The Library of Virginia Newsletter
December 2013

Library of Virginia and Rockbridge Regional Library Collaborate to Identity Subjects in Photographs

Family on Bench

The Library of Virginia is on a quest to identify subjects in 58 portraits from the late 19th and early 20th centuries featured in a group of unidentified glass-plate negatives housed in the Library's Prints and Photographs Collection. The portraits will be on display at Rockbridge Regional Library’s headquarters at 138 South Main Street in Lexington through January 31. The images are portraits taken at the studio of Michael Miley (1841–1918), a Lexington photographer known for his post–Civil War portraits of Robert E. Lee who often captured his subjects in unusually candid poses.

Dana Puga, prints and photographs collection specialist at the Library of Virginia, and Margaret Whittington, head of Adult Services at Rockbridge Regional Library are collaborating on the effort to identify the individuals depicted in the photographs. “Photographs are the best way to capture a moment in time. If the subjects are identified, it connects people to that time and place and provides a connection to the present day,” said Puga. The Library of Virginia's Prints and Photographs Collection houses more than 240,000 prints, photographs, postcards, posters, and ephemera that record life in cities, towns, and rural areas across Virginia.

The photographs are available online through the photo-sharing website Flickr ( and are displayed in 11x17-inch format in a book at Rockbridge Regional Library—with a second book that allows people to submit identifications. The library’s hours are Monday–Thursday, 10:00 AM–8:00 PM and Friday–Saturday, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.

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Library of Virginia Makes E-mails from Governor Timothy M. Kaine Available Online

Every four years in Virginia, the outgoing governor prepares for the next phase of his life and career, while the governor-elect creates a team and legislative agenda to launch the beginning of a new term. Every four years in Virginia, the Library of Virginia receives the official records of the outgoing administration and works with the new administration to plan record keeping for the next four years. In between, the governor and his key staff make tough policy decisions on transportation, education, and the budget, while responding to unexpected issues or emergencies. During that same time period, the Library of Virginia works to make the previous governor’s records open to the public to illuminate the processes, struggles, and compromises that underscore the decision-making process.

In January 2010, the Library of Virginia received from the administration of Governor Timothy M. Kaine (2006–2010) one terabyte of electronic records including 352,081 office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs), 229 e-mail boxes, 32,000 images, 338 video files, and 332 audio files. At the time, this was the second and the largest electronic records transfer the Library had ever received. The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the release of 66,422 of the approximately 1.3 million e-mails from the Kaine administration transferred to the Library of Virginia four years ago. This first batch comprises e-mails from individuals in Kaine’s Executive Office. “We are proud to be the first state government archives in the United States to make the e-mails of a previous administration freely available to the public online,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway. Access to the collection and other related content is available at

The Kaine administration online collection is organized alphabetically by administration staff member and is full-text searchable. The e-mail messages reveal the real-time reactions of the governor’s top staff members to the issues facing the commonwealth. Whether formulating a strategy to address the future of Fort Monroe, dealing with business closures and relocations, planning for weather-related disasters, garnering legislative approval for the governor’s legislative priorities, or weighing in on drafts of State of the Commonwealth addresses, the e-mails reveal the behind-the-scenes strategizing and communication among the governor and his senior staff. The efforts of the Kaine administration to deal with shortfall in the state's biennial budget as the nation suffered through the worst economic downturn since the 1930s are well-documented in these electronic communications.

Members of the Executive Office include the governor, chief of staff, counselor to the governor, and their deputies and assistants. Included in this initial release are the e-mail files of Tim Kaine, William Leighty, Wayne Turnage, Larry Roberts, Mark Rubin, and Stephen Harms. Other familiar names in Virginia government are prevalent in this collection, including: members of the McDonnell and the McAuliffe administrations such as Ric Brown, Marla Decker, Suzette Denslow, Anne Holton, Martin Kent, and Felix Sarfo-Kantanka; and two current General Assembly members, Eileen Filler-Corn and Alfonso Lopez. The Library of Virginia continues historic access to the records of its chief executives, begun with the records of our first governor, Patrick Henry (1776–1779), with this release of electronic materials and the availability of the paper records of the Kaine administration in the Library’s reading rooms. As with the records of every modern governor, the Kaine materials were reviewed according to guidance set forth in § 2.2-126 of the Code of Virginia and the Office of the Governor Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. On the advice of the Office of the Attorney

General, messages pertaining to the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting will not be opened until the final resolution of all litigation relating to the tragedy. Some of these records may be kept confidential longer as a result of terms of settlement agreements. More information on these processes is available on the Kaine E-mail Project website,

The Library expects to release e-mail from the Kaine administration in several phases by office or secretariat as soon as the Library’s archival staff has finished processing the material per Code of Virginia § 2.2-126 and § 42.1-78. Some records may remain closed based on other provisions of the Code, such as the Virginia Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act and the Virginia Health Records Privacy Act.

