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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Talk at the Library of Virginia - Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery

Book Talk at the Library of Virginia - Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM, Free parking accessible by 8th and 9th streets.

The pain and hope in the search for lost kin

Immediately following the Civil War, African Americans placed "information wanted" advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members. Heather Andrea Williams was inspired by the power of these ads and uses slave narratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide readers back to the devastating moments of family separation during slavery. Williams explores the heartbreaking stories of separation and the long, usually unsuccessful journeys toward reunification. Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles their searches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the sympathy, indifference, hostility, and empathy expressed by whites about sundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in the post–Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in the ongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

Heather Andrea Williams is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom.

A book signing will follow the talk.


Lost & Found
Monday, February 27, 2012 — Saturday, August 25, 2012
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free

What do you collect and value? Lost and Found examines the constantly changing fabric of our world. Things disappear from our cultural landscape, sometimes almost without notice—signs, buildings, even towns—and others go into attics, basements, and landfills. Some are saved and carefully stored and preserved; others intentionally destroyed, sometimes dramatically. Explore the spectacular destruction of archives by chance and nature, the intentional destruction of personal papers, the careful preservation of family treasures, and the assemblage of materials in a bank safe deposit.


The Forgotten War: The War of 1812
Monday, November 07, 2011 — Saturday, September 15, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Place: Lobby

The Forgotten War: The War of 1812 highlights a forthcoming digital archive of materials in the collections of the Library of Virginia that relate to the War of 1812. Selections from the archive will address Virginia's role, including the impressment of American citizens as one cause of the war, the British blockade of the Chesapeake Bay, and military engagements at Craney Island and Washington, D.C.