Several Charlottesville area organizations have resources available to students and others researching lives and works of the Bridge Builders.

Preservation Piedmont

Preservation Piedmont

An all-volunteer nonprofit organization, Preservation Piedmont is dedicated to appreciating and protecting historic resources of the central Virginia area, including the built environment, historic landscapes, and community cultures.

Preservation Piedmont is working to make the following related films and resources available through the Bridge Builders Project:

  • Working for a Better Day: The Drewary Brown Story (film) is currently available for showing by contacting

  • The Road to Brown, film produced by William Elwood. TBA later.

  • The Ground Beneath Our Feet:  Massive Resistance, film by George Gilliam.  Available online at the University of Virginia Library.  Go to film >

  • Desegregation of Charlottesville, Virginia  Public Schools, 1954-1969: A Case Study  by Dallas Randall Crowe, University of Virginia, Ed.D., 1971. This doctoral thesis tells the fascinating story in which Bridge Builder Eugene Williams and others played major roles to desegregate Charlottesville  Schools,  the resistance of the Charlottesville School Board to such desegregation in ongoing litigation and public debate, the final order of the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1962 to desegregate, and the continuing work of Bridge Builders and others to comply with this order.  Download PDF >

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society

An independent nonprofit organization, Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is dedicated to exploring and sharing the history of the Central Virginia region.

The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society’s Historical Collection contains many files of news clippings about individual Bridge Builders, which are filed according to the last name of the Bridge Builder.

ACHS also owns a collection of paintings by Bridge Builder Frances Brand of Charlottesville’s “Firsts” (such as First Female Mayor, First African American mayor, etc.)

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The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Located in the historic Jefferson School City Center, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC) honors and preserves the rich heritage and legacy of the African American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia and promotes a greater appreciation for and understanding of the African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora locally, nationally and globally.

JSAAHC’s Isabella Gibbons Local History Center hosts a portal with access to more than 60 local oral histories of Jefferson students who attended from 1930-1960 plus other information during this era.  The portal also centralizes resources about the Jefferson School available on the Internet.  A Charlottesville Mapping Project plots all deeds from 1888-1968 at  In addition, a project is underway to make the Jefferson High School yearbook (1926-1951) available to researchers.

Visitors to the Center may also research genealogical and other local history through, Heritage Quest, and African American newspapers.

Finally, the voices of students and teachers who participated in the reopening of Jefferson School as the City’s integrated 6th grade in 1966 will become available through the 1966 Project.  For more information about any of these programs go to the website, Face Book, or visit Jefferson School.

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The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia Library

Open to the public, the special collections at the University of Virginia contains much information about local history.  It houses more than 16 million objects including manuscripts, archives, rare books, and maps.

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections, UVA Library holds the papers of many Bridge Builders.  Below are a few of the collections that may be found there.  Students and other researchers may search online for these materials, and after registering with the Library may have the materials held for their use at the Special Collections, located in a building adjacent to Alderman Library on the grounds of the University of Virginia.  The School of Nursing also has a library of images and information about nurses from its programs, which included Grace Tinsley and Holly Edwards.

There may be additional resources available in the Special Collections, but the following will help student researchers get started:

  • Papers of Sarah Patton Boyle, 1949-70 1938-88

  • Papers of the Reverend Benjamin Bunn (including notes from Imogene Bunn)

  • Emily Couric Papers

  • William Elwood, Individual video Interviews as part of Civil Rights Lawyers Project with John Hope Franklin, William Evans, Alvin Bronstein, Carl Gomillion, Calvin C Green, Jack Greenberg, Leon Higginbotham, Oliver W. Hill, E. Dick Howard and Oliver Hill, Leone Lane, John Lewis, Juanita Mitchell, George Ferguson, and others

  • Francis H. Fife Papers

  • Papers of Paul Gaston

  • Nancy K. O’Brien Papers

  • Southern Colonists in Brazil by Gerald Speidel

  • Interview with Eugene Williams 2006 (at minute 8.40 following video interview with Florence Bryant) about creation of scattered site low-income housing, Dogwood Housing.

  • The Reflector, “Charlottesville’s only Negro weekly, “published by T.J. Sellers, 1933.

  • Mitch Van Yahres Various legislative issues and reports with which he was involved