The Library of Virginia Newsletter
June 2014

LVA and HOME Collaborate to Offer Mapping RVA: Where You Live Makes All the Difference

From June 2 through August 23, 2014, the Library of Virginia will host Mapping RVA: Where You Live Makes All the Difference, a traveling exhibition. The multimedia exhibition of nine maps created by Brian Koziol, director of research and consulting services of Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME), uses geographic information systems to show the unique history of the Richmond metropolitan area. The maps examine the connection between public policy and economic development in the Richmond region through a fair housing lens. Also on display will be historic maps from the Library’s collections that highlight the evolution of the city’s neighborhoods and the role that policy makers have played in shaping neighborhood demographics. The exhibition will be on display on the second floor of the Library.

Where you live makes all the difference, but that difference has a history. The current circumstances of Richmond’s neighborhoods have roots in state and federal policies that have had lasting effects on concentrations of poverty and growth, lending patterns, homeownership, and educational outcomes for children. Neighborhoods that received a D grade in the 1950s now have a high concentration of federal housing subsidies and high levels of poverty. Children in these same neighborhoods score lower on SOL tests than their peers in neighborhoods with low poverty rates. During the foreclosure crisis, these neighborhoods featured high rates of default.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library of Virginia will host a panel discussion, Mapping Inequality in Richmond, on June 10 featuring John Moeser, senior fellow at the University of Richmond's Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, and Brian Koziol, from HOME. Dr. Gregg Kimball, director of public services and outreach at the Library of Virginia, will moderate the discussion. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions following the talk and will then be invited to join the panelists on a guided tour through the exhibition. This event, which runs from 5:30 until 7:30 PM, is free and open to the public.

HOME is Virginia’s only nonprofit fair housing enforcement agency with the mission of ensuring equal access to housing for all people. In addition to enforcing and advocating for the best policies for all Virginians, the organization works to educate its neighbors. HOME is excited to partner with the Library of Virginia to share this perspective on Richmond’s past and present, and invites the public to discuss how we can all work together to improve Richmond’s future.

The Library of Virginia is the official archives of the commonwealth and the state library. It holds the most comprehensive collection of material about Virginia’s history, government, and culture and is one of the world’s leading map repositories.

–submitted by Morgan Baker, HOME, and Adrienne Robertson, Public Services and Outreach Services 

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More Kaine E-mails Available Online

Although the Library launched the Kaine E-mail Project back in January, the work of adding more content to the collection and spreading the word about the project has not stopped.

On May 13, we released another 44,534 e-mails—this time from the Kaine Policy and Communication/Press Offices—bringing the number of e-mails freely available online to nearly 111,000. We’ve had wonderful, supportive responses from the public, the press, and our colleagues in the archives world.

When staff members aren’t busy processing all of that content, they are busy promoting it. Roger Christman, Susan Gray Page, and Ben Bromley have been actively engaging the public with this complex and interesting content, as well as with the technical details of making it openly available.

On April 10, all three participated in a Society of American Archivists’ Records Management Roundtable and Electronic Records Section “virtual hangout” called “Archiving E-mail: Two Innovative Projects.” Archives and Records Management professionals around the country tuned in to watch a live-stream presentation about our project, as well as one on the Smithsonian Institution Archives’ Collaborative Electronic Records Project. The recording is available on YouTube at

Christman and Page visited with graduate students at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University on April 29. During this brown bag lunch event, Christman shared with the students and professors the depth and variety of the Kaine e-mail collection and drove home the importance of these materials in developing a greater understanding of what it takes to run the state government on a day-to-day basis.

Through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Council of State Archivists (COSA) hosts monthly educational webinars for archivists from all over the country on issues related to electronic records and digital preservation. On May 13, Page presented a talk on the behind-the-scenes technical processes that make the Kaine e-mails available online. Susan Perkes from the Utah State Archives also spoke on their recent efforts in preserving government e-mails. Viewers of the webinar gave both presenters "kudos and a standing ovation" and declared that the presentations, which “left their heads spinning,” were “excellent,” “very informative,” and “well-done.” This webinar, and others in the series, are available on COSA’s website at

You can follow our adventures in making the Kaine e-mails available by visiting the project at Or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Out of the Box blog (

—submitted by Kathy Jordan, Information Technology

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Register Online for an LVA Library Card

Library of Virginia patrons can now register online as well as in person for a library card. Residents of Virginia may now obtain a library card by completing an application form and mailing or e-mailing it along with a copy of their driver’s license or ID with a current address. A card will be mailed to your residence within two weeks. The application is available online at Completed applications should be e-mailed or mailed to our access services manager, Tina Miller, at:
Tina Miller
Access Services/Registration
Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219-8000

The Library is unable to issue remote library cards to out-of-state residents due to licensing agreements for digital content. Non-Virginia residents must still register in person. You may complete the registration form in advance and bring it and a photo ID with current address to the Library to register. The process takes about five minutes.

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Rewarding Virginia's Warriors: Commemorating 70 Years of the GI Bill

The Library of Virginia will present a display of materials in its reading rooms from June 16 through July 19 commemorating 70 years of the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act—or, as it is commonly known, the original GI Bill. Signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on June 22, 1944, the GI Bill provided a wide range of benefits for veterans returning from World War II, including low-cost home loans, education, and vocational training.

According to a 1988 congressional study, the original GI bill cost $14 billion and returned more than $100 billion to the government in the form of increased income taxes paid by these veterans over the next 35 years of their work life. In other words, the government’s investment in veterans’ higher education returned $7 for every dollar invested. Under the legislation, educational costs included tuition, lab fees, books, health insurance, and supplies.

