A selection of items from Special Collections at the Virginia Tech Libraries will be available for all to view during open house events held at Newman Library this spring. The open houses will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. The events are free and open to the public. 

One item that may be on display is the bill of sale for a slave named Elijah, age 12.

“You may read about slavery, but it is an entirely different experience to hold in your hand the bill of sale for a human being,” Marc Brodsky, public services archivist, said. “It allows you to make a connection, and that carries some impact.”

Some other pieces that may be on display include a first edition of James Joyce’s novel "Ulysses;" diaries of Civil War soldiers; and a letter from Charles Lindbergh to astronaut Michael Collins. Special Collections also has many items documenting Virginia Tech’s history; culinary history; and the history of women in architecture. 

Special Collections is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. The open houses will be held on the first Tuesday of each month for the spring semester, March 6; April 3; and May 1. For more information, visit Special Collections online or call 540-231-6308.