Quality Reference Information 24/7: CREDO Reference

CREDO logo is a database of over 800 great, reliable reference sources. Covering all subject areas, over 3.5 million articles in reference books and sets are full text searchable in Credo Reference.

You can search across all of the sources by keyword, or limit to sources in a particular subject area such as History, Technology & Engineering, or psychology, or even search in a single source such as Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Philosophers or Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.

Although the Library has many great reference sources in print, online sources offer advantages in addition to full text access, such as 24/7 availability and off-campus access. Try this one next time you need to look something up!



From Special Collections and Archives: World War II Comes to Campus

During World War II, most of R-MC’s students either joined or were drafted into the military. In order to keep the school going, President Moreland lobbied for military training programs to be held on campus. Coursework was taught by College faculty as well as military instructors.

In 1942-43, 96 young men attended the Navy’s V-1 pre-flight training on campus while learning to fly at a nearby airport in Hanover County. The Navy moved the training elsewhere in 1943, so the College brought the Army to campus. R-MC was chosen to give courses designated as Basic Engineering One under the Army Specialized Training Program and was assigned 250 men who were known as the 3322nd Service Unit. Eventually, 438 men passed through the training program during 1943-44 when only 83 regular students were enrolled at the College.

After the military programs ended, 1944-45 was a lean year for the College with fewer than 100 full-time students, and a jump to only 200 the following year as the war ended left the College struggling. By the fall of 1946, the G.I. Bill brought many new students and helped the College rebound with an enrollment of over 550, 439 of whom were veterans.

image of the Army Specialist Training Unit
The Army Specialist Training Unit
image of The Army Specialist Training Unit Marching across Campus
Marching across Campus

If you are looking for an image, try the Artstor Digital Library database


If you need a picture for a class or conference presentation and usually go to Google images or Wikimedia Commons, try the Artstor Digital Library next time! The Artstor Digital Library is a database containing over 2 million high-quality images for education and research from a wide variety of contributors around the world. As you would expect, Artstor includes images of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, and other objects from major museum and library collections, but this database includes much more! There are medical and botanical drawings; images of clothing as well as drawings for fashion design; architectural and landscape images; photojournalism collections; maps; manuscript page images – just about anything that can be scanned or photographed, including this image of R-MC’s own Washington and Franklin Hall from ArtStor’s Historic Campus  Architecture Collection. Complete information about the image or the object represented by the image is also included. Find Artstor on the Databases A-Z list available on the McGraw-Page Library website.

image of Washington-Franklin Hall

From Special Collections and Archives: Tiny Shoes

These tiny, exquisitely handmade silk shoes, part of the Methodist Collection in Special Collections and Archives, document the practice of foot binding in China. They were brought to America in 1875 from China by Mrs. J.W. Lambuth, mother of Bishop Walter Russell Lambuth. The accompanying documentation states that they were a gift from Mrs. Lambuth to Mrs. Georgianna C West in 1875, and that the shoes served as “the inspiration to organize a Woman’s Missionary Society.” They were first exhibited in 1875 in Richmond at Clay St. Methodist Church, and used by missionaries in later years during fundraising efforts to illustrate a Chinese cultural practice that missionaries sought to end.

image of tiny Chinese Shoes
Tiny Chinese Shoes


America’s News: A Great Source for Local and Regional News Articles

The Library provides R-MC users access to several terrific news resources. One of these, the America’s News database, is particularly great for its coverage of local and regional news. It includes over 2500 full-text newspapers and additional news content from blogs, journals,  and broadcast transcripts. from around the U.S., including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and nearly 50 other Virginia news sources. Many of these news sources are small hometown papers that include coverage of community events, people, organizations, schools, and businesses, and these articles may be the only published information on topics of local interest. Although lots of newspapers provide free access online to some of their articles on a daily basis, very few allow complete access or provide access to past content for more than a few days, while ten or more years are usually archived in America’s News.

Another reason to use this resource in your research is that local reporting of events of regional interest is often more extensive and frequently provides a perspective that varies from the news coverage by large national or international news organizations. The database includes Hot Topics and Special Reports sections as well as a helpful Find a Topic section for guidance in doing your research.

Check out all of our contemporary and historic news sources on our Newspapers and News Magazines guide.

From Special Collections and Archives: The Lincoln Ballot

One of the treasures in Special Collections and Archives is the 1860 Lincoln ballot, or ticket. These ballots are extremely rare; a similar but not identical Virginia ballot exists in the West Virginia State Archives while most other known Lincoln ballots are from northern states. Virginia was the only state in the south that included Abraham Lincoln on the Republican ticket for President in 1860. He received just one percent of the Virginia vote.

iamge of the Lincoln Ballot
Lincoln Ballot

Ballots were tallied and not permanently retained. These ballots were printed, most often by newspaper printing offices, and given to voters to be turned in at their polling places. The electors names appear on the ballot, as the vote is actually cast for the electors, who then vote directly for the Presidential candidates.

Learn more about our Special Collections & Archives at http://www.rmc.edu/library/sc.

A Database Cooler Than Its Name!

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection, a full-text database of thousands of magazines and publications from the late 1600s through the 1800s, provides a fascinating look at published information on any and all subjects important to people through our early history. For those needing PRIMARY SOURCES this is a great resource!

From advertisements for early sewing machines (some of these are scary), to essays on the honor of fighting a duel (think Hamilton!) to suggested medical treatments (jalapeno peppers for Scarlet Fever) to poems written to ladies with small pox (seriously!), this database gives us a look into life in earlier times.

These periodicals can be searched in our Discovery search or chosen from our alphabetical list of Databases.

From the College Archives: The First Randolph-Macon Diploma

R-MC opened its doors for instruction in the Fall of 1832 in Boydton, Virginia.  Most of our early students did not complete the classical curriculum required to get the A.B. degree; the degree required proficiency in Latin and Greek, and Greek especially tripped them up! The first student to graduate was John Chapman Blackwell, who received his A.B. in 1835. Blackwell was the only student in his graduating class, having completed a year at Washington College (now Washington & Lee University) before transferring to the new Randolph-Macon College as a sophomore. We are fortunate in owning the very first diploma issued by the college, shown here:

Image of first Randoplh-Macon diploma
First diploma issued at R-MC

John C. Blackwell was awarded an A.M. by the College in 1840 and an honorary doctorate in 1861. Like many of our early graduates, he was a Methodist minister and an educator, teaching at the Preparatory Department of R-MC, at Greensborough (N.C.) Female College, at Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, at Petersburg Female College, and at Randolph-Macon College.