The Library of Virginia Newsletter
September 2008

Budget Cuts to Library Announced

On October 9, 2008, Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced his plan to deal with the state's budget shortfall for fiscal year 2009. Under the plan, the Library of Virginia will experience a $600,000 cut. This represents a significant challenge for the Library, following a 4 percent reduction last year and another 1.5 percent reduction earlier this fiscal year. The Library will be operating with numerous staff vacancies, which will have an impact on services, but the Library will not need to initiate layoffs or temporary workforce reductions at this time.

Among the actions taken by the governor were laying off 570 state employees, cutting college funding, delaying state employee raises until the summer of 2009, and using nearly $400 million from the Revenue Stabilization Fund, commonly known as the rainy day fund. The governor will release his recommendations for reductions for fiscal year 2010 in conjunction with the release of his amendments to the 2008-2010 biennial budget on December 17. It is anticipated that these cuts will be more severe given the current economic situation.

Library Honors Writers

Helon Habila and Janet PeeryThe Library of Virginia celebrated the beauty and power of the written word on October 18 at the 11th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration hosted by Adriana Trigiani. This year's winners are R.T. Smith for the poetry prize for Outlaw Style: Poems; Wesley C. Hogan for the best work of nonfiction for Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America; and for the first time since the inception of the awards, two authors, Helon Habila and Janet Peery, are winners of the 2008 Library of Virginia Literary Award for the best work of fiction.

The judges felt that the literary styles of Measuring Time by Helon Habila and What the Thunder Said by Janet Peery, though very different, were equally impressive and equally worthy of the award.

The winner of the People's Choice Award in the fiction category is Puss 'n Cahoots by Rita Mae Brown and in the nonfiction category, Unruly Americans by Woody Holton. Two awards were announced previously. Pamela Duncan Edwards won the second annual Whitney and Scott Cardozo Award for Children's Literature for The Old House, and Rita Dove won the 2008 Library of Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award.

Proceeds from the Literary Awards Celebration benefit the Library of Virginia. Next year's Literary Awards Celebration will be held on October 17, 2009.

Can You Identify the People in These Photographs?

The Library of Virginia has placed more than 200 photographs of Richmond taken by Adolph B. Rice onto Flickr, the Internet photo-sharing Web site. This effort is in conjunction with our exhibition Richmond by Rice, which is on view in the lobby through January 3, 2009.

Two of the photographs included on the site are shown below. The first photo, taken on January 21, 1957, is labeled "William Fox, twins and grads." The second photo, taken October 10, 1958, is from Navy Hill School. We are certain that someone knows who these young people are. You can log on to and click on the Library of Virginia logo to see these and other photographs and identify these young people, or you can e-mail your identification and comments to

Twins    Children

Join Us for the 2008 Holiday Shoppers Fair

An eclectic mix of home décor, jewelry, holiday items, framed prints, and garden accessories, as well as books and authors of Virginia significance will be available at this year's Annual Holiday Shoppers Fair.

Taking place at the Virginia Shop at the Library of Virginia, and sponsored by the Museum Stores of Richmond, the 14th Annual Holiday Shoppers Fair is open to the public on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Proceeds will benefit the educational mission of each museum. The 2008 Holiday Shoppers Fair takes place at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad Street, in downtown Richmond. Free parking is available in the Library's underground garage accessible from either 8th or 9th streets. For more information, call 804-692-3592.

Library Acquires a Rare Photo of an "Identified" Former Powhatan County Slave

DrueThe Library of Virginia recently purchased a photograph from eBay of an African American gentleman taken in a Richmond studio in the 1880s. While 19th-century photographs of African Americans are hard to come by, those with identifying information are incredibly rare.

The photo, signed "Napoleon P. Drue," includes a note that indicates he purchased land in 1867 and was "the first colored person in Powhatan Co. Va. to record a deed for property bought after emancipation by one of his race." An ink stamp with the words "From Belmead, Rock Castle, Va." provided a clue to Drue's past.

In 1895, the Roman Catholic Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament acquired Belmead, the plantation of Philip St. George Cocke, and Mount Pleasant, another piece of land they renamed Rock Castle. Shortly thereafter, the sisters opened St. Emma's School, a military school for African American boys. Although the military school closed its doors in 1972, the order continues to operate Blessed Sacrament Catholic High School on the property.

Records from Blessed Sacrament School reveal that Drue was born into slavery at Belmead in 1843 and served as a house servant for the Cocke family until 1863 when he was emancipated. Following the war, he purchased 33 acres near Belmead and worked at St. Emma's. Napoleon Drue died in 1925 and is buried in Belmead Historic Cemetery.