VCU Libraries Gallery

The Cabell Room

Dedication plaque, Cabell Room, James Branch Cabell Library

The Cabell Room houses the nearly 3,000-volume library of James Branch Cabell. The room also contains artifacts and some furniture previously owned by the family.

A common misconception is that the room is itself a replica of the library in Cabell's Monument Avenue home. In fact, the room was designed by Cabell's second wife, Margaret Freeman Cabell (1894-1983). Meant to resemble a gentleman's library of the late Victorian period, the room was planned as an exhibit and meeting area for the Special Collections and Archives department of James Branch Cabell Library. 

The room's origins go back to 1968 when the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia merged to form Virginia Commonwealth University. Those planning the new university wanted to build a modern library. The university and the Cabell family agreed to name the building in honor of the writer. Along with the permission of the family came the donation of Cabell's library and his collection of correspondence, manuscripts and artifacts. 


    Cabell Room James Branch Cabell Library