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Vertical File (Manuscript) (MS240)

Identifier: MS240

Scope and Contents

The manuscripts vertical file is an open artificial collection containing a wide variety of unique manuscript items relating to Alexandria, Virginia residents, businesses, organizations, and history.

The majority of the items are manuscript pages but the collection also includes books and ephemera. It is strong in local business advertisements, stationary, and records as well as correspondence, legal and financial papers, memorabilia, and school-related documents. The majority of the documents date from the 19th century, although 18th and 20th century documents are also present.

Some notable documents include: a book of auction records from 1837-1840 including sales of houses, ships, and slaves; an apothecary formula book, several examples of late-18th century legal papers, Civil War passes into Washington for the Leadbeater family, an Alexandria High School student exercise book from 1859-1863, apprenticeship indentures, an 1841 retrocession petition, and records of fires in the city from the 1930s and 1950s.


  • 1767 - 2008


8.75 Cubic Feet (14.5 legal size, 2 oversize ) ; Oversize boxes 24.75x20.75x3.5

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject. Due to the likelihood of accretions, which can be added at any point in such an arrangment, they are not given individual folder numbers. The collection is further split by size, with 2 additional oversize boxes containing material from the same subjects as the smaller 15.

The subjects are described as follows.

  • African-American History
  • Alexandria-Juvenile
  • Businesses
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Collectables
  • Culture
  • Events
  • Fire
  • Government
  • Historic Places
  • Library
  • Magazines
  • Organizations
  • Personal Business
  • Personal
  • Politics
  • Railroads
  • Religion
  • Schools
  • Tourism and Foodways
  • Transportation

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was begun circa 1976 and continues to expand through small donations and acquisitions. Accession information is unavailable for many of the items.

Vertical File (Manuscript) Finding Aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library Repository

717 Queen Street
Alexandria VA 22314 United States