The Library of Virginia Newsletter
March 2013

Virginia Mourns Former Delegate Clifton A. "Chip" Woodrum

Clifton A.

Former Library of Virginia Board chair and current Board member Chip Woodrum died suddenly on February 19. He was appointed to the Library Board in 2004 by Governor Mark Warner and reappointed in 2009 by Governor Tim Kaine. Woodrum represented Roanoke and part of Roanoke County in the House of Delegates from 1980 until 2003. His dedication to the Roanoke area was apparent to all who worked with him. Among his lasting contributions to the commonwealth were his efforts in establishing the Freedom of Information Advisory Council and the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program.

“Chip Woodrum was a legislator of uncommon vision with a deep understanding of our state’s rich history coupled with the ability to see consequences of both legislative action and inaction. He was able to diffuse and focus tense ideological arguments with his sharp wit and storytelling ability. The Library has lost one of the Library’s staunchest supporters,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway.

Former Library Board member Charles Sydnor lamented Woodrum’s passing saying he was someone “whose powerful intellect, engaging wit, and infectious laugh marked him as one of the last great public servants from the vanishing era of civility, accommodation, and mutual respect in Virginia politics and government.” Former Library Board member Gilbert Butler reminisced that “nothing was more enjoyable than running into Chip downtown or at a party and engaging him in Virginia political conversation. His quips, puns, quotes, and jokes were—without fail—funny, intelligent, and spot on.”

Governor Bob McDonnell issued a statement saying: “In public service, there are a select few who make a mark on the lives of those they represent and the commonwealth for both their personality and compassion and for their policy achievements. Chip Woodrum was one of those rare individuals. His contributions to the General Assembly for 24 years have had lasting effects on the citizens of the commonwealth. However, as someone who served alongside Chip for several years in the House of Delegates, to me his most lasting legacy might well be the humor, dedication, fairness, intelligence, and compassion he showed in the legislature year after year.”

Plans are underway to establish a memorial fund at the Library in honor of Chip Woodrum.

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The Library of Virginia Offers Historical Newspapers Online

The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Newspaper Project are excited to announce the release of an online historical newspaper database, Virginia 

Twenty-three Virginia newspaper titles comprising more than 250,000 pages have been uploaded to a site managed by the Library of Virginia to provide easy access to a wide array of Virginia imprint newspapers. You can visit the site at

And this is only the beginning. The Virginia Newspaper Project is working to migrate all the titles and pages contributed to the Library of Congress—as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program—to the Library of Virginia site. From there we'll begin adding thousands of pages in the coming months to create a primary source for users who wish to delve deep into the pages of Virginia newspapers.

Virginia Chronicle offers full text-searching capabilities, the ability to view a full page or to crop and zoom, and easy-to-use print features. Also, we will soon make available an interactive text-correcting function that allows users to correct text missed by text-recognition software.

With geographical representation a key consideration when selecting titles for digitization, the newspapers currently available span the commonwealth from Tazewell to Alexandria, from Monterey to Accomack.

Currently the online collection contains 36,839 issues comprising 251,040 pages, with plans to add approximately 50,000 pages this spring, an additional 50,000 pages by September 2013, and many more after that.

For the past 20 years the Virginia Newspaper Project has provided comprehensive cataloging, quality preservation, and state-of-the-art digitization of United States imprint newspapers held in the commonwealth. The latest iteration, the Virginia Digital Newspaper Project, focuses on providing online access to Virginia newspapers published prior to 1923.

However, with the release of Virginia Chronicle, there is the potential to enter into public-private partnerships to provide access to local papers both in and out of copyright. A perfect example is the Virginia Farm Bureau News, which is available online from the year it began publishing (1940) to 2000.

Please visit to check out the titles the Library is adding to its growing collection of newspapers.

–submitted by Errol Somay, Director of the Virginia Newspaper Project

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Earl Hamner Program to Be Held on April 2

Acclaimed Virginia author Earl Hamner Jr. will be at the Library of Virginia on April 2 at 6:30 PM as we celebrate the gift of his private papers and manuscripts to the Library. He was originally due to visit us in January but illness prevented his trip. The Nelson County native is an iconic figure for many and is best known as the writer of the semiautobiographical television series The Waltons. The Hamner collection includes original manuscripts for the entire runs of the television series The Waltons and Falcon Crest, original manuscripts for several television pilots, and more than 60 years of his original correspondence, as well as short stories, poems, and photographs. Lisa LaFata Powell will moderate a discussion with Hamner about his work, his life, and his love of Virginia. Special items from his collection will be on display during the event.

