Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Irish Builders of Virginia's Railroads
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms

In the 1650s, hundreds of Irish people first came to Virginia's shores. In the 1850s, several thousand Irish arrived to build railroad tracks and blast mountain tunnels from Richmond to Covington and beyond. The Charlottesville research group Clann Mhór (which means "big family" in the Irish language) is documenting the Irish and more than 100 African Americans who labored at this mammoth public-works project. The group has examined such materials as census documents, marriage records, and applications for U.S. citizenship. Much of the research centered on the invaluable Library of Virginia archives, particularly the railroad payrolls, which provided hundreds of Irish and enslaved African American names. Clann Mhór is providing answers to the critical question: Ca bhfuil siad imithe? Pronounced kah weel sheed imuhee, the words mean: "Where have they all gone?"

"Books on Broad" Featuring Valerie O. Patterson: The Other Side of Blue
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: The Virginia Shop

Valerie O. Patterson, who graduated in May 2008 with an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University, will join us to discuss The Other Side of Blue, her memorable novel of a family dealing with the death of a father. Light refreshments (wine and cheese) will be served (5:30–6:15 PM), followed by author talk (6:15­–7:15 PM), and book signing (7:15–7:30 PM).

Union or Secession: Virginians Decide
Monday, December 06, 2010 — Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: Monday–Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Place: Library of Virginia, Exhibition Gallery and Lobby Cases

Virginia was central to American identity for its role in the founding of the United States and its political principles. Both the Confederacy and the Union wanted to claim Virginia's historical legacy. Union or Secession explores what Virginians thought and debated as the crisis unfolded. Explore the choices Virginians faced as they decided their fate and that of the nation—Union or Secession.

Through letters, journals, newspapers, official documents and correspondence, and maps and broadsides (the vast majority of these items from the Library's incomparable collections), Union or Secession offers insight into the complex and conflicting geographic, cultural, economic, and political factors that faced Virginians in 1860 and early 1861. The exhibition shows that Virginians' choice on the question of secession was far from certain as dramatic moves were being made outside the state.

The Struggle to Decide: Virginia's Secession Crisis
Monday, December 13, 2010 — Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: Monday–Saturday 8:00 AM–5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00–5:00 PM
Place: Virginia State Capitol Visitor Center, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond 23219

An exhibition presented by the Library of Virginia

In the aftermath of the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. president in 1860, and the beginning of the secession crisis in December 1860, Virginia had a fateful choice to make: would it remain in, or secede from, the United States of America? In Virginia, the General Assembly called for a state convention to act for Virginia during the crisis. Meeting in February 1861, the 152 men elected to the convention faced the terrible task of deciding the fate of Virginia, and perhaps the nation.

The Struggle to Decide exhibition examines the actions taken by convention delegates and the governor that had a profound effect on Richmond and the Virginia State Capitol.

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