University of Virginia Acquires Historial Documents of a Black-Owned Bank

Danville_BankThe First State Bank in Danville, the last of the Jim-Crow era Black-owned banks in the state of Virginia, recently donated a large collection of its historical records to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

The bank founded in 1919 was established to help African American businesses and potential homeowners who did not have access to the traditional avenues of credit afforded to Whites. The archive includes some of the banks ledgers, minutes of the first meeting of the bank’s board, architectural plans, and photographs. Most of the items in the archive are from the 1930s and 1940s. Some of the notes in the ledger show bank loans to individuals in amounts as low as $5.

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