The Library of Virginia Newsletter
December 2013

January Program to Explore Church-State Relationships throughout Virginia’s History

On January 7, 2014, at 6:00 PM the Library of Virginia will present a discussion of church-state relationships based on scholar Thomas Buckley’s recently published book, Establishing Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Statute in Virginia. The bookoffers a comprehensive analysis of the legislation, which shaped the First Amendment and American ideas about church-state relations. Joining Buckley will be Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Shapiro and Ben Campbell, pastoral director of Richmond Hill, in a free-wheeling discussion of church-state relationships during key points in Virginia’s history up to the present. The discussion will be moderated by historian Brent Tarter.

Thomas Jefferson originally drafted the bill proposing the separation of church and state in Virginia in 1777. Eventually the bill was passed by the General Assembly in 1786 thanks to the political skills of James Madison. Its passage concluded the effort to disestablish the Church of England, which had been the official state church of the colony since its founding in 1607.

One of the most eloquent statements of religious freedom ever written, the statute influenced both the drafting of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the United States Supreme Court's understanding of religious freedom. The original engrossed bill is housed in the Library of Virginia’s archives and is one of the state’s most important possessions.

The Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia appeared to separate church and state completely. It helped shape the First Amendment and American ideas about church-state relations; but in Virginia, the law of unintended consequences repeatedly required legislative and judicial intervention for a century and a half after the act was passed. And it still does.

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Registration Is Open for “The American Civil War in a Global Context” Conference

Registration is now open for the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission’s 2014 Signature Conference, the sixth installment in the popular annual series. "The American Civil War in a Global Context" provides the opportunity to look at the Civil War from an intriguing perspective and situates its meaning in the wider currents of world history. The conference will take place on Saturday, May 31, 2014, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax, Virginia.

The Civil War was an intense national struggle, but it was also an international event in many ways. Considering it from this standpoint provides a number of unexpected connections between the American crisis and the wider world, while shedding new light on the war itself.

The conference will juxtapose the Civil War with other internal conflicts during the same period—the national unifications in Europe, the struggles over identity in Japan, and rebellions in China and India. Each case has distinctive features, which comparison helps to highlight, but some common issues provide fresh insights into the American experience.

Dr. Peter N. Stearns, provost and professor of history at George Mason University, chairs the program, which brings together historians of international acclaim to discuss the war's wider impact in areas ranging from the global cotton trade, to international abolition efforts, to changes in future military operations, to the implications of the Civil War as one of the first wars fought in an industrial age.

Scheduled speakers include Kenneth Blume, Lisa Brady, Enrico Dal Lago, Hugh Dubrulle, Niels Eichhorn, Howard Fuller, Christopher Hamner, Jeanne and David Heidler, Brian Platt, Paul Quigley, Brian Schoen, and David Surdam.

Registration fee is $15 (conference only) or $25 (conference and lunch). For more information view the conference FAQ or call (804) 786-3591.

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Reading Rooms News

Library of Virginia users can now scan pages from books at no charge using our new Bookeye 4 scanners. Two new self-service scanners allow users to scan and save images from books to a USB drive. The scanners were purchased using funds from the Federal Library Services and Technology Act monies awarded to the Library.

The Library also has a new photocopy/print system. A Library of Virginia card is now required in order to make photocopies or printouts. The card can be used with the photocopy machines, microform printers, and all computer print stations. Funds may be added to a library card by using a cashier machine. The machine accepts bills and credit or debit cards. The library card may be revalued and used indefinitely.

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Pearl Bailey Library Recognized for Best After-School Arts and Humanities Program

The Pearl Bailey Library Youth Program recently was recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama as a winner of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This is the highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities. Demetria Tucker, senior family and youth services librarian at Pearl Bailey Library, and Nasir Curry, president of the Teen Advisory Committee for Pearl Bailey Library, received the award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on November 22.

The Pearl Bailey Library Youth Program is one of 12 such programs from across the country that was selected to receive this award from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists. The award honors exemplary after-school and out-of-school-time programs that generate positive youth outcomes. The program is designed to expand knowledge of literature and engage youth as stakeholders in their library.

“The work libraries do with youth is one of the most important,” said Izabela Cieszynski, director of the Newport News Public Library System. “Youth represent our future, and our mission is to help ensure that they have the tools they need for academic, financial and personal success, thus enabling a successful community.”

The Pearl Bailey Library Youth Program offers a variety of activities designed to expand knowledge of literature and encourage participants to read for pleasure and personal interest. These include a summer reading program, book club discussions, and a student-led Teen Advisory Committee and For Kids Only Club, both of which allow participants to assist librarians with book selections and additional program development. The participants ultimately become stakeholders in the library system by playing an active role in the books that are purchased by the library for other kids in their community to read.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards is an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The President’s Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities to administer the program.

—submitted by Kim Lee, Office of the City Manager, City of Newport News

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Database Spotlight: Access Newspaper Archive

For several years, visitors to the Library of Virginia have been able to explore the extensive collection of historical newspapers found in the Access Newspaper Archive database. The Library is pleased to announce that remote access to this resource is now available. The Access Newspaper Archive includes local, national, and foreign newspapers, with coverage dates ranging from 1607 to the present day. Issues from numerous Virginia newspapers such as the Bee (Danville, Virginia), the Progress Index (Petersburg, Virginia), and the Winchester Star can be browsed or searched.

Users can browse newspapers by location, date, or title, or choose to view only recently added content for a particular location and time period. Searches can be done by first and last name, keyword, or exact phrase and then refined by date and/or newspaper location. There is also the option to search only front-page articles. Page images can be viewed or saved in either PDF or JPEG formats.

The Access Newspaper Archive database contains tens of millions of pages, with approximately 2.5 million new pages being added each month. Your Library of Virginia library card is your key to exploring this remarkable 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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Childs and McIntire Leave Library for New Jobs

The week of November 11 was filled with bittersweet news for the Library of Virginia. Carl Childs, director of Local Records Services at the Library since 2005, and Mary Beth McIntire, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation since 2003, announced that they are leaving the Library to take new jobs. Childs, who joined the Library in 1993 as a library assistant, left November 26 to accept a job as director of archives and records for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. McIntire left on December 6 to become chief executive officer of the Comfort Zone Camp, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Richmond that runs bereavement camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver.

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Wood Named to Library Board

Governor Bob McDonnell has named Patricia M. Wood of Midlothian, an attorney at MeyerGoergen PC, to the Library Board. Wood fills the unexpired term of Meyera Oberndorf and will serve until July 1, 2014. Wood’s legal practice is primarily focused on the representation of businesses, construction and development litigation, and collections and receivables management.

She earned her juris doctorate from the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University in 2007 and her BS from Pennsylvania State University in 2004. She is a member of River City Express Network, a Richmond group affiliated with the American Business Women's Association, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Virginia State Archives.

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