Skip to main content

Lucy Lee Lancaster Papers

Identifier: Ms-1990-069

Scope and Contents

The Lancaster papers document Lucy Lee Lancaster's school careers, community involvement, and her abiding interest in genealogy and travel.

Unprocessed additions to the collection are available on request.


  • 1915 - 1989


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Information

Lucy Lee Lancaster was born in Blacksburg in 1905 and lived there until she died in 1989. She was one of the first women admitted to the previously all-male Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (popularly known as VPI, now known as Virginia Tech). Lancaster graduated in 1925. After graduation she took courses from the New York State Library and later attended Columbia University Library School from which she received a master's degree in library science. Lancaster worked at Virginia Polytechnic Institute library for the rest of her career.

Lancaster was a member of many local organizations and an active member of the VT alumnae society. She was elected as first president of the Blacksburg Junior Women's Club, which formed in 1935. In 1979 she received the Founder's Day Award from Virginia Tech.


44 Cubic Feet (44 boxes)


Lucy Lee Lancaster was born in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1905 and lived there until she died in 1989. She was one of the first women admitted to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (popularly known as VPI), and after graduating in 1925, she went on to earn her MLS from Columbia University Library School. She worked at the VPI library for the rest of her career. The Lancaster papers contain biographical materials, family papers, genealogy research, correspondence with family, friends, and business contacts, membership materials from local organizations, and travel memorabilia from her numerous national and international trips.


The Lancaster papers are divided into five series.

NOTE: Box and folder locations of materials listed are denoted by numbers separated by a colon following "Box-folder:" Because the Lancaster papers are stored off-site, they must be requested three days in advance of anticipated use. Desired boxes can be identified on this listing and then requested through the library catalog, ADDISON. When requested, they will be delivered to Special Collections for use in the reading room.

Series I, Biographical Materials, is divided into general groupings of information about Lancaster and her family. Materials are not organized at a folder level. Information includes personal items such as class notes from grade school through graduate school, ephemera such as membership cards and poetry, photographs, and materials belonging to other family members. There are several family bibles and photographs. [These were formerly boxes 1-13 of the Personal Biographical Materials grouping.]

Series II, Correspondence, contains personal correspondence as well as work-related materials regarding administration, reference questions, and bibliographies. Correspondence is arranged chronologically. There are also many postcards. Postcards sent to Lancaster are arranged by date, while those she collected as souvenirs are arranged alphabetically by place. [These were formerly boxes 1-14 of the Correspondence grouping.]

Series III, Genealogy Materials, is listed in two subseries but stored alphabetically. While the focus is mostly research about various family members and branches, there is also material about family reunions and general genealogy research and workshops. [These were formerly boxes 1-5 of the Genealogy grouping.]

Series III, Membership Organization Materials, is arranged alphabetically by name of organization. It include papers from many groups in Blacksburg as well as VPI associations. Lancaster often served as secretary in the groups, so minutes and correspondence are present. [These were formerly boxes 1-7 of the Memberships grouping.]

Series IV, Travel Materials, includes notes and diaries from extensive travel that are arranged chronologically. These include initial correspondence sent to inquire about a place, itineraries, journals, receipts for purchases, and photographs. [These were formerly boxes 1-4 of the Travel grouping.]

Physical Access

Please note: The Lucy Lee Lancaster Papers are located in off-site storage and require 2-3 days notice for retrieval, with the exception of oversize materials. Request boxes through the library's catalog, Addison, or contact Special Collections for more information.

Source of Acquisition

The Lancaster papers were received from the estate of Lucy Lee Lancaster in the 1988 and 1989.

Related Archival Material

These two collections also contain some materials related to Lucy Lee Lancaster:

BLACKSBURG [VIRGINIA] ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. RECORDS, 1984-85. 0.2 cu. ft. Project of the University Libraries of Virginia Tech to collect information on the history of Blacksburg, Virginia. Collection contains taped interviews, most with transcripts, of the following Blacksburg residents: Cliff Busby, Georgia Croy, S.H. Kessinger, Lucy Lee Lancaster, George Litton, Howard Price, Carrie T. Sibold, and Ellison A. Smyth. Ms85-005.

UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY, DR. HARVY BLACK CHAPTER. RECORDS, 1862-1999. 3.4 cu. ft. Blacksburg, Virginia chapter (formed 1896) of national organization of Confederate veterans' female descendents. Records include files devoted to local Confederate veterans (including letters of Elisha Epperson, 67th Virginia Infantry), chapter financial records, minute books, membership records, financial records, printed materials and scrapbooks. Membership application for Lucy Lee Lancaster located in Box 3, Folder 3. Ms1990-050.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Lucy Lee Lancaster Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The arrangement and description of the Lucy Lee Lancaster Papers was completed in January 2001. The finding aid was revised when it was encoded in 2007.

A Guide to the Lucy Lee Lancaster Papers, 1915-1989
Gerrianne Schaad, Archivist, and Amy Vilelle, Archivist
2007 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-11: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US