The Encampment for Citizenship Collection

The EFC Archives

at the James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives, Virginia Commonweath University

VCU Libraries has created an online gallery that shows much of the early history of the Encampment.

The Encampment program is a project of the Encampment for Citizenship, an organization with a long history and over 7,000 encampers whose lives were changed over the 50 years when Encampments were held in the 20th century.

Through the efforts of Ed Peeples (encamper at the 1957, NY and director of 1966 KY Encampment), an archive has been established at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to preserve the Encampment’s history and legacy for future generations. The VCU Library’s involvement in this endeavor creates an extraordinary opportunity for people to learn about the remarkable history and people in the Encampment’s past and its mission to do similar good work in the 21st century.

The James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives has begun a collection of Encampment for Citizenship papers, organizational documents, photographs, correspondence, memorabilia and much more that chronicles the history and people associated with the Encampment’s life-altering learning adventure and experience in democratic living.


A Note from Ed Peeples (alum 1957)

You don’t have to give up your sentiment-laden treasures for us to get out the story of the Encampment for Citizenship to the world!

The VCU Archives have the latest state-of-the-art scanners, which can provide giant, high-resolution copies of your prized photos and other documents! It also has 3-D and other printers that can replicate some of your other cherished items for the Encampment archival collection.You don’t have to surrender your mementos. You simply loan them for just long enough to make high-tech copies and we send them right back to you.

Think about it — once the replicas are in the collection, you can share them with anyone around the world with just a few clicks — at no cost! And keep in mind, the door to this gallery of your precious memories is open 24/7/365. The Archives also can protect anything you donate from fire, moisture and other sources of deterioration; not something we can do with certainty at home.

Remember, too, the online links to the Encampment for Citizenship collection are our most effective means to reach people whom we don’t yet know, but who may be prospects for recruiting youth and staff and providing all kinds of other help — including funding support. And it is all free!

Help us with the important work

The Encampment for Citizenship Collection must be deep, broad and rich, with materials you have on hand or may be able to acquire for us, and personal testimonials about your Encampment experience and how it affected your life and/or work.

VCU Libraries continue to actively collect materials that record and preserve the organization’s history.

What and how to donate

The types of materials that would be of value to the archives collection include, among other items, organizational records such as meeting minutes, directories and reports; publications such as books, articles, yearbooks, pamphlets and brochures; correspondence, notes and commentary, both personal and organizational; photographs and media; and ephemera, including fliers and posters.

If you have materials of this nature and would consider donating them to the collection, we want to hear from you. Before you send anything, please contact the staff at James Branch Cabell Library’s Special Collections and Archives about the items you intend to donate. Contact information is in the side column.

Donation Questions?

If you have any other questions or concerns, especially about donating items which are precious to you, please contact the Encampment office.


2020 Online Encampment

1949 Encampment visiting Eleanor Roosevelt at Hyde Park. Al Black on the right. Submitted by  Jackie Marlin.

Archives Contact

VCU Logo

Special Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
901 Park Avenue
PO Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033

Telephone: 804-828-1108

2020 Online Encampment

Items such as the above, as well as photographs, publications and other ephemera, have been archived. Check out the gallery »

The Encampment is important because it shows kids how to deal with people who come from different backgrounds. 

You socialize with people who may not have the same first language as you or come from a similar community as you or have the same race, religion or sexual orientation.


2017 Encamper, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

We are strengthening democracy by creating community.