The next release of more than 50,000 e-mails from the Policy Office, the Communications/Press Office, and the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is planned for spring 2014.

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Governor Announces Board Appointments

Before leaving office, Governor Bob McDonnell reappointed Sara Baron, Ed.D., of Hampton, dean of Regent University Library; Brooks Miles Barnes of Onancock, a historian and librarian at the Eastern Shore Public Library; and Dr. Aaron D. Purcell of Blacksburg, director of Special Collections at Virginia Tech to the State Historical Records Advisory Board. He appointed Dr. Nashid Madyun of Hampton, director of Museum and Archives at Hampton University, to a vacancy on the board.

The State Historical Records Advisory Board serves as the central advisory body for historical records planning and related projects developed and carried out by the state. The Board promotes and supports statewide policies and practices that ensure the preservation of and access to the commonwealth's public and private historical records.

In an additional move, the governor appointed Carolyn S. Berkowitz of Burke, managing vice president of community affairs at Capital One, to a vacancy on the Library Board. The Library Board consists of 15 members appointed by the governor for five-year terms.

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Database Spotlight: American Civil War Research Database

The American Civil War Research database is a great place to begin researching your Civil War ancestors. This resource provides information for more than 4 million Civil War soldiers, and includes over 17,000 photographs. In addition to 222 volumes of rosters published by the state adjutants general, it contains soldiers’ military records, pension index records, 1860 census records, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) records, Roll of Honor records, Medal of Honor records, and regimental histories. It also includes battle orders and reports of particularly significant battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

Extensive information that can be used for statistical analysis—such as soldiers’ methods of entry into and exit from the military, age at enlistment, and the number of prisoners taken and casualties incurred during battles—is also provided. Users can view statistics for large-scale trends and then narrow their analysis to a specific regiment to see how it was affected. For example, you can study a graph on the Analysis Chart tool that depicts desertion numbers for both Union and Confederate troops, and then view the desertion numbers for a single regiment using the Regimental Dynamics tool.

The database includes an extensive bibliography and is updated semiannually with new information and photographs. Your Library of Virginia library card is your key to exploring this very useful 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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Library to Present February 19 Program on Crusading African American Editor John Mitchell: Life and Legacy of Richmond's “Race Man”

On February 19 at 7:00 PM, a panel of historians and journalists will offer commentary on John Mitchell Jr., editor of the important African American newspaper the Richmond Planet. Under his tenure the Planet gained a reputation as a proponent of racial equality and as a steadfast opponent of lynching. Early in the 20th century, the term “race man” described a public figure who promoted the interests of African Americans on every front. Mitchell published the Richmond Planet from 1884 to 1929 and made it one of the most influential black newspapers of its time. Greg McQuade of Richmond television station WTVR moderates a conversation on this important figure with historian Roice Luke, Mitchell biographer Ann Field Alexander, and Brenda Andrews, owner and publisher of the Norfolk Journal and Guide, the commonwealth's oldest black weekly newspaper. This free event takes place in the Lecture Hall.

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Worth the Wait: 62 Years of Virginia Wildlife Magazine Now Digitally Archived

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and the Library of Virginia are pleased to announce a joint partnership to digitize and make available 62 years of Virginia Wildlife magazines from January 1959 through December 2012. If you currently subscribe or have ever read a copy of the state’s leading hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife magazine, you will know that Virginia Wildlife  holds a wealth of information, historical facts, incredible photographs, maps, and some of the finest wild game and fish recipes to be found anywhere.

The Library of Virginia facilitated the scanning of Virginia Wildlife through the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Project – a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program that has made digitization easy and affordable for libraries and cultural institutions across the country. Through a partnership with the Internet Archive, all items were scanned from cover to cover and in full color.  You can choose from a variety of formats, page through a magazine choosing the “read online” option, download PDFs, view on EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, DjVu, or search the full text version. To view the collections, simply visit or visit for a direct link.

“Providing access to unique content about Virginia is something we at the Library care deeply about,” Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway commented. “There is nothing like the handsomely illustrated Virginia Wildlife available anywhere else, and we are thrilled that we could assist in making this rich resource easy for citizens to use in convenient digital format.”

—submitted by Lee Walker, Outreach Director, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

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