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Students and Educators

The Library of Virginia is dedicated to providing relevant and useful educational material on Virginia's history, culture, and people to the commonwealth’s educators, students, and lifelong learners of any age. Our educational outreach programs help cultivate public understanding of the history of the Library, including our mission, collections, programs, and services through events and workshops, web-based content, and tours of our facility.

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Document Bank of Virginia

UNCLE SAM,  WORLD WAR I POSTER, 1918Document Bank of Virginia (DBVa) is the Library of Virginia’s initiative to get documents into classrooms. Using primary sources, teachers can make history relevant to students while helping them learn and understand state standards. DBVa will teach students to be critical thinkers as they analyze the original documents and draw their own conclusions about Virginia’s past.


What We Offer

New Book and Program for Elementary Students
Collect, Protect, and Serve

To Collect, Protect, and Serve: Behind the Scenes at the Library of Virginia

Written by Tameka B. Hobbs, Illustrated by Les Harper

The Library of Virginia is the oldest cultural institution in the state and the official archive (a place where history is kept) and library of the Commonwealth. In the book To Collect, Protect, and Serve: Behind the Scenes at the Library of Virginia, Archie the Archivist, Libby the Librarian, and Connie the Conservator guide young readers through a visit to the Library of Virginia.  Documents and themes support the Virginia Standards of Learning for grades 1 through 5, especially for Virginia Studies. The Library is also offering a special To Collect, Protect, and Serve Program for elementary students featuring hands-on activities. Each student will receive a free copy of the book. More information about To Collect Protect, and Serve.

Our vast and varied collections of government documents, photographs, business records, and manuscripts help to add depth and complexity to investigations of history, social science, government, and civics. The staff continually mines the Library’s collections to develop new offerings in the form of classroom resources that can bring Virginia’s history alive for citizens of all ages.

Digital Primary Sources and Lesson Plans

We offer a series of lesson plans correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and based on primary source documents in our collections. Mounted in 2009, "Shaping the Constitution," a web portal featuring important primary source documents and artwork from the Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress. This educational resource is essential for teachers and students exploring the beginnings of the U.S. government and Virginia's connections to those events.

Tours and Workshops

Tour group at the Library of VirginiaThe Library of Virginia hosts tours of our public facilities and exhibition gallery and conducts workshops for educators and students. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the Library’s rich history and mission, as well as to explore documents in our collection that can be used for teaching geography, social studies, civics, and government.

Your group can start your tour with an orientation video that gives an overview of our history and collections. You also may arrange a visit to our Special Collections department to learn about some of the rarest and oldest items in our holdings. We encourage visits by groups of older students who may be interested in using the Library’s collections for research projects. Please note that these options are limited by the availability of staff, by space in the facility, and by the rules and policies governing research and access to materials, which are outlined in our Visitors' Guide.

Please contact us for more information.

Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Enrichment Fund

Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Enrichment FundThe Library of Virginia is fortunate to have the Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Enrichment Fund which supports two programs for the advancement of Virginia's K12 educators. Learn more about the Fund, the Brown Teacher Research Fellowship, or the Brown Teacher Institute here.



TumblebookThe Library of Virginia has purchased the TumbleBookLibrary for use by Virginia’s public libraries. The TumbleBookLibrary is a collection of TumbleBooks, animated, talking picture books, suited for elementary school children. TumbleBooks are created from existing picture books, adding sound, animation, music and narration to create an electronic picture book... more information »

Credo Reference

Credo's vision is to promote information literacy and research effectiveness. At Credo, serving libraries is what we do. We work closely with institutions to provide a discoverable and compelling online reference service that learners, educators and researchers cannot do without.

Special Programs

Astronaut Leland MelvinThe Library of Virginia periodically offers special programs for school-aged audiences that allow youth to explore our exhibitions and to learn more about the many functions of the Library of Virginia.

We also offer youth programs in conjunction with our exhibitions, in which we allow for an age-appropriate interpretation of the exhibition content. These sometimes take the form of contests for students grades K-12, giving them an opportunity to explore Virginia’s past and to display their unique talents.

Additionally, each year we offer educational resources in the form of our Virginia Women in History and Strong Men and Women in Virginia History, programs which include posters, biographical profiles, and additional educational resources for use in the classroom.


Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Enrichment Fund

The Brown Teacher Research Fellowship provides Virginia educators the opportunity to research and study a specific
aspect of Virginia history and produce educational resources to support the Library of Virginia’s ongoing exhibition and education programs. The award includes a generous stipend as well as an allocation to cover registration fees and travel for conference

Over the course of two weeks during the summer, the Brown Fellow works with staff members of the Library of
Virginia—including consultation with reference and archival staff members—to pursue research on the selected topic for the year. The Brown Fellow is required to make a presentation at an educational conference based on his or her research.

This year the Library of Virginia is looking for Fellows who have an interest in researching the history of Reconstruction and the Emancipation era. Piqued your interest? Then view the
2015 Brown Fellowship information to learn more about the project and how to apply.

Deadline is Friday, May 22nd. Applicants will be notified by May 29th.

Sixth Annual Anne & Ryland Brown Teacher Institute
at the Library of Virginia

The Reconstruction Amendments and Their Legacy
August 3rd and 4th

Join Library of Virginia staff and guest speakers in this year’s two-day institute focusing on emancipation
and the Reconstruction Era, with special emphasis on the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and their legacy. Teachers will explore how to use primary sources to enhance student learning in their classrooms,
learn about new digital resources available, and explore the Library of Virginia's newest exhibition
Remaking Virginia: Transformation Through Emancipation, opening July 6th, 2015.

Thanks to the generous support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission we are excited to announce
some additions to this year’s institute. Registration is now open to 70 teachers, and hotel accommodations will be provided for the first 35 participants residing more than 50 miles from Richmond. In addition, coffee, snacks, and lunch will be provided for
all participants in the institute. Please check back soon for details on how to register for hotel accommodations.

You can register for the institute at https://brownteacherinstitute.eventbrite.com. Please note that registration is still open for Brown Teacher Institute however hotel accommodations have reached capacity.