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West Virginia Books


The West Virginia and Regional History Center contains the most comprehensive collection of books and periodicals relating to West Virginia in existence. Subject areas of special strength include state and local history, the Civil War, biography, economic and industrial history, genealogy, literature and the arts. The book collection is non-circulating and is restricted to use in the WVRHC Reading Room only. In addition to bound books, the collection also includes journals, publications on microfilm, and audiovisual media. 

The catalog to the WVRHC book collection is included in the WVU Libraries online catalog. In the catalog, you can limit your search to material contained in the WVRHC by ticking the box “West Virginia & Regional History Center” under Held by Library on the left-hand side of the page.

Description of the Collection

Materials are arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. The system divides materials into ten classes, listed below with highlights from the WVRHC’s collections. Call numbers are in bold. General locations of books by call number in the reading room are laid out on the Book Location map.

000-099 includes bibliographies and library operations.

  • Forbes, Harold M. West Virginia history: a bibliography and guide to research (1981) 016.9754 F743w
  • Shetler, Charles. West Virginia Civil War literature; an annotated bibliography (1963) 016.9754 S59w
  • Sypolt, Larry N. Civilian Conservation Corps: a selectively annotated bibliography (2005) 016.33372 Sy79c

100-199 includes philosophy, paranormal phenomena, logic, and the ethics of consumption.

  • Journal of the West Virginia Philosophical Society (1970-1979) 106 W52j
  • Gavenda, Walter. A guide to haunted West Virginia (2001) 133.1 G242g
  • Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Minutes of the convention (1886-1981) 178.06 W84m

200-299 includes religious serial publications, autobiographical and biographical works on religious leaders, proceedings and minutes of religious organizations, and studies of religious practices.

  • Millennial Harbinger (1830-1870) 205 M61c
  • Memoirs of Alexander Campbell (1868) 286.6 YC152r
  • Minutes of the Western Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 287.6 M56r
  • Brown, Fred W. The serpent handlers: three families and their faith (2007) 289.9 B813se

300-399 includes labor studies, politics, law, economics, social organizations, education, and folklore.

Labor Studies
  • U.S. Senate. Committee on Interstate Commerce. Conditions in the Coal Fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio (1928) 338.272 Un3c
  • Gorn, Elliott J. Mother Jones: the most dangerous woman in America (2001) 331.881 YJ721go
  • Annual Report of the State Inspector of Mines (1883-) 331.7622 MW 52r
Politics and Government
  • West Virginia Legislative Handbook and Manual and Official Register “The Blue Book” (1916-) 317.54 W52
  • Biennial Report of the West Virginia Bureau of Negro Welfare and Statistics (1921-1952) 326.73 W52r
  • Sims’ Index to land grants in West Virginia (1952) 333.34 W52s
Historical Legal Materials
  • Debates and proceedings of the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia. 3 vols. (1939) 342.7542 W52d
  • Henings’ Statutes at Large (1619-1792) 345.12 V819
  • Public documents of West Virginia (1867-1930) 353.9 W52g
Social Problems and Social Services
  • Work & hope, a serial publication of the WV Penitentiary at Moundsville, assorted volumes (1920, 1926-1927). The WVRHC may be the only institution to own copies of these newsletters.  365.9754 W892
Secondary and Higher Education and Social Organizations
  • Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of West Virginia 366.3 Od 1pro
  • A wide assortment of WV school yearbooks, including Monticola (1896-), The Bethanian (1910), Moonshine (1921-1951), Little Monticola, The Dart
  • Course catalogs, commencement programs, institutional histories, etc.

400-499 includes linguistics such as English language variations.

  • West Virginia University Philological Papers (1936-) 406 W52p
  • Dakin, Robert F. The dialect vocabulary of the Ohio River Valley: a survey of the distribution of selected vocabulary forms in an area of complex settlement history. 3 vols.(1966) 427.977 D2487d

500-599 includes geology, mineralogy, hydrology, and botany.

  • West Virginia Geological Survey (created in 1897)
  • Deep well Records (1936) 553.28 T789d
  • County reports series (1906-1931) 557.54 W52rc
  • Strausbaugh, P.D. & Core, Earl L. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd Edition (1978) 581.9754 St82f2 1978

600-699 includes applied sciences such as healthcare, mining operations, hydraulic engineering, aerospace engineering, agricultural techniques and food technology.

  • Chambers, Thomas A. Fashionable dis-ease: promoting health and leisure at Saratoga Springs, New York and the Virginia springs, 1790-1860 (1999) 613.12 C355r
  • McAteer, J. Davitt. Coal mine health and safety: the case of West Virginia (1970) 622.8 M119c
  • U.S. Senate. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. Buffalo Creek (W.Va.) Disaster (1972) 627.4 Un3bff
  • Yeager, Chuck. Yeager: an autobiography (1985) 629.13 YY31

700-799 includes city planning, numismatics, glassware, music, television, outdoor activities and sports.

  • City Plan for New Martinsville, West Virginia (1958) 711.4 L125c
  • Edkins, Donald O. Edkin’s Catalog of United States coal company store scrip, 3rd edition (1997) 737 Ed49c 1997
  • Snyder, Jeffrey B. Morgantown Glass: From Depression glass through the 1960s (1998) 748.2 Sn92m
  • Gainer, Patrick W. Folk songs from the West Virginia hills (1975) 784.49754 G127f

800-899 includes American fiction, poetry and drama.

  • Calliope: the literary journal of West Virginia University (1985-) 810.54 C355
  • Montague, Margaret Prescott. Up Eel River (1928) 813 M76u
  • Grubb, Davis. Night of the hunter (1953) 813 G92n
  • Rylant, Cynthia. When I was young in the mountains (1982) 813 R 983w

900-999 includes history, biography, genealogy, names and insignia.

  • Polk City Directories (1870s to date) 917.54
  • Old Cemeteries of Wetzel County (1978) 929.375418 F497c
  • Declaration of Naturalization, Ohio County (1854-1855, 1861-1907) 929.375414 P357
  • Kenny, Hamill. West Virginia place names, their origin and meaning, including the nomenclature of the streams and mountains (1960) 929.4 K399w 1960
  • McGinty, Brian. John Brown’s trial (2009) 973.7116 M175j