Date: July 21, 2023
One of the goals I set when I started as archivist here at VTS was to promote the use of the archives through discoverability, programming, and social media. Over the past year we have increased visibility with displays, by providing professors with resources for student research, curated an exhibit on Bishop John T. Walker, and participated in a presentation for the newly acquired papers on Rae Whitney’s hymnody. Behind the scenes we have been working hard to increase our online accessibility. The Bishop Payne Library purchased a subscription to a digital heritage resource database called Coeli, which allowed us to house information on our collections on a cloud server and create a public-facing digital archive.
I am happy to announce that the Virginia Theological Seminary Archives is now online! Our digital collections may be accessed at the following link: https://vts.edu/seminary-archives/.
This resource will allow researchers to search through over 400 collections in the VTS Archives and the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC). Each collection contains information on its current state of processing, and pdfs of any finding aids or inventories available. Additionally, there are links to the AAEHC Oral History Collection and the Called and Holy: LGBTQIA+ Oral History Collection.
It is my hope that this digital resource will increase the use of our holdings and benefit the work of the seminary, its faculty, its seminarians, and the larger Episcopal Church.
Br. Joshua Waits, CFC, MA
Bishop Payne Library