The Resource Records


Records, 1809-1975
Inclusive dates
  • Series I: Architectural drawings and plans, 1809-1975, is primarily the surviving papers of the office of the City Engineer during the administration of Wilfred Emory Cutshaw (1838-1907), Richmond City Engineer from 1873 to 1907. In the course of long storage at Richmond City Hall, other, later material was added to the Cutshaw-era files. This collection documents the important period of expansion in post-Reconstruction Richmond, a period that saw an increasing number of municipal projects
  • Among these were the establishment of the city water works and reservoir, numerous city parks, bridges, armories, schools, and the construction of a new City Hall. The collection also documents the expansion of the boundaries of the city, the annexation of Manchester, and the constant efforts of flood control in Shockoe Valley. This series also contains nineteenth century maps of Richmond drawn by City Surveyors Richard Young (d. 1832) and Micajah Bates (1797-1861). Also included is a partial set of presentation plans for the 1883-1894 Richmond City Hall by Elijah E. Myers (1832-1909), designs by Ruben Shirreffs (d. 1904) for Navy Hill (1893) and Nicholson Street (1893) schools, and, the most important document in the collection, the plan of the 1816-1818 Richmond City Hall by Robert Mills (1781-1855). This is the only surviving image of this structure from Mills' hand
  • Series II: Plats, 1815-1866, consists of City of Richmond Plat Book A, 1826-1866, and Plat Book B, 1815-1862, denoting plats of various parts and properties of the city. These often include text that explains the particular surveys and give legal references or citations. These plats are unusual in that they have been elaborately shaded with watercolors. They are generally the work of Richard Young, City Surveyor from 1828 to 1832; Micajah Bates, City Surveyor from 1832 to 1861; and Thomas M. Ladd (1800-1866), City Surveyor and Superintendent of Streets from 1851 to 1866. The two plat books are partially indexed
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Biographical or historical data
The functions of the office of the City Engineer for the City of Richmond had their origins in the work of William Mayo (d. 1744), who drew the original plat of Richmond ca. 1735. In 1780 an official "Surveyor of the City" was appointed. In 1866 the office was abolished and its duties were consolidated with those of the office of the City Engineer, which had been created in 1853. The title was changed to Department of Public Works in 1919.
Cataloging source
Each sheet of Accession 34886a is usually marked with a City of Richmond file number. This system is obsolete and is cataloged only as a form of identification
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
  • 61 x 91 cm. or smaller.
  • 48 x 33 cm. and 50 x 38 cm.
  • 1400 sheets
  • 2 volumes (119 p. and 102 p.)
Governing access note
Access to architectural and engineering plans and drawings of current governmental buildings requires a written request from the prospective user and written authorization from the appropriate authority within the agency occupying the facility
Immediate source of acquisition
City of Richmond, Department of Public Works, Surveys Division
  • Accession 34886a
  • Accession 34886b
Organization method
Arranged in two series as follows: Series I: Architectural drawings and plans, 1809-1975, (Accession 34886a) organized according to project type: Armories, Bridges, Canals, Cemeteries, Electrical Service, Fire Department, Gas Works, Jails, Maps, Non-city Items, Miscellanious Material, Parks, Plats, Police Department, Ports, Railroads, Richmond City Hall, River and Creeks, Schools, Sewer and Drainage, Streets, Streetcars, and Tunnels; and Series II: Plats, 1815-1866.
Other physical details
  • most are India ink on linen, some blueprints, brownline prints, and Diazo prints
  • Pricking, pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor washes on paper
Reproduction note
Blueprints, Diazo prints, Sepia prints, Brownline prints.
Terms governing use
Correspondence and similar documents may be photocopied. All requests for reproduction of photographs and architectural drawings must be made through the Library of Virginia Photo Services Department.



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Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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