Seminary Archives Collections

For general reference:
Christopher Pote, CA
(703) 461-1850

Mailing Address:

Admissions Office
Virginia Theological Seminary, Box 139
3737 Seminary Road,
Alexandria, VA 22304

On Campus:

the Archives office is located in
Bohlen Hall, building #4 on the campus map


VTS Personal Papers

The VTS Archives contains personal papers and collections of prominent members of the VTS community. Other manuscript collections document the Episcopal Church at the regional, diocesan, and/or local level. Subject areas of depth include VTS professors of the second half of the 20th century, 19th-century Virginia Episcopal sermons, 19th-century Virginia clergymen, and Episcopal Church liturgical development during the 20th century.

VTS Records

The VTS Archives preserves the official records and documents related to the trustees, deans, faculty, faculty committees, offices, administrators, and student organizations of Virginia Theological Seminary. These records span the entire history of VTS from before its founding in 1823 to the present time; they include institutional publications, photographs, sound recordings, film, and video. The holdings of seminary records are mostly complete from 1955 to the present.

African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC)

Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the AAEHC documents the experience of African American Episcopalians. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels.

Bishop Payne Divinity School

Bishop Payne Divinity School (BPDS) was founded in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1878, to prepare African Americans for ministry in the Episcopal Church. BPDS closed in 1949 but later merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1951. At that time, VTS inherited its records and the responsibility to preserve its history. The VTS Archives is the official repository for the records of Bishop Payne Divinity School and collects the papers of its students, faculty, individuals, and information important to its history.

Bishop Payne Divinity School was named in honor of the Rt. Rev. John Payne, VTS 1836 and First Missionary Bishop to Liberia. Bishop Payne Library was named in honor of the Divinity School to keep alive its memory and heritage.