A Guide to the Richard B. Dickenson Papers, 1931-2004 Dickenson, Richard B. Papers Ms2011-043

A Guide to the Richard B. Dickenson Papers, 1931-2004

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2011-043


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/

© 2011 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Kimberly Staub, Graduate Assistant Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Richard B. Dickenson Papers, 1964-2004 (Bulk, 1964-2000)
Physical Characteristics
4.0 cu. ft. 11 Boxes
Dickenson, Richard B.
The collection is composed of materials related to Dickenson's research on Southwest Virginia African Americans from the Civil War until the present.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Richard B. Dickenson Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Richard B. Dickenson Papers, Ms2011-043, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to Special Collections in 2006.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Richard B. Dickenson Papers was completed in September 2011.

Biographical Note

Richard B. Dickenson, community activist and historian, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1930. From 1951-1953 he served with the US Army in Korea. Dickenson then received a B.A. in geography from Michigan State University in 1957 and a M.Ed. from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1971. He taught at a variety of colleges and universities throughout his career, including Virginia Tech where he researched local African American history and genealogy. After moving back to New York, Dickenson was appointed Borough Historian of Staten Island, which he held until his death from cancer in 2006.

Dickenson is the author of two published works: Entitled! Free Papers in Appalachia Concerning Antebellum Freeborn Negroes and Emancipated Blacks of Montgomery County, Virginia. and Holden's Staten Island: The History of Richmond County .

Scope and Content Note

The collection is composed of materials related to Dickenson's research on Southwest Virginia African Americans from the Civil War until the present. Included are photocopies and excerpts of books and archival materials, correspondence with coworkers and friends largely dealing with the Christiansburg Institute, and professional material related to his work in with the Christiansburg Community Center and local history associations.


The Richard B. Dickenson Papers are arranged into five series: subject files, correspondence, publications, research, and media. Materials within series are arranged alphabetically.

Series I contains subject files created by Dickenson. This series includes materials related to Christiansburg Institute and his work with the Christiansburg Community Center.

Series II contains correspondence with friends and coworkers. Letters are arranged by author in alphabetical order.

Series III contains various publications and photocopies of publications kept by Dickenson during his career. Individual publications are arranged in their own folder, excerpts are grouped in folders by alphabetical order.

Series IV contains research materials complied by Dickenson. Most of these items are photocopies of archival material. Research materials with no apparent titles are grouped in the Ephemera Research folder.

Series V contains cassette tapes, microfilm, and CD-ROMS arranged by material type.

Separated Material

The following books have been removed from the collection and are available in Special Collections:
The Black Oklahomans, A History: 1541-1972 , 1972
Black History in Oklahoma: A Resource Book , 1971
Christiansburg Institute: A Proud Heritage , 1991
Entitled:Free Papers in Appalachia , 1980
Highlights in the Early History of Montgomery County, VA , 1975
The Montgomery County Story , 2000
Montgomery County, Virginia: Circa 1790 , 1972
Montgomery County Virginia: The First Hundred Years , 1994
Price Genealogy, 1948
The United States Army Invades the New River Valley May 1864 , 1986
Virginia Landmarks of Black History , 1995

Index Terms

    Geographical Names:

  • Virginia, Southwest
  • Virginia--History
  • Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Virginia, Southwest
  • Virginia--History