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Database Spotlight: Proquest Congressional Publications

The Proquest Congressional Publications database is a comprehensive resource for information regarding the activity of the United States Congress. This database allows users to locate congressional committee documents, prints, reports, and hearings; discover a law’s intent by tracing its legislative history; find statistics on a wide range of topics; find a variety of information regarding House, Senate, or joint committees including the names of members, meeting schedules, and hearing topics; and search numerous publications such as the Congressional Record, United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Statutes at Large, and Federal Register. Users can also retrieve demographic information about current members of Congress and view their voting records and campaign finance data. In addition, the reports and statistics found in the database cover a wide variety of topics—including economic, social, and public policy issues—and can be an excellent resource for general research. The Political News section provides access to articles on the latest political and legislative happenings from the Washington Post and Roll Call newspapers, as well as political transcripts from Congressional Quarterly.

Your Library of Virginia library card is your key to exploring this resource. Stop by the Library to get a card today and visit the Library’s Using the Collections page to begin your research!

–submitted by Lisa Wehrmann, Public Services and Outreach

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April Is a Month for Celebrating

April is full of celebrations—by the day, week, and month. April is Poetry Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, Stress Management Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and America the Beautiful Month.

The Library is a leader in providing records management services and training to state and local records managers. We celebrate this in April with Records Management Month—along with National Library Week, Read a Road Map Week, Organize Your Files Week, and, of course, National Karaoke Week. (Actually, we're not too involved with Karaoke Week.)

This year Governor Bob McDonnell has proclaimed April as Public Records Month in Virginia, recognizing that the management of records and information is critical to the efficient operation of government. The Library supports localities and state agencies with the efficient and economical management of their public records by establishing retention and disposition schedules for records, presenting workshops, monitoring the disposal of nonpermanent records, and assisting with the transfer of permanent records to the Archives.

The Library knows that government records are key to government transparency and accountability. Having these records easily accessible is a cornerstone of our democracy, and the Library's records analysts are committed to assisting the state’s records managers with this task.

The theme of this year’s National Library Week, celebrated April 14–20, is Communities @ Your Library. The Library has promoted the development of public libraries in the commonwealth for more than 100 years. The Library’s efforts can be traced to action by the Virginia General Assembly on March 8, 1904, when the State Library was ordered to “purchase and procure books and other necessary equipment for the establishment of libraries.”

So join us in April by celebrating the importance of records management and public libraries in our democracy.

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Library Offers Scanning of Civil War Materials and a Walking Tour of the 1863 Bread Riot on April 6

Join us for Civil War & Emancipation Day on Saturday, April 6. From 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, Library of Virginia staff members will be scanning privately held letters, photographs, diaries, maps, and other Civil War–era materials for inclusion on the websites of both the Library and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. To make an appointment to have your Civil War manuscript materials scanned, please contact Renee Savits at 804-692-3629 or At 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Gregg Kimball, the Library’s director of Public Services and Outreach, will collaborate with the National Park Service’s Richmond National Battlefield Park on walking tours tracing the 1863 Bread Riot in Richmond, where thousands of local women stormed area stores in protest of the lack of food and supplies during the Civil War years.

More than 25 other participating sites and activity centers are offering an array of informative walking tours and presentations for this year’s Civil War & Emancipation Day. Free shuttle service will operate between all sites. The day offers expanded opportunities to learn more about Richmond’s history and its role in the Civil War and Emancipation.

Admission to most sites and performances is free. Reservations are required and fees are charged for the Civil War Sampler Bus Tour and special exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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Charles Wright Wins $150,000 Bollingen Prize for His Poetry

Charles Wright, professor emeritus of English at the University of Virginia, has won the 2013 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. Wright taught at the University for almost 30 years and is one of America’s most celebrated poets.

The Bollingen Prize in American Poetry is among the most prestigious prizes given to American writers. Established by Paul Mellon in 1949, it is awarded biennially by the Yale University Library to an American poet for the best book published during the previous two years or for lifetime achievement in poetry. The prize includes a cash award of $150,000.

Wright won the Library of Virginia’s inaugural literary award in 1998 for Black Zodiac and again in 2003 for A Short History of the Shadow.

The judges awarded Wright the Bollingen Prize for his 2011 book, Bye-and-Bye: Selected Late Poems. Among Wright’s honors are the National Book Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the American Book Award in Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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