The Library’s display will highlight Revolutionary War land bounties, petitions for pensions, and post–Civil War applications for prosthetics. Revolutionary War bounties were given as a result of a 1779 law designed to encourage longer military service. In order to qualify for bounty land, a soldier or sailor had to serve at least three years continuously in the State Line, Continental Line, or State Navy.

Over several sessions of the Virginia General Assembly, laws to increase military enlistment in the Revolutionary War service were adopted. These laws authorized the payment of pensions to maimed and disabled soldiers and to the widows of men killed in action. A few of the pensions in the Library’s collection are for the French and Indian War.

Financial assistance for Confederate veterans and their families was secured by acts adopted by the General Assembly in 1888, 1900, and 1902, followed by a series of supplementary acts through 1934. The initial act provided pensions to Confederate soldiers, sailors, and marines disabled in action and to the widows of those killed in action. Subsequent acts broadened the coverage to include all veterans, their widows, and their unmarried or widowed daughters and sisters.

In addition, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation, effective in 1867 and ending in 1894, to provide artificial limbs and other disability benefits to Virginia veterans of the Civil War. Injured soldiers submitted certificates from their county court stating that they were Virginia citizens, that they had lost a limb or had been otherwise disabled in the war, and what assistance they required.

Rewarding Virginia's Warriors: Commemorating 70 Years of the GI Bill will also include artifacts from Hanger, Inc. The first documented amputee of the American Civil War, James Edward Hanger, founded the company in Virginia in 1861. Hanger’s leg was badly injured by a cannonball, resulting in the leg’s amputation two days after he enlisted in the Confederate Army. After his return home he began work on the design of a new prosthetic leg. He secured patents for the limb from the Confederate government and later was granted a U.S. patent for his innovative design.

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LVA Attracts a Crowd during NGS Conference

What happens when 2,593 dedicated genealogists come to town for the annual National Genealogical Society conference? Many of them arrive at the Library of Virginia before 9:00 AM ready to research ancestors, solve mysteries in family trees, and visit the treasure trove of genealogical information on those who were born, lived in, or started out in Virginia.

NGS last held its annual conference in Richmond in 2007. In those halcyon days before the economy tanked, the Library had 200 employees. In 2014, the staff numbers 140, thus, the agency-wide call for staff volunteers during the conference. More than 50 staff and agency volunteers responded to the call and found themselves with an even greater appreciation of the Library’s public service staff. Library staff who normally do not work in the reading rooms re-shelved books (no real knowledge of LC or Dewey Decimal needed), loaded or filed microfilm, explained the inner workings of book scanners and photo copiers, located county abstracts, pulled manuscripts, or registered patrons.

To put things in perspective, between May 5 and 10, our staff answered more questions and served more than twice the number of archives manuscripts than they did during the entire month of April. The Virginia Shop and the Discovery Café also saw increased business.

Response from NGS conference attendees has been positive. This e-mail from a patron sums it up. “I just wanted to say how very nice and helpful everyone at LVA was last week during the onslaught of NGS. I was not with the conference but recognized the intensity and density of the demands on everyone last week. Your pleasantness and assistance at such a busy time was greatly appreciated.”

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Virginia Libraries to Participate in Read and Feed

Virginia public libraries are joining forces with the Virginia Department of Health, No Kid Hungry, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, SODEXO Foundation, Wal-Mart, Kaiser Permanente, and the Virginia Department of Education to connect children to summer meals during the long summer months. Through, parents and caregivers can find sites offering free summer meals in their area. No Kid Hungry has provided online resource materials for libraries including a website widget to promote the program.

Every summer when school ends, millions of kids and teens are at risk of going hungry because they no longer have access to the free and reduced-price meals they receive while in school. The USDA has created the Summer Food Service Program to cover this summer-meal gap. Efforts are underway to raise public awareness of this underused program. Government agencies and community-based organizations are working hard to change this reality, and libraries can be a part of the solution.

More than one in six children in Virginia face a constant struggle against hunger. Fewer than 15 percent of Virginia children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch currently participate in free summer meals programs. Low enrollment can be attributed to a number of factors, including lack of awareness of available programs and services, language or cultural barriers, and complicated enrollment procedures. The Virginia No Kid Hungry campaign believes the most effective way to reduce childhood hunger in the state is to improve the number of eligible families participating in these already-established programs and to encourage community members to get involved to address the issue.

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People's Choice Voting Closes June 30

For more than decade the Library of Virginia has offered the People’s Choice Awards as part of its annual literary awards. Fiction and nonfiction finalists for the People’s Choice Awards are drawn from the list of books nominated for the literary awards.

Voting for the People’s Choice Awards is open through June 30. You can vote online at

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2014 Legacy Symposium on the War of 1812 held June 21

The Virginia Bicentennial of the War of 1812 Commission is sponsoring the Legacy Symposium on the War of 1812. On Saturday, June 21, from 8:15 AM until 4:00 PM at Hampton University, historians and scholars will discuss ‘the forgotten war,” which marked the first invasion of the United States by a foreign power and helped establish the United States as an international power.

The eminent historians and scholars featured include: Donald Hickey, author and professor of history at Wayne State College; Dr. Gene Allen Smith, author of The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812, and professor of history at Texas Christian University; Steve Vogel, historian and author of Through the Perilous Fight; Dr. Michael Crawford, Naval Heritage Command, U.S. Department of the Navy; and Glenn F. Williams, senior historian, U.S. Army Center of Military History.

The symposium is open to the public and the $40 admission fee includes lunch. The fee must be paid by June 14 by credit card or by check payable to Treasurer of Virginia (include “War of 1812 Commission” on the check memo line). Please remit checks to Hampton University, ATTN: Treasurer’s Office, 100 E. Queen Street, Hampton, VA, 23668.

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