The VDA began publishing the Bulletin of the Virginia State Dental Association in August 1921. In June of 1964, the VDA changed the title of the serial to the Virginia Dental Journal.
Over the years, the publication has included abstracts, clinical and research articles, annual meeting programs, association news, VDA presidential addresses and messages, case studies, directories, editorials, images, legislative updates, letters to the editor, meeting minutes, obituaries and memorials, new member lists, news of VDA component societies associated with the different regions of the state, and advertisements and classifieds.
Teresa L. Knott, associate dean and director of VCU Health Sciences Library noted that, “it is exciting to see the Virginia Dental Association Journal digitization project come to fruition, especially after clearing hurdles such as a global pandemic and an evolving working environment.”
The project started when VCU Libraries received a request from the VDA to view a copy of their 100 Years of Dentistry in Virginia publication in October 2019 as they were looking to celebrate their 150th anniversary. Knott recalled: “Most of the VDA publications and records were lost in a fire. Through conversations, we realized that their only holdings of their association journal were the bound volumes that the American Dental Association returned to the VDA after the fire and that the most comprehensive run of the Bulletin and the Journal were held by VCU Libraries. By collaborating, we were able to preserve and broadly share the published record of dentistry and dental practice in Virginia.”
Dustin S. Reynolds, D.D.S., president of the Virginia Dental Association, appreciates VCU Libraries effort to preserve these important records. “The VDA is so grateful to the team at the VCU Health Sciences Library for working to digitize both the Bulletin of the Virginia State Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Journal. Founded in 1870, the history of the VDA is the history of dentistry in Virginia and having these records accessible online is an incredible resource for future generations of dentists.”
This project helps fulfill the VCU Libraries’ commitment to retain dentistry resources as an Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) print retention project. The more than 100 volumes of digitized content can be found in two collections within VCU Libraries’ institutional repository, Scholars Compass. One collection contains issues of the Bulletin of the Virginia State Dental Association, and the other contains issues of the Virginia Dental Journal.