The Library of Virginia Newsletter
April 2013


Apply Now for the 2013 Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship

Second grade through high school teachers are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship. Two positions are open for teachers interested in collaborating with Library of Virginia staff to develop classroom activities that will also enhance upcoming programs provided at the Library. The Library of Virginia is particularly interested in candidates who are willing to research documents related to their specific county and/or to support our upcoming exhibition Flora in Virginia. Selected teachers will receive a stipend of $2,000 after project completion. Deadline for applications is May 10. For more information or to apply, please visit our Educator's page on the Library of Virginia website.

The goal of the Brown Teacher Research Fellowship 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.

<< back to e-newsletter


First-in-the-Nation Monument to the Achievements of the Women of Virginia to Be Installed on Virginia's Capitol Square

The winning design for a Women's Monument to be placed on the grounds of Virginia's Capitol Square in Richmond was announced by Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas on March 28 at the Library of Virginia's annual Virginia Women in History awards celebration. Thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, the monument will commemorate the collective contributions of the women of Virginia throughout the past 400 years of its storied history. Prominently placed and respectfully integrated into the historic Capitol landscape, the monument's oval-garden design includes elements of sculpture and landscaping that will provide visitors an interactive and educational experience. Out of 34 designs submitted from around the world, the Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission unanimously selected the design by StudioEIS, of Brooklyn, New York, and the 1717 Design Group, Inc., of Richmond, as the winner.

“This monument will provide a lasting reminder to those walking through our Capitol Square of the vital role women played in shaping Virginia’s history,” said Governor Bob McDonnell, chairman of the commission. “There are so many incredible stories of women who have led and inspired in the public and private sector in Virginia. This monument will honor the contributions of those great women.”

The Virginia General Assembly established the Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission to "determine and recommend . . . an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the contributions of the women of Virginia." The commission’s duties include securing from private sources the $2 million necessary for the creation of the monument. The Virginia Capitol Foundation will coordinate fundraising for the project.

The commission, chaired by Governor Bob McDonnell, has been led by Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas. Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway, who is an expert in the field of women’s history, serves as a nonvoting member on the commission. Other members are: Em Bowles Locker Alsop, a driving catalyst for the monument’s creation; Lissy S. Bryan; Kitty Claiborne; Mary Blanton Easterly; Jacqueline Cook Hedblom; Rita D. McClenny; Mary Margaret Whipple; Mary Abel-Smith; Senator Ryan T. McDougle; Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel; William J. Howell, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates; Delegate James P. Massie, III; Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Senate; G. Paul Nardo, Clerk of the House of Delegates; and Alice Lynch, Executive Director, Virginia Capitol Foundation.

Virginia’s historic Capitol Square is one of the oldest enclosed public parks in the United States. It continues to be an architectural and artistic setting for events shaping America’s individual liberties, political institutions, judicial traditions, and social progress. Capitol Square is home not only to the Thomas Jefferson–designed State Capitol, which has been in use since 1788, but also to Virginia's Executive Mansion—which recently celebrated two centuries as the oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in America—as well as a host of other government buildings and public monuments that serve as reminders of the power, leadership, and enduring principles on which this nation was founded. Visitors from across the world come to Capitol Square each year to enjoy the beautiful grounds and walk in the footsteps of history.

For more information on the Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission and the Women's Monument, please visit http://womensmonumentcom.virginia.gov.

–submitted by Jeff Caldwell, Office of the Governor of Virginia

<< back to e-newsletter


Early Norfolk Map Donated to the Library

Although important and expensive historic documents frequently come up for auction, institutions like ours are often unable to muster the necessary funds to purchase them—or to find "angels" with the financial capability to act on our behalf. Recently, the Library of Virginia was on the receiving end of such kindness. Working with the Special Collections librarians at the College of William and Mary, Helen Elizabeth "Bee" McLeod and her husband John Goodenow "Goody" Tyler helped the Library purchase an incredibly significant colonial Virginia map at auction last summer to ensure that it remained in Virginia and accessible to the public. The original hand-drawn map of Norfolk, executed by Samuel Boush in 1762, may be the earliest plan of this Virginia port city. The Boushes owned large amounts of land in Norfolk, and Colonel Samuel Boush was the first mayor there in 1736. The Boush family was instrumental in planning the development of the borough of Norfolk, specifically in the areas where Boush Street, Church Street, and Charles Street were established. The plan descended directly through the Boush family and was on loan to the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk from 1945 to 2012. The watercolor-on-sheepskin map is currently being conserved and photographed. Once complete, digital images will be made available online and copies will be provided to the College of William and Mary to broaden accessibility to this newly acquired treasure.