Contents List

Series I: Subject Files, 1972-2000
  • Box-folder 1-1
    AAHGS Conference Presentation, 1998
  • Box-folder 1-2
    AAHGS New Jersey Chapter, 1992-1993
  • Box-folder 1-3
    Appalachian Blacks, 1977
  • Box-folder 1-4
    Appalachian Blacks, 1996-1997
  • Box-folder 1-5
    Appalachian Black Preservation Council Program, 1978
  • Box-folder 1-6
    Artists in Schools Program, 1978-1979
  • Box-folder 1-7
    Augustan Society Catalog, 1977
  • Box-folder 1-8
    Charter of Christiansburg Community Center, 1973-1978
  • Box-folder 1-9
    Christiansburg Community Center, 1978
  • Box-folder 1-10
    Christiansburg Community Center - Employment & CETA, 1978
  • Box-folder 1-11
    Christiansburg Community Center Fundraising, 1978
  • Box-folder 1-12
    Christiansburg Community Center National Register, 1978
  • Box-folder 1-13
    Christiansburg Institute Reunion, 1977
  • Box-folder 1-14
    Christiansburg Institute Ephemera, 1977-1992
  • Box-folder 1-15
    Community Development Block Grant, 1977-1978
  • Box-folder 1-16
    Dedication Service for Bust of Captain Schaeffer, 1997
  • Box-folder 2-1
    Drafts on Appalachian African Americans, 1976-1977
  • Box-folder 2-2
    EEO / AAA Letters, 1977-1978
  • Box-folder 2-3
    Employee Insurance Policy, 1972-1976
  • Box-folder 2-4
    Ephemera - General, 1976-1978
  • Box-folder 2-5
    Funding Proposals, 1977
  • Box-folder 2-6
    Grants and Award Letters, 1978
  • Box-folder 2-7
    Grant Information, 1978
  • Box-folder 2-8
    Montgomery County Voluntary Action Center, 1972-1977
  • Box-folder 2-9
    Preserving Black Appalachia Workshop, 1978
  • Box-folder 2-10
    Religious Materials, 1975-2000
  • Box-folder 2-11
    Schaeffer Memorial Landmark, 1978
  • Box-folder 2-12
    US Department of the Interior Copy of Christiansburg Institute's Register of Historic Places, 1980
  • Box-folder 2-13
    Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Grant Application (Blank), 1988
  • Box-folder 2-14
    Virginia Genealogical Seminar, 1978
Series II: Correspondence, 1977-2004
  • Box-folder 3-1
    Amanda E. DeHart Correspondence, 1977-1987
  • Box-folder 3-2
    Amanda E. DeHart Correspondence, 1988-1998
  • Box-folder 3-3
    Gibson Vance Correspondence, 1977
  • Box-folder 3-4
    Correspondence, 1977-2004
Series III: Publications, 1931-1997 (Bulk, 1964-1997)
  • Box-folder 3-5 Box-folder 3-6
    A Consecrated Life , (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 3-7
    A Valley and Its People (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 3-8
    "AAHGS Surname Index", 1997
  • Box-folder 3-9
    A Social Study of the Blacksburg Community (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 3-10
    Annals of Southwest Virginia (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 4-1
    Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights , Chapter 1 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 4-2 Box-folder 4-3
    "Christiansburg Institute" Master's Thesis, 1975
  • Box-folder 4-4
    Dickenson Families of England and America , 1972
  • Box-folder 4-5
    "Economic and Social Survey of Russel County, VA" (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 4-7 Box-folder 4-6
    "Entitled" Drafts, 1979-1980
  • Box-folder 4-8
    Entitled: Free Papers in Appalachia , 1980
  • Box-folder 4-9
    "Free Negro in Montgomery County, VA," n.d.
  • Box-folder 4-10
    Free Negro in Virginia (photocopy).
  • Box-folder 5-1
    Freedmen's School of Montgomery County, VA, (handwritten draft), n.d.
  • Box-folder 5-3 Box-folder 5-2
    "Genesis of Christiansburg Institute Alumni Association," 1977
  • Box-folder 5-4
    Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, 1968-1977
    Kilgore Forthhouse, 1786 , 1975
    The Great Stone Face, , 1976
    Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia , 1977
    Frontier Forts , 1968
  • Box-folder 5-5
    "Identities and Heritage" Discussion Draft, 1977
  • Box-folder 5-6
    "Making Their Mark: Black Families of New River Depot, 1870-1940," n.d.
  • Box-folder 5-7
    McGavock Family (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-1
    Negroes and Their Treatment in Virginia from 1865-1867 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-2
    Negroes in Oklahoma (Docent Manual), 1972
  • Box-folder 6-3
    Negro in Virginia (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-4
    Negro in Virginia Politics, 1865-1902 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-5
    "The Seventh Population Census of the US for Russell County, VA 1850," 1964
  • Box-folder 6-6
    Unleased at Long Last (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-7
    Virginia Conservatives, 1867-1879 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-8
    Publications by Leland Tate, 1931-1944
    An Economic and Social Survey of Russell County Virgina, , 1931
    Lebanon: A Virginia Community, 1943
    Comments on the Lebanon Community Study , 1944
  • Box-folder 6-9
    The Andersons of Montgomery County, n.d.
  • Box-folder 6-10
    Publications and Excerpts A-B, n.d.
    "An Address on the Occasion of the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Hanging Rock," n.d.
    Against the Tide excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Belah Perry excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1927 (photocopy), n.d.
    "Black Genealogical Research in Montgomery County," 1978
    "Black Student Directory 1978", 1978
    "Blacks in Appalachia" excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    "Booker T. Washington" (pamphlet), n.d.
    The Bowyers of Old West Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-1
    Publications and Excerpts E-L, n.d.
    "Early Development of Negro Extension Work in Virginia," n.d.
    Fincastle and Botetourt County Tour , 1977
    "Freedmen Identities" draft, 1998
    "The Freedmen's Bureau in Appalachia," 1977
