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The Gainsboro History Project

Sources and Citations

Historical Research Resources

The following is a list of resources for historical research relating to the Gainsboro neighborhood of Roanoke, Virginia:

Roanoke Public Libraries

  • The Virginia Room of Roanoke Public Libraries has a vast vertical file collection that encompasesses topics relating to Southwest Virginia history, in addition to special collections, city directories, photograph collections, and map collections. Visit for databases, online resources, and more information.
  • The Gainsboro Branch of Roanoke Public Libraries offers a vertical file collection that relates to the history of the Gainsboro neighborhood. Additionally, the branch houses special collections, a Lucy Addison High School Yearbook collection, photography collections, and the Virginia Y. Lee Collection which consists of rare books on Black studies.

    Gainsboro Branch Library
    15 Patton Avenue NW
    Roanoke, VA 24016
    (540) 853-2540

  • For Digital Collections for the Virginia Room and Gainsboro Branch Library please visit

Online Resources


Barnes, R. P. (1968). A History of Roanoke. Commonwealth Press, Radford, Virginia.

Baratta, Erin. (1999). Gainsboro Neighborhood 1890-1940. 1999 Journal of History Museum & Historical Society of Western Virginia. Volume Fourteen, Number One.

Blankenship, M. E. (2015). Dr. John Henry Pinkard. African American legend of Franklin County and the Roanoke Valley. Franklin County Historical Society.

Campagna-Hamlin, M. (1995). Gainsboro: the destruction of a historic community. Roanoke, Virginia

Claytor, W. S., Bethel, E. D., Board, V. J., Davis, H. E., Heller, G. H. (1992). Black community observation over the past forty (40) years in the city of Roanoke. Roanoke,Virginia

Cochener, M. M. (1989). On the hill: St. Andrew’s Parish, Roanoke, Virginia: a history of  St. Andrew’s Parish, November 1882-August 1989. Roanoke, Virginia

Dotson, R. (2008). Roanoke, Virginia, 1882-1912: Magic city of the new South. University of Tennessee Press.

Fullilove, M. T. (2005). Root shock: How tearing up city neighborhoods hurts America, and what we can do about it. One World/Ballantine Books.

Hale, Mignon Chubb. (1982). Outstanding Blacks in Roanoke, Past and Present. Roanoke City Public Schools.

Lawson, S. B. (200). Virginia Dare Young Lee and the Gainsboro Library [Thesis]. Hollins University.

Mattos, N. A. (2005) Segregation by custom vs. segregation by law : residential segregation ordinances and their effects on the City of Roanoke, 1910-1917. Roanoke, Virginia

Moore, A. C. (1939). The story of Roanoke. Virginia Writers’ Program. Roanoke, Virginia.

Ollie, A. F. (2003). African American history in Roanoke city: A compilation of records. Roanoke, Virginia.

Piedmont, D. (1994). Peanut soup and spoonbread: An informal history of Hotel Roanoke. The Foundation.

Pollitt, P. (2016). African American and Cherokee nurses in Appalachia: A history, 1900-1965. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

Ramey Sr., D. (2012). The times and life on Henry Street. Roanoke, Virginia.

Scarborough, S. (2014). African American railroad workers of Roanoke: Oral histories of the Norfolk and Western. The History Press.

Shareef, R. (1991). An evaluation of the impact of federal urban renewal and redevelopment programs on three Roanoke, Virginia neighborhoods. Institute for Urban Affairs and Research, Howard University.

Shareef, R. (1996). The Roanoke Valley’s African American heritage: A pictorial history. Donning Co.

Striplin, E. F. P. (1997). The norfolk & western: A history (Rev. ed). Norfolk & Western Historical Society.

Virginia Writers’ Project. (1942). Roanoke, story of county and city. Roanoke, Virginia.

Virginia Writers’ Project. (1940). The schools of Roanoke. Roanoke, Virginia.

Warren, I. M. (1941). Our colored people. Virginia Writers’ Project. Roanoke, Virginia.

White, Clare. (1982). Roanoke 1740-1982. Roanoke Valley Historical Society, Roanoke, Virginia.

Woodbury, M. C. & Marsh, R. C. (1994). Virginia kaleidoscope: the Claytor family of Roanoke, and some of its kinships, from first families of Virginia and their former slaves. Ann Arbor, Michigan.