The Library of Virginia Newsletter
April 2010

Library Board Receives Update on Virginia Digital Newspaper Project

At the March meeting of the Library Board, Errol Somay, director of the Virginia Digital Newspaper Project, briefed Board members about the Library’s role in the project. The Virginia Digital Newspaper Project builds on the foundation established by the Virginia Newspaper Project. Both initiatives are sponsored and headquartered at the Library of Virginia.

The VNP was established in 1993 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities with technical support from the Library of Congress and support from the Library of Virginia. The VNP is part of the successful United States Newspaper Program (USNP). All 50 states and trust territories participated in the cataloging and preservation of newspapers.

The Virginia Newspaper Project cataloged more than 7,000 U.S. imprint newspapers (including 3,500 Virginia titles), microfilmed more than one million pages, and has recently digitized 200,000 pages that are fully searchable. To search these papers, visit Chronicling America, a free, national database and repository of digitized and searchable historical newspapers.

In the current digitization phase, Virginia papers from 1860 to 1922 are being microfilmed (or processed from existing film), digitized, and added to Chronicling America. At the end of March more than two million pages had been digitized and made available through the online database.

“Virginia's contribution to the United States Newspaper Program and the National Digital Newspaper Program cannot be understated. Both projects ensure improved access while addressing the pressing need to preserve our nation's newspapers,” said Somay. “As is often said, newspapers are the first draft of American history.”

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Apply Now for the 2010 Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship. The goal of the program is to enhance knowledge and training in history and social science instruction in the commonwealth of Virginia by providing educators with an opportunity for in-depth study and the development of teaching materials in collaboration with both teaching colleagues and members of the Library of Virginia’s professional staff. Program participants will research and study a specific aspect of Virginia history and produce educational materials such as lesson plans and curriculum guides based on the results of their findings. Over the course of two weeks during the summer and consultations throughout the year, the Brown Fellows will work with Library staff members to pursue research on the year's selected topic. The Brown Fellows will also be encouraged to make presentations at educational conferences based on their research and lesson plans.

For the purposes of the 2010 Brown Fellowship award, the Library of Virginia is particularly interested in candidates who are willing to explore our rich collection of Virginia maps, including our Fry-Jefferson and Alan P. Voorhees Map Collections, and create lesson plans and educator resources that will allow their use to support teaching in the areas of social science, history, civics, and geography. Virginia's maps reflect the pivotal role of the Old Dominion as a leader in much of the political, military, and economic history of the United States. In a rapidly changing society, property ownership, political boundaries, economic resources, and the environment can be understood through maps. The Library's map collection contains more than 65,000 items, including maps produced by state agencies and as part of official reports, court records, and legislative petitions.

While we have outlined a focus on our map collection, we will accept applications from candidates who seek to explore other research areas.
The Brown Teacher Research Fellowship includes:

  • A stipend of $2,000 for each recipient;
  • Up to $500 reimbursement for travel to an approved conference as a presenter.

Eligible candidates for the Brown Teacher Research Fellowship must:

  • Be residents of Virginia;
  • Have a minimum of three years of teaching experience in history and/or social science, two of which must be in 4–12 education;
  • Exhibit the use of creative and engaging teaching techniques in the classroom;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the use of primary sources as a part of classroom instruction; and,
  • Be available to complete two consecutive weeks of research between June and September 2010.

Applications must include:

  • A résumé;
  • A one-page statement of interest outlining the candidate's reasons for applying for the fellowship, teaching philosophy, theme/topic for research, and what he or she hopes to gain from the experience;
  • A letter of support from an immediate supervisor; and,
  • A sample of a lesson plan demonstrating the use of primary sources, along with examples of student work based on the lesson, if available.

Complete applications should be mailed to the following address by Friday, May 7, 2010:
Library of Virginia
ATT: Brown Teacher Fellowship
800 E. Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
The award will be announced in June 2010.

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Biennial Budget Cuts Library

The budget bill that passed the General Assembly several weeks ago contained substantial reductions for the Library of Virginia, as it did for most state agencies. The bill made permanent all of the budget cuts that have occurred since the General Assembly passed its last biennial budget for 2008–2010 and includes an additional reduction for the Library of $537,000.

At the start of the last biennial budget cycle in 2008 the Library of Virginia had a General Fund operating budget of $11,457,367. The 2010–2012 biennial budget cycle reduces the Library's operating budget to $8,987,428 for 2012, the second year of the biennium. This means that between 2008 and 2012 the Library will have lost a total of $2,469,939, which translates to about a 22 percent reduction in the operating budget for personnel and programs.

In addition, state aid to public libraries sustained a 15 percent reduction. The budget bill also includes a two-year, across-the-board cut in general aid to localities of $60 million per year. This allows localities the option of imposing additional cuts on state aid to public libraries.