    Haven Boyd Howe excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Historic Fincastle pamphlet, n.d.
    A Funeral Discourse on the Death of Robert Craig, Esq. excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Local History and Genealogical Research in the University Libraries , 1990
  • Box-folder 7-2
    Publications and Excerpts M-P, n.d.
    "Montgomery County Historic Sites Survey Volume 1" (photocopy), n.d.
    "Name Changing Since the Civil War" presentation, 1998
    Negro Baptist History USA excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    The Negro in the Reconstruction of Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Negro Life in Rural Virginia (photocopy), n.d.
    Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1973
    Planters and Pioneers (photocopy), n.d.
    "Projections and Economic Base Analysis of Russell County", 1966
    Political History of Appalachian Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    "Pulaski County: A Collection of Articles" excerpts, n.d.
    Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Continental Commands excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-3
    Excerpts and Publications R-T, n.d.
    "Race Relations in Montgomery County, Virginia 1870-1990" (photocopy), n.d.
    The Readjuster Movement in Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Resources of Southwest Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Rural Land Ownership Among the Negroes of Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    "Some Freedmen Identities," 1978
    Southwest Virginia and Shenandoah Valley excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    State Historical Markers of Virginia excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    Syllabus for "Appalachian Black Surnames During Reconstruction" presentation, 1994
    Towns and Villages of Montgomery County, Virginia as given on Maps and in Virginia Directories excerpt (photocopy), n.d.
    "Tracing Your Black Virginia Ancestors" n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-4
    Publications and Excerpts V-W, n.d.
    "Virginia Appalachian Notes," 1979
    Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly , 1979
    "Volunteers Help Maryland Group Serve Clients," 1977
    Welcome to Russell County, VA, n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-5
    Untitled Publications, Excerpts, and Drafts, n.d.
Series VI: Research, 1976-1993
  • Box-folder 7-6
    1850 US Census Annotated Abstracts of Saveholding, Free Black, and Dickenson Families of Russell County, Va, n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-7
    Appalachian Black Surnames During Reconstruction in Montgomery County, VA 1865-1870, n.d.
  • Box-folder 7-8
    Appalachian States Data File, 1977
  • Box-folder 7-9
    Captain Shaeffer Research, 1978-1980
  • Box-folder 7-10
    Christiansburg Institute Microfilm Printouts, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-1
    Colored Population - Montgomery County, VA 1865-1870, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-2
    Commission of Claims Reports (photocopies), n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-3
    Court Order Book Extracts, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-4
    Ephemera Research, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-5
    Federal Population Censuses 1790-1890 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-6
    Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1977
  • Box-folder 8-7
    General Schaeffer State and Local Records, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-8
    George Sherwood Research, n.d.
  • Box-folder 8-9
    Jeremiah Kyle and Rice Daniel Montague Research, 1993
  • Box-folder 8-10
    Kentucky Freedmen Bureau Records, 1976
  • Box-folder 8-11
    Logan County, Oklahoma Research, 1976-1980
  • Box-folder 9-1
    Montgomery County Freedmen Bureau Records, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-2
    Montgomery County Maps, 1992-1993
  • Box-folder 9-3
    Montgomery County Production of Agriculture 1960 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-4
    Morgan Family, Montgomery County, Va, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-5
    Population Schedules from 1850 Census Russell and Scott Counties, VA, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-6
    Register of Colored Persons Montgomery County, Va 1867 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-7
    Register of Free Negroes and Mulattos, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-8
    Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-9
    Research Requests to Virginia Libraries on Freedmen's Bureau, 1977
  • Box-folder 9-11 Box-folder 9-10
    Russell County Virginia Research, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-12
    Samuel Clark et al v. New Railway Company, n.d.
  • Box-folder 9-14 Box-folder 9-13
    Samuel H. Clark Research, 1979-1988
  • Box-folder 9-15
    Samuel Clark Research - Genealogical Transparencies, n.d.
  • Box-folder 10-1
    Schedule of Agriculture Production 1860 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 10-2
    Slave Inhabitants in Christiansburg, VA 1860 (photocopy), n.d.
  • Box-folder 10-3
    Southwest Virginia Genealogical Society Research and Notes, 1986
  • Box-folder 10-4
    Transcriptions of Montgomery County records, "Register of Free Negroes and Mulattoes" and "Cohabitation Register" , n.d.
  • Box-folder 10-5
    Wythe County, 1977
Series V: Media, 1977
  • Box 11
    Cassette Tapes, 1977
    "Samuel Clark - Christiansburg"
    "Interview with Mrs. Nettie Anderson"
    "Christiansburg Institute Reunion"
    'Interview with Mrs. Addie Jones"
  • Box 11
    Microfilm, n.d.
    "Special Poll Oklahoma Territorial Census 1890"
  • Box 11
    CD-ROMs, n.d.
    "Freedman's Bank Records"
    1910 Miracode Index" Virginia, Western Region"