VCU Libraries Celebrates 2 Million Volumes Milestone

Share this story

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries will celebrate the acquisition of the university’s 2-millionth library volume on Oct. 2 in a public event on the first floor of the James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave.

The event, which will celebrate three distinctive additions to the VCU Libraries Collections, will start at 2 p.m. Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU; Stephen Gottfredson, Ph.D., provost of VCU; and John Ulmschneider, University Librarian of VCU, will deliver remarks. A public reception will follow. The event will be simulcast at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus. A blog about the milestone, which can be found at, provides information about the library and allows for reader comments.

In just 16 years the VCU Libraries' collection, including books, journals, media and electronic resources, has doubled in size.

The 2-millionth addition to the VCU collections is Marvel Comics’ “Amazing Spider-Man, #583,” featuring Barack Obama. The selection of the landmark comic, which was released in recognition of Inauguration Day this year, highlights the diverse offerings of the VCU Libraries and nods to VCU’s Comic Arts Collection, one of the largest of its kind in North America. The Comic Arts Collection includes more than 125,000 items, including comic books, graphic novels, manga, editorial cartoons, comic strips, memorabilia, comic journals, fanzines and a broad array of reference materials, as well as the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards archive.

Other additions to be noted at the Oct. 2 event include the VCU Libraries’ 1,999,999th addition – the Edward Peeples Collection of digitized photographs and documents – and the 2,000,001th addition – the Rittenhouse R2 Digital Library.

The Edward Peeples Collection includes photographs, documents and maps that explore the history of segregation in Prince Edward County in the 1950s and 1960s. Prince Edward County chose to close its schools rather than integrate them between 1959 and 1964. Edward Peeples, Ph.D., professor emeritus of preventive medicine and community health at VCU, photographed more than 100 images of schools in the county and environs in 1962 and 1963. The Peeples Collection is available through online digital collections at

The Rittenhouse R2 Digital Library is a digital book collection that brings together hundreds of full-length books from multiple publishers related to all aspects of the health sciences. The R2 Digital Library marks the VCU Libraries’ commitment to the rapidly evolving library of the future with books and journals fully adapted to the digital world, and it recognizes the particular importance of digital materials to research and patient care in the sciences, technology and medicine. The R2 Digital Library joins VCU’s expanding collection of more than 259,000 electronic book titles and is available at by selecting “Database A-Z.”