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Celebrate National Library Week, April 11-17

National Library Week, April 11–17, 2010, is a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries, librarians, and library workers in schools, campuses, and communities nationwide.

“Libraries are the heart of every community and help our communities thrive,” says Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway. “Across the commonwealth, people of all backgrounds come together for community meetings, lectures and programs, to do research with the assistance of a trained professional, to get help finding a job or to find homework help, and to check out books at our libraries.”

As the economic downturn continues, Virginia’s libraries are witnessing dramatic increases in usage, highlighting their role as key neighborhood resources that can quickly respond to community needs and help solve problems. More and more Virginians are relying on libraries for technology, using public-access computers to apply for jobs or search for work.

Visit your local library during National Library Week and show your support for this valuable community resource.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

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Civil War and Emancipation Day set for April 17

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Civil War and Emancipation Day at historic Tredegar in downtown Richmond on Saturday, April 17, featuring Union, Confederate, and civilian re-enactors; drills and demonstrations; musical performances; children's programs; and more. Hosted by the American Civil War Center and the National Park Service’s Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center, the annual event has been expanded this year to include shuttle buses to other historic sites and history museums, many of which will offer Civil War–period programming. The Library of Virginia will host a table in the exhibit area next to the American Civil War Center. Visitors to the Library that day are invited to tour the exhibition The Land We Live In, The Land We Left: Virginia's People and to receive a 10 percent discount and free gift with a purchase in the Virginia Shop. For a schedule of events and more information contact

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Bust of Revolutionary War Soldier Andrew Lewis Unveiled at Capitol on March 22

A bronze bust of Virginia’s hero General Andrew Lewis was unveiled on March 22 in the Old Hall of the House of Delegates in the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. On March 22, 1932, an act was passed in the Virginia legislature that authorized busts or other memorials of "Great Virginians" to be installed in the Old House Chamber. Though Andrew Lewis was a friend of George Washington and compatriot of Patrick Henry, no tribute to him had ever been planned for the room until recently, when supporters commissioned and funded a bust through the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association.

Often called the "Father of Salem" because he received the city's first land grant, Lewis was memorialized in bronze by Salem native Anne Bell, a nationally acclaimed artist who currently resides in Florida. An American pioneer, surveyor, and soldier, Lewis served as a colonel of militia during the French and Indian War and as a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War. He is most famous for his 1774 victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant in Dunmore’s War. Lewisburg, West Virginia, is named for Andrew Lewis and a statue of him is among those honoring Virginia patriots (including Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Nelson, and John Marshall) on Richmond’s Washington Monument in Capitol Square. On March 31, 2001, the General Assembly of Virginia designated as the “Andrew Lewis Memorial Highway” the portion of Interstate 81 that traverses Rockbridge, Botetourt, and Roanoke counties and the city of Salem.

Andrew Lewis’s likeness joined those of other Virginia greats including Patrick Henry, George Mason, Stonewall Jackson, Richard Henry Lee, Cyrus H. McCormick, and Meriwether Lewis in the Old House Chamber in the ceremony presided over by the Honorable H. Morgan Griffith, House majority leader, and was accepted on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia by Governor Robert H. McDonnell. Logistical arrangements for delivery and placement of the bust were handled by Tom Camden, director of Special Collections at the Library of Virginia. Since 1998 the Library has been responsible for curatorial oversight of statuary, portraits, prints, engravings, and other artwork of the commonwealth exhibited in the Executive Mansion, the Capitol, and offices and agencies located within the Capitol Square area.

—submitted by Tom Camden, Special Collections

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Library of Virginia Offers "Managing Your Personal Records" Workshop on April 29

You’ve just finishing filing your federal taxes after a frantic scramble to gather canceled checks, W-2 forms, medical deductions, receipts for charitable contributions, and distributions from IRAs, pensions, or annuities. There has to be better way!

On Thursday, April 29, from noon to 1 PM, records analysts from the Library of Virginia will show you that better way to keep your records. The Library will present a free workshop for members of the public that addresses the challenges of and strategies for maintaining personal records. The Managing Your Personal Records workshop will concentrate on how to keep and organize important medical and financial records and avoid identity theft. Participants will learn what records they need to keep and how long they need to keep them. Advice will be offered on creating a personal health record and safeguarding important personal papers.

There is limited, free parking for the workshop in the Library’s underground deck, which is accessible from either Eighth or Ninth streets. This workshop is free but space is limited. Please call 804-692-3600 to register.

—submitted by Anita Vannucci, Archival and Records Management Services

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Second Annual Signature Conference on the Civil War to Be Held in September

Register now for the second of seven annual Signature Conferences sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. Noted historians will gather to discuss various aspects of the conference theme: Race, Slavery, and the Civil War: The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory. The conference takes place September 24, 2010, on the campus of Norfolk State University in the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center.

