The Library of Virginia Newsletter
September 2015

Library of Virginia Announces Finalists for the 18th Annual Literary Awards

Nine authors are the finalists for the Library of Virginia’s 18th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards honoring Virginia authors or, in the case of nonfiction, works on a Virginia subject. One additional author has received honorable mention.

The finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges from 136 books nominated for the awards. The winners in each category will be selected from among these finalists and announced at a gala celebration on October 17, 2015, at the Library of Virginia.

•           Spans: New and Selected Poems                 Elizabeth Seydel Morgan       
•           The Cabinetmaker’s Window                         Steve Scafidi
•           Sweet Husk                                                    Corrie Williamson                   
The judges also selected an honorable mention in the poetry category: What the Neighbors Know by Melanie McCabe.
•           A Kind of Dream                                             Kelly Cherry
•           What Is Visible                                                Kimberly Elkins                      
•           The Great Glass Sea                                     Josh Weil                   
•           Give War and Peace a Chance                     Andrew Kaufman       
•           The Road to Black Ned’s Forge                     Turk McCleskey
•           Overwhelmed                                                 Brigid Schulte

The Library of Virginia’s annual literary awards were first given in 1998 to recognize the best books published the previous year by Virginia authors or on a Virginia theme. The winners in each of the three categories receive a monetary prize of $2,500.

This year’s finalists include Kelly Cherry, novelist and former Poet Laureate of Virginia; Kimberly Elkins, a first-time novelist; Josh Weil, a National Book Award “5 Under 35” author; Elizabeth Seydel Morgan, a winner of the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize and the Philabaum Award from LSU Press; Steve Scafidi, winner of the Larry Levis Reading Prize and the Miller Williams Prize; Corrie Williamson, winner of the Perugia Press Prize and the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry; Andrew D. Kaufman, an internationally recognized Tolstoy scholar; Turk McCleskey, a professor of history at Virginia Military Institute; and Brigid Schulte, a staff writer for the Washington Post.

The winners of the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry awards will be announced on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at the 18th Annual Library of Virginia Awards Celebration Honoring Virginia Authors & Friends. This gala event, sponsored by Dominion, attracts authors, publishers, and those who enjoy the written word. Award-winning author Adriana Trigiani will again serve as host for this event. Jan Karon will be honored this year as the recipient of the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award.

For ticket information, please call (804) 692-3900.

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What’s Happening at LVA During the 2015 UCI Road World Championships

The race course for the 2015 World Championships, which run from Sunday, September 20 through Sunday, September 27, passes along Broad Street in front of the Library of Virginia. We’re inviting people coming out for the races to visit the Library. It won’t be a normal week at the Library, but lots of fun things will be happening.

During race week the Library’s new exhibition, Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation, will be open to the public. Visitors will be able to purchase cowbells to cheer on riders, neat bike-related souvenirs, Virginia-centric gifts, books, T-shirts, postcards, bookmarks and bookplates, and much more in the Virginia Shop.

The Discovery Café will help you keep on the move during the bike races with a special offering of grab- and-go sandwiches, salads, fruit, chips, and cold drinks. Look for a pop-up café in the Library’s lobby Monday through Friday of race week.

You can take your photo in our face-cut-out photo board with a historic bike image from our collection, along with instructions to tag photos with #lvabikehistory. In the lobby we will digitally display all of the images captured with the #lvabikehistory tag, interspersed with images from the Library’s collections.

The reading rooms of the Library will be open on Saturday, September 19, but many downtown roads will be closed as well others in Tobacco Row, Rocketts Landing, and Battlefield Park, and around Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

For more details, see the Richmond Roads Guide:

The reading rooms of the Library of Virginia will be closed to researchers from Monday, September 21, through Friday, September 25, because of the closure of Broad Street, the I-95 exit ramps toward westbound Broad Street, and numerous streets in downtown Richmond, as well as the closure to the public of the Library’s underground parking deck. E-mail and telephone reference will be available during the week.

The Library will be closed on Saturday, September 26, when large numbers of people will descend on the downtown area for the Elite Women and Elite Men road races, making access to the Library difficult.

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Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society to Hold Conference in Richmond

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogy Society’s (AAHGS) national genealogical conference will be held October 15–17, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia. With the theme “Virginia, Where African-American Roots Run Deep: Family History and the National Narrative,” this conference will explore Virginia’s unique place in African-American family history, local and national episodes in the American history narrative, and connections between Virginia and the rest of the nation.

