A Guide to the Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection, 1992-2006 Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection Ms2006-018

A Guide to the Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection, 1992-2006

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2006-018


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Katie Cox, Special Collections student assistant; and John M. Jackson, Special Collections staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection 1992-2006
Physical Characteristics
2 containers; 0.7 cu. ft.
Papers, including correspondence, in-house publications, presentations, press clippings, and external reports, relating to Blacksburg Electronic Village, an experimental online community network connecting the town of Blacksburg, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection, Ms 2006-018 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Acquisition Information

The Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection was donated to Special Collections in 2002.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Blacksburg Electronic Village Collection commenced in October 2006 and was completed in November 2006.

Historical Information

The concept of an online community network for Blacksburg, Virginia originated in 1991. An outreach project of Virginia Tech, the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) would seek to bring Internet access to the entire community. Collaborative efforts during the next two years among Virginia Tech, the town of Blacksburg, and Bell Atlantic of Virginia prepared the town's information infrastructure by installing digital switching equipment and a fiber backbone. The first beta test of BEV software--including Internet, e-mail and gopher clients--occurred in Spring 1993, and BEV was formally launched in October 1993.

Linking individuals, government agencies, commercial enterprises, and community organizations through fiber-optic technology, BEV was among the earliest online community networks and received international attention. By 1997, more than 80 percent of the community's residents had computers--many of them connected to the Internet through Virginia Tech's modem pool--and Blacksburg was dubbed by the press "the most wired town in America."

By 1996, the Virginia Tech modem pool was becoming overloaded, and users not affiliated with Virginia Tech were required to switch to independent Internet providers. Today, BEV continues to work with local individuals, the town of Blacksburg, and non-profit organizations, providing website development and support, e-mail accounts, and civic websites, among other services.

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials relating to Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV), an experimental online community network connecting individuals, government agencies, businesses and organizations in Blacksburg, Virginia. The collection contains such materials as correspondence, BEV in-house publications (including brochures and fact sheets), presentations (consisting largely of overhead transparencies), clippings from magazines, newspapers, and newsletters; and a few reports issued by external organizations and agencies.


The collection is arranged by document type, then chronologically.

Related Material

Cohill, Andrew Michael and Andrea L. Kavanaugh, ed., Community networks: lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia (Boston: Artech House, 1997) TK5105.83 C66 1997 Large Spec

Cohill, Andrew Michael and Andrea L. Kavanaugh, ed., Community networks: lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia , 2nd ed. (Boston: Artech House, 2000) TK5105.83 C66 2000 c.2 Large Spec

Separated Material

The following videocassettes were removed from the collection and cataloged for the Special Collections Media Collection:

Index Terms


  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)
  • Science and Technology

Contents List

Correspondence 1992-1997
Box-folder 1-1
In-house publications
  • Box-folder 1-2
    Promotional publications 1994-1997, n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-3
    "Community Network Briefing Book" Apr 1999
  • Box-folder 1-4
    "Community-based Broadband Telecommunications Infrastructure" Mar 2000
  • Box-folder 1-5
    "Community Network Development Guidelines" Apr 2001
  • Box-folder 1-6
    "Blacksburg Electronic village: the Missing Years (1979-1993)" by Mathew Mathai (revised) Apr 7 2006
  • Box-folder 1-7
    "Telecommunications for Neighborhoods and Communities: Four Key Areas of Investment" by Andrew Michael Cohill n.d.
Public presentations
  • Box-folder 1-8
    Appalachian Health Care Conference 1997
  • Box-folder 1-9
    Abingdon, Virginia n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-10
    "Building a Community: Blacksburg Electronic Village" n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-11
    "Municipalities in Cyberspace" (Maryland Municipal League) n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-12
    Unidentified presentations n.d.
Box-folder 1-13
  • "Bev and More" Mar 1 1994
    [2 items]
  • "Bev and More" Mar 22 1994
    [2 items]
  • "Bev on MDR Leipzig" Aug / Sep 1995
Magazine clippings
  • Box-folder 1-14
  • Box-folder 1-15
  • Box-folder 1-16
  • Box-folder 1-17
Newspaper clippings
  • Box-folder 1-18
  • Box-folder 1-19
    Jan-Feb 1995
  • Box-folder 1-20
    Mar-Dec 1995
  • Box-folder 2-1
  • Box-folder 2-2
  • Box-folder 2-3
    1998-1999, n.d.
Newsletter clippings 1992-1999
Box-folder 2-4
External reports External reports
  • Box-folder 2-5
    Council on Library Resources 1993
  • Box-folder 2-6
    Dynatech Corporation 1995
  • Box-folder 2-7
    Gifu [Japan] Prefectural Government [1997]

    ["Overseas Situation Survey on the Subjects of Specified Local Area"]

  • Box-folder 2-8
    National Associaiton of Partners in Education 1996

    ["Integrating Telecommunications Technology Into Education: the 21st Century Challenge for Partners Navigating the Four Cs of Change"]

  • Box-folder 2-9
    Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
    • "Infrastructure Needs of Manufacturing Incubators: IT Recommendations" n.d.
    • "Infrastructure Needs of Manufacturing Incubators: Regional Strategies" n.d.