–submitted by John Metz, Archives, Records and Collections Services

<< back to e-newsletter

Database Spotlight: HarpWeek (1857–1912)

Harper’s Weekly was the newspaper of record for the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with an estimated readership of at least half a million people. It had more foreign correspondents and illustrated stories than any of its contemporaries. The HarpWeek database contains the pages of Harper's Weekly from 1857 to 1912 as scanned images, together with a series of indexes. It provides domestic and foreign news, editorials, and literary essays enabling users to track the major political, social, and military stories of the day.

The indexing is a particularly strong feature of the electronic version. The publication includes 75,000 illustrations, cartoons, maps, and portraits. Illustrations are indexed to facilitate retrieval by topic, place, or portrait. Cartoons can be searched by subject or by character name, and there are more than 100,000 advertisements that can be located by topic (e.g., transportation, health, alcohol, etc.) as well as by retailer or manufacturer. Clothing ads are indexed by clothing type, gender, and fabric type. Literature is organized by genre, allowing users to retrieve content that falls under specific categories such as “humorous essay” or “patriotic verse,” as well as by author or title. In addition, the indexing of concepts and topics that are not part of the original text, such as “women’s rights” and “Chinese Americans,” can help users discover articles that provide insights into everyday life that might otherwise be difficult to locate. This database gives researchers a window into the past that can be very informative and rewarding.

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

<< back to e-newsletter


DAR Supports Conservation at the Library of Virginia

In March, Richmond was host to the 117th Annual Virginia State Daughters of the American Revolution Conference. Chaired by Virginia DAR state regent Patricia Musick Hatfield, the conference allowed the state's 132 DAR chapters and various committees to report their accomplishments in the past year.

The Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution recently donated $5,896 to pay for the conservation, digitization, and microfilming of a Stafford County Order Book, 1749–1755, that was discovered in the collections of the Jersey City Free Public Library and returned to the Library of Virginia in October 2011. On March 16, the conserved volume was on display at the DAR's state conference held at the Richmond Marriott. The Daughters were so impressed with the work done with their funding and so appreciative of the Library’s efforts to keep them updated about the project that they decided to continue working with the Library to preserve records. At their business meeting, Hatfield announced that the organization would contribute $4,620 toward the conservation of the final two boxes of the Colonial Papers Collection. This collection was laminated in the 1930s using a then-new technique pioneered by William J. Barrow, but the cellulose acetate film used during the process is now degrading, causing the documents to become unstable. The Library had been slowly conserving the valuable collection as funding became available, but this generous donation will now allow us to de-laminate, de-acidify, and mend the remaining items.

The Colonial Papers Collection, 1630–1775, consists of loose records from Colonial governors, clerks of the Colonial Council, the House of Burgesses, and other sources. The collection contains petitions, court records, orders, summonses, patents, accounts, proceedings, returns, grants, proclamations, addresses, certificates, and correspondence. Some of the highlights in this collection include:

  • November 1, 1718 – Petition of Ann, Queen of the Pamunkey Indians, to Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, asking that he not grant any patents for more land adjoining the Pamunkey Town
  • July 2, 1744 – Deed between the Six Nations of the Indians and King George II releasing their rights to all land within Virginia
  • July 3, 1754 – Articles of Capitulation of Captain Louis Coulon de Villiers to George Washington, commander of the English troops at Fort Necessity
  • Oct. 9, 1771 – Land grant and plat of George Mason
  • Dec. 23, 1771 – Marriage bond of Thomas Jefferson and Francis Eppes
  • June 5, 1775 – Petition of the Hanover Presbytery asking for free exercise of their religion
  • June 15, 1775 – Petition of the directors and managers for erecting a lighthouse on Cape Henry

Also on March 16, several DAR members were welcomed to the Library of Virginia for a special presentation of the Stafford volume. The group also viewed other Colonial and early governor collections in need of conservation; Annotations upon the book of Psalms, 1617 (commonly referred to as the Mayflower Bible); and some George Washington items, including a survey map written in his own hand while he was the official surveyor for Culpeper County and an insurance policy for Mount Vernon from 1805, when Washington's nephew Bushrod Washington was the owner.

–submitted by Audrey Johnson, Archives, Records and Collections Services

<< back to e-newsletter


David Baldacci to Speak on Researching Law and Justice in a Novel Way

Since the release of Absolute Power in 1996, attorney and best-selling Virginia author David Baldacci has thrilled readers with suspenseful, fast-paced stories of politicians, assassins, and government agents. On May 16 at 6:00 PM, Baldacci will discuss and answer questions about how he researches and uses contemporary legal issues in his novels. Laws are not perfect and there are occasional breakdowns where justice is not necessarily served, as his novels prove. This program complements the Library's latest exhibition, You Have No Right: Law and Justice in Virginia. Using Virginia cases, examples, and stories, the exhibition demonstrates how the law directly affects individuals and how Virginians over time have used the law to achieve political and social ends. Style Weekly is the media sponsor for programming and Middleburg Trust Company is the education sponsor for this exhibition.

<< back to e-newsletter