. Box 9406
Virginia State University
Petersburg, Virginia 23806
Phone: (804) 524-5749
Fax: (804) 524-6959
Email: ledwards@vsu.edu
URL: http://www.vsu.edu/library/index.htm

© 2002 By the Board of Visitors of Virginia State University.

Funding: Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Lucious Edwards, Jr.

Special Collections and Archives, Johnston Memorial Library, Virginia State University
Collection number
James and Goldie Nicholas Papers 1995
Physical Characteristics
23 items.
James and Goldie Nicholas.
The Nicholas papers consists of some photographs, several books, and awards. Dr. James Nicholas was former rector of the Board of Visitors at Virginia State University. Acc# 1995-73

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

The James and Goldie Nicholas Papers, 1995-73, Special Collections and Archives, Johnston Memorial Library, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA.

Acquisition Information

A gift from the estate.

Biographical/Historical Information

James Nicholas, one of five children born to Arville and Barlett Nicholas in Augusta Coounty, Virginia in 1900. Education for African American was almost non existant and James completed all seven grades in record time.

In 1914 James Nicholas left for Ohio where he was to live with his brother in Cleveland and work in the steel mill until he could raise the $82 a year it cost to go to the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in Ettrick, Virginia (this included room and board). By 1916 he had saved enough money to start school and in 1921 James Nicholas had completed the requirements for the Normal teaching degree.

Upon graduation he decided to return home to teach the first grade. Because of the low pay and short school year he alternated his teaching skills between home and working in a hotel in Winterhaven, Florida. Here he would meet his future wife Goldie Augustine Francis.

In 1921 he began to take classes at West Virginia State and in 1930, completed the requirements for the Bachelors Degree. There were few paying teaching jobs available, therefore, in 1931 he began work at the Patrick Henry Hotel in Roanoke, Virginia and he would marry Goldie.

In 1932 he and his wife and others were able to secure a Rosenwald School for the town of Waynesboro and he and his wife taught several grades there. In 1933 he became principal of the Rosenwald School. As principal he set a goal to add a grade each year since there were only seven upon his arrival. By 1937 there were eleven grades and the school was one of the few accredited training schools for African Americans in the state.

Goldie Augustine Francis was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to John and Arlena Francis. Goldie completed the Hawthorne Women's Program at Virginia Union University in 1923. She went on to earn the undergraduate degree in education at Virginia State.

In 1944 James Nicholas was invited to join the faculty of Virginia State College where he would be an instructor in education and principal of the high school. Mrs. Nicholas was also hired to begin her long career teaching reading.

Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas both continued their formal education. Mr. Nicholas received a master's from the University of Michigan, and also recieved his Doctorate from Penn State University. Ms Nicholas recieved an EdD Degree from the University of Virginia in 1957.

Scope and Content Information

James and Goldie Nicholas's career is documented, which includes Photographs, awards, and several books of interest that constitute the major items.

Series Description

Series I: Correspondence Correspondence Personal and business. The establishment of the Nicholas endowment is documented.

Series II: The Francis-Nicholas Memorial Scholarship Fund Records documenting this Memorial Scholarship Fund, Includes biologs, rules, etc.

Series III: Photographs Images mainly centered around the Nicholas careers in education. Most of the photographs were taken at Virginia State.

Series IV: Printed Certificates, programs, commision, and awards presented to or earned by James and Goldie Nicholas.

Box List

Series I: Correspondence
  • Box-folder 1:1
    Correspondence General 1963
  • Box-folder 1:2
    Correspondence 1970
  • Box-folder 1:3
    Term Report 1922
  • Box-folder 1:4
    Platt Map 1952
  • Box-folder 1:5
    Address Comencement 1971- Holtin
Series II: The Francis-Nicholas Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Box-folder 1:5a
    Correspondence 1979
  • Box-folder 1:5b
    Correspondence 1980
Series III: Photographs
  • Box-folder 1:6
    Workshop 1940
  • Box-folder 1:7
    Pigskin Club o.s. 1959
  • Box-folder 1:8
    Board of Visitors 1974
  • Box-folder 1:9
    Hartshorn College 1979
  • Box-folder 1:10
    Campus Scenes
  • Box-folder 1:11
    Campus Scene
  • Box-folder 1:12
    Campus Scene
  • Box-folder 1:13
    Campus Scene
  • Box-folder 1:14
    Campus Scene
  • Box-folder 1:15
    Meetings off Campus
  • Box-folder 1:16
  • Box-folder 1:17
    Unidentified Framed Photographs
Series IV: Printed
  • Subseries A.: Certificates
    • Box-folder 1:18
      Citations from VSU 1974
    • Box-folder 1:19
      Certificates Army Training Corps 1918
    • Box-folder 1:20
      Certificates Sigma Delta Si 1959,1964
    • Box-folder 1:21
      Certificate U.S Army 1973
  • Subseries B: Programs
    • Box-folder 1:22
      Program Pigskin Club 1959
    • Box-folder 1:23
      Program Hartshorn Mem. 1979
  • Subseries C.: Commisions
    • Box-folder 2:1
      Appointments to Virginia State University Board of Visitors.
    • Box-folder 2:2
      Athletic Hall of Fame
    • Box-folder 2:3
      Professor Emeritus from VSU May 5, 1974
    • Box-folder 2:4
      Professor Emeritus from VSU May 5, 1974
  • Subseries D: Awards
    • Box-folder 3:1
      Outstanding Service: Goldie Nicholas Plaque May 25, 1969
    • Box-folder 3:2
      Rosenwald Award: Goldie Nicholas Plaque 1981
    • Box-folder 3:3
      Outstanding Service: James Nicholas Plaque May 25, 1969
    • Box-folder 3:4
      Rosenwald Award: Goldie Nicholas Plaque 1976
  • Subseries E: Books
    • Box-folder 3:5
      Langston Mercer John Honarable: Freedom and CitizenshipWashington, D.C. Rufus H. Darby, Publisher, 1883
    • Box-folder 3:6
      Pawley, Thomas Desire: English GrammerBaltimore, The Norman Publishing Company