The conference will be chaired by historian Dr. James O. Horton, the Benjamin Banneker Professor Emeritus of American Studies and History at George Washington University.
Topics include:

  • Slavery, Freedom, and the Union Navy
    James McPherson (Princeton University)
  • John Washington: How, When, Where, and Why Emancipation Happened
    David Blight (Yale University)
  • The Role of the Underground Railroad as a Cause of the Civil War
    Spencer Crew (George Mason University)
  • The Myth of Black Confederates
    Bruce Levine (University of Illinois)
  • The Quest for Black Rights in the Midst of War
    Edna Medford (Howard University)
  • African American Soldiers and the Struggle for Equality
    Ira Berlin (University of Maryland)
  • Addressing the Causes of the Civil War in Public History
    Dwight Pitcaithley (New Mexico State University; Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service)
  • Harriet Jacobs in the Refugee Camps
    Jean Fagan Yellin (Pace University)
  • Waterways to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads
    Cassandra Newby-Alexander (Norfolk State University)
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Check Out the Newest Unit of Sources on Shaping the Constitution at Virginia Memory!

The Library of Virginia has added units on the 13th and 19th Amendments to Shaping the Constitution on Virginia Memory.

Shaping the Constitution, Resources from the Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress is funded through the Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources Initiative. The site was launched last November. Its purpose is to bring to K-12 educators—and to the general public—important documents from our collections and from the Library of Congress related to America's Founding Era and the United States Constitution.

—submitted by Maria Kimberly, Education and Outreach Services

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VGS Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Virginia Genealogical Society will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 16, 2010. Activities include guided research and a leadership summit at the Library of Virginia, and an anniversary banquet at the Omni Richmond Hotel. Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway will introduce former State Archivist Conley L. Edwards III, who will speak at the banquet.

On Saturday, April 17, Victor S. “Vic” Dunn will share research strategies for dealing with “burned” Virginia counties at VGS’s spring conference. Several Virginia counties, most of them in the eastern part of the state, suffered tremendous loss of their early records during the intense military activity that occurred during the Civil War, while others lost records in fires. At some point, almost everyone conducting genealogical or historical research will face the problem of finding information from a so-called "burned record county." Dunn, a native of the Shenandoah Valley, will show conference participants how to make the most of surviving county records as well as federal, state, and non-government sources. He will also explain how to use newspapers, church and Bible records, and business records to glean valuable genealogical information.

Early conference registration is $40 for VGS members and $50 for non-members. The fee for the banquet is $47.50. Space is limited. For more information or to register, visit or e-mail

The Virginia Genealogical Society was organized in 1960. Its mission is to promote and foster family history education and research, publish genealogical information, and share accumulated knowledge.

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Looking Ahead

The Library of Virginia is participating in the 2010 Anthem Stride Through Time 10k walk on June 5. The Library will staff a table featuring, among other things, information about programs and discount coupons for the Virginia Shop. The Anthem Stride Through Time walk showcases Richmond’s treasure trove of historic sites.

The 6.2-mile course travels through nine historic districts in downtown Richmond; past numerous museums, historic sites and monuments; and over cobblestone and brick. Antique cars, historical figures, and remarkable architecture will bring 400 years of history to life, all while you enjoy a fantastic workout. Many museums along the route will be open for free during the event. Live music will keep you entertained throughout your walk. Among the sites you'll be passing:

American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar
Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
First Fridays Artwalk
The Hat Factory
The Jefferson Hotel
John Marshall House
Library of Virginia
Linden Row Inn
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Monumental Church (Historic Richmond Foundation)
Museum and White House of the Confederacy
Richmond CenterStage
Richmond Hill
Richmond Visitor’s Center
River District Canal Cruises
St. John’s Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Valentine Richmond History Center
VCU/MCV Alumni House
Virginia Holocaust Museum
Virginia State Capitol
The Woman’s Club (Bolling-Haxall House)

The untimed fitness walk will take place on the Canal Walk and city sidewalks. Live music, entertainment, costumed re-enactors, antique cars, and more will line the route. Streets will remain open to traffic with pedestrian crossing support at significant intersections. Water stops and bathroom facilities will be located along the route. Strollers are permitted.
The event concludes with the Thompson McMullan Finish Line Festival, where participants will receive their commemorative event T-shirt, interact with vendors, and enjoy live music.

Online registration for Anthem Stride Through Time is available at The entry fee is $20 for adults and $10 for youth 18 and under through April 30—after that the fee will increase $5. Registrants will have the opportunity to make a contribution to benefit the Valentine Richmond History Center and Historic Richmond Foundation. For more information, visit or e-mail

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