Special Collections


Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections of the John Cook Wyllie Library comprise several collections, which are outlined below. To ensure a successful search, please ask for assistance from the Public Services staff before attempting to use any of these materials.

Guidelines for Usage

1. The Archives and Special Collections are available 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and other times by prior arrangement.

2. The entire collection is non-circulating. It is available for use in the Library only.

3. Generally, photocopying is not allowed.

4. Please sign the register before using the Archives and Special Collections.

5. Deposit all folders, briefcases, purses, etc. at the Circulation Desk.

6. Please treat the material with extreme care and use a pencil when taking notes.

7. Only one archive box may be used at a time.

8. Please be careful to return materials to original box.

9. The library staff will gladly assist you; however, the staff cannot do the research for you.

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Collection Descriptions

This is a collection of historical, genealogical, and rare books. The majority of this collection can be searched using the
Library catalog.  

James Taylor Adams
James Taylor Adams was a newspaper editor, writer, historian, Post Master, and a merchant of Wise County. The collection contains folklore material, historical material on Wise County, and local genealogy. The bulk of this material is available on microfilm.

The collection contains papers and account books of the Beatty-Flannery Department Store of Wise, Virginia, from 1870-1973.

Bruce Crawford
Bruce Crawford was a newspaper writer and editor in Wise County, Virginia. The collection contains books, newspapers, and personal papers from 1900-1940.

W. Eugene and Joyce Cox Collection

W. Eugene Cox, native of Keokee, Virginia, is a U.S. Navy veteran and a retiree of the National Park Service. Gene and his wife, Joyce, co-authored the book Keokee, Virginia: Origins of an Appalachian Coal Mining Communtiy. The collection contains the research notes they used in writing the book. The collection consists of correspondence, documents, maps, deeds, photographs, and other material pertaining to Keokee, Virginia. Copies of the book are available in the library.

Emory L. Hamilton

Emory Hamilton (1913-1991) was a historian and educator in Wise County, Virginia. The collection contains books, photographs, articles written by Mr. Hamilton, and personal letters pertaining to the history and genealogy of Southwest Virginia.

Historical Society of Southwest Virginia
The library houses a collection for the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia. This collection contains books, pamphlets, and letters pertaining to the history of Southwest Virginia and surrounding areas from 1780 to the present. Much of the material is on microfilm and is available at the Wise County Historical Society.


John Warfield Johnston
John Warfield Johnston (1818-1889) was a U.S. Senator from Abingdon, VA. This collection contains correspondence, wills, and documents of the Johnston family, as well as railroad corporation charters and other papers concerning state and national politics and business ventures in Southwest Virginia. Correspondents and persons represented include President Rutherford B. Hayes, General Joseph E. Johnston, Peter Johnston, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and George Washington.

Melungeon Collection
The Melungeons were a mixed race/ethnic population believed to be among our earliest settlers. Descendants of these primarily Mediterranean and Middle Eastern people migrated to the Southern and Central Appalachian region, intermarrying with other ethnic groups. This collection, compiled by N. Brent Kennedy, contains letters, photographs, books, newspapers, video and audiotapes, and other artifacts, covering material from the early 1500s to the present.

Southwest Virginia Folklore Society
The Southwest Virginia Folklore Society collects material relating to the life, culture, and folklore of the southern Appalachian region, specifically that of Southwest Virginia. The Society's archives are comprised of field audio and video tapes and manuscripts. Photocopying is allowed by permission from the Society.

Sutherland Collections
Elihu Jasper Sutherland (1885-1964) was a local author, lawyer, and judge from Clintwood, Virginia. Judge Sutherland's cousin, Joshua Hoge Tyler Sutherland (1897-1970), was an educator and historian. These collections contain books, newspapers, scrapbooks, letters, diaries, and other documents dealing with the history and genealogy of Southwest Virginia.

This collection contains papers of Daniel Trigg and John B. Floyd dating from 1830 to 1903. Daniel Trigg (1843-1909) was a lawyer from Abingdon, VA and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. The Trigg papers are dominated by professional correspondence that reflects the economic development of Southwest Virginia. John B. Floyd (1806-1863) was governor of Virginia and U.S. Secretary of War under President James Buchanan. The Floyd paper relate to his public service and contains correspondence between the women of the Floyd and Johnston families.

The University of Virginia's College at Wise
This is the archives of the University of Virginia's College at Wise. It contains memos, reports, and publications of the college. Also in this collection are the Outpost, the student yearbook, and the Highland Cavalier, the student newspaper.

Virginia Coal Operators
This collection contains annual reports, correspondence, ledgers, and papers of coal mining companies of Southwest Virginia and the Coal Operators' Association. The time period covered is 1919 to 1960.

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Contact Information

For further information contact:

Angie Harvey
John Cook Wyllie Library
UVA at Wise
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA 24293