Saturday, April 04, 2015

Café Closed for the day
Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Discovery Café will be closed on Saturday April 4, 2015

Exhibition: Spoils of War, Symbols of Reunion
Wednesday, April 01, 2015 — Saturday, April 18, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Place: Lobby, Free

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the Library of Virginia will exhibit a selection of rare archival materials that Union soldiers plundered from the State Capitol's archives during the chaotic days following the fall of Richmond to federal forces. These "liberated" artifacts continue to trickle back to the commonwealth, and include such iconic documents as the Ordinance of Secession and the last volume of the Journals of the House of Burgesses. Collecting “spoils of war” is a time-honored tradition of victorious armies, but the collecting of books, state papers, and other manuscripts by Union soldiers was not always simple souvenir hunting. The soldier who removed Virginia's Ordinance of Secession from the Capitol certainly understood its symbolic meaning as a rending of the federal Union—a Union that Yankee soldiers had fought four bloody years to reunite. These artifacts connect strongly to the records and artifacts of the slave trade found in the Library's continuing exhibition, To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade—pieces taken by soldiers and civilian relief workers that symbolized for many Northerners the causes of the war. To view other programs and exhibitions related to Richmond's Journey from the end of slavery and Civil War to today visit

To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Saturday, May 30, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free

This groundbreaking exhibition explores the pivotal role that Richmond played in the domestic slave trade. Curated by University of Virginia professor Maurie McInnis, To Be Sold draws from her recent book, Waiting to Be Sold: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade, and is anchored by a series of paintings and engravings by Eyre Crowe, a British artist who witnessed the slave trade as he traveled across the United States in 1853. This internal trade accounted for the largest forced migration of people in the United States, moving as many as two thirds of a million people from the Upper South to the Cotton South. Virginia was the largest mass exporter of enslaved people through the Richmond market, making the trade the most important economic activity in antebellum Virginia. This exhibition is not merely a story of numbers and economic impact, but also one that focuses on individuals and the impact that the trade had on enslaved people.

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