Preconference activities include visits to numerous historical sites and family research opportunities that only Richmond can offer. The Library of Virginia will provide conference attendees an introduction to using its genealogical resources, offered on multiple days; a lecture related to its exhibition Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation concentrating on efforts to reunite formerly enslaved families following emancipation; and a preconference workshop on “African-American Research at the Library of Virginia: Genealogy to 1870.” In honor of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Archives Month program, the Library of Virginia will offer special public tours through some rarely seen parts of the Library on October 19.

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogy Society, founded in 1977, aims to foster and encourage historical and genealogical studies of families of all ethnic groups, with special emphasis on Afro-Americans.

More information on the AAHGS Conference can be found at the group’s website at

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Donate to the Library and Become “Amazing”!

Never donated to the Library of Virginia? Now’s the time! Help the Library through the upcoming charity event the Amazing Raise!

Beginning on Wednesday, September 16 at 6:00 AM and running through Thursday, September 17 until 6:00 PM, you have the opportunity to help the Library of Virginia by donating through the Amazing Raise! Created by Richmond’s Community Foundation in 2010, the Amazing Raise has helped charities raise more than $5 million.

Anyone making a minimum donation of $25 to the Library of Virginia will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate from the Library’s Virginia Shop. Anyone make a donation of $50 or more will be entered into the drawing and will also receive a one-year membership to the Library’s Semper Virginia Society. Gifts of $50 or more are designated as “unique” gifts that can help the Library win additional prizes. There is no maximum per donation or per charity.

Your gift is 100 percent tax deductible and you have the satisfaction of helping the Library continue to acquire and preserve Virginia’s fascinating history.

Donations can be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, using the event’s website, For more information, visit the Amazing Raise website or call the Library of Virginia Foundation office at (804) 692-3900.

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French Bicycle Maps from the Library’s Collection Featured on Facebook and Twitter

In honor of the 2015 Road World Championships (Worlds), cycling’s pinnacle event, which will soon take place in Richmond, the Library of Virginia will post digital images of French bicycle and automobile maps from our archival map collection on the Library’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Mrs. Harry Hodges donated approximately 52 maps to the Library on March 13, 1941. Most are French bicycle maps that were published by the Paris firm Cartes Taride, located at 18 & 20 Boulevard, Saint Denis. A. Taride is noted as the editor of the series. Each sheet is separately numbered and titled, some are dated, and others are sectioned and mounted on cloth. Some sheets include areas of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. When the Taride firm first published these maps in the early part of the 20th century, 34 sheets covered the entire country of France.

Mrs. Hodges donation included topographic maps of France published during World War I and at least two maps of Paris published by the Michelin firm about 1913. Roads and road numbers, railway lines, prefectures, towns, monuments, and other details are included and covers are still attached to the maps.

At this time the collection remains unprocessed and uncataloged. To look at this collection, request Map Accession 5215 in the Library’s Map Reading Room, which is open for research Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

–submitted by Cassandra Farrell, Collections Access and Management Services

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Mark Your Calendars for Final Holiday Shoppers Fair

After a 21-year run, the Museum Stores of Richmond Holiday Shoppers’ Fair will be held for the last time on November 6 and 7 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. This event is free and open to the public.

A special member preview takes place Thursday, November 5 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Members of any participating museum can show membership ID to receive 10 percent off all purchases and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

The Shoppers’ Fair has been a local favorite throughout its run, bringing together Richmond-area museum gift shops under one roof to offer specialty items for sale. Last year’s fair was hosted by the Library of Virginia.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the following participating museums: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Science Museum of Virginia, Agecroft Hall, Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, Preservation Virginia, Library of Virginia, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Historical Society, and The Valentine Museum.

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Supporters Establish the Harriet Henderson Coalter Endowment for Early Childhood Literacy

The Richmond Public Library Board of Trustees, the Richmond Public Library Foundation, and the Friends of the Library have established an endowment fund to honor Harriet Henderson Coalter for her ten years of service to the Richmond Public Library and her commitment to early childhood literacy and education.

Harriet Henderson Coalter came to the Richmond Public Library in 2005 from Montgomery County, Maryland, where she was director of Montgomery County Public Libraries for eight years. She has also served as director of the Louisville Free Public Library (KY), Newport News (VