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The Voice of Prince Edward County

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-000107

Scope and Contents

The Voice of Prince Edward County collection houses all extant issues of the newspaper at Hampden-Sydney College from 1965 until 1969. It is not a complete run of the paper; there is only one issue each from the years 1968 and 1969. Contents include news articles related to local news events and pertinent political races, articles that highlight educational and job opportunities for African-Americans in the community, editorials, and creative writing.

The collection also contains digital audio files of oral history interviews conducted with contributors to the paper, performed by Hampden-Sydney Students in the spring of 2021.


  • 1965/1969

Access to Materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access will require additional advanced notice. Copies of digital files will be provided for use upon request.

Use of These Materials

The nature of the Hampden-Sydney College Archives and Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. As a result, Hampden-Sydney College claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning and individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the College assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical Note

In 1951, students at Robert Russa Moton High School, the local high school for African-Americans, began a protest of inadequate school facilities that was eventually adopted in as one of the cases in the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that schools segregated by race were “inherently unequal,” depriving Black students of “equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.” A later Supreme Court decision in May of 1955 ordered that public schools across the nation desegregate “with all deliberate speed.”

Rather than comply with these orders, the leaders of Prince Edward County chose to close all public schools, a decision that lasted from 1959 until 1964. The decision was well-publicized at the time, and was a source of tension throughout the county. Though the public schools were re-instated and county supervisors agreed to desegregate the schools beginning with the 1964-1965 school year, the process of public school integration was far from smooth. The Voice of Prince Edward County, published from the summer of 1965 until December of 1969, offers a unique community perspective on this post-integration time period.


0.5 Linear Feet ; 11" x 17" x 3"

20 Digital Image Scans

82.5 Megabytes (Five .mp4 audio files featuring five oral history interviews.)

Language of Materials



Published between the years of 1965 and 1969, the Voice of Prince Edward County was an independent, privately financed newspaper out of Farmville, Virginia. The stated intent of the paper, printed as an Editors’ note in the July 26, 1965 issue, reads:
“The VOICE of Prince Edward County is dedicated to give a voice to all the people of Prince Edward County. We will try to create more interest in local government by showing how the people can become involved in solving our problems in education, health, welfare, and employment. We will report the news for the whole community and we will let our officials know how the community feels. We will publish your letters to us and look forward to hearing your views. Finally, we will serve as an outlet for the creative ability of people in the community and we hope that the pieces we publish will inspire others.”
Though the editorial staff differed from issue to issue, most contributors to the paper were African-American residents of Prince Edward County, some of whom had suffered directly as a result of the 1959-1964 closure of the county’s public schools. By 1969, Alphonso O’Neil-White, the first African-American student at Hampden-Sydney College, was the sole credited editor of the paper.


The collection is organized into two series, the first being issues of the paper organized chronologically, and the second being oral history interviews conducted with contributors to the paper, performed by Hampden-Sydney Students in the spring of 2021.

Processing Information

Rehoused by: Sarah Almond, 2021 February. Machine-readable finding aid created by: Sarah Almond, 2021 February. Machine-readable finding aid revised by: Sarah Almond, 2021 October.
The Voice of Prince Edward County
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections Repository

Hampden-Sydney College
Walter M. Bortz III Library
P.O. Box 7
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 United States
(434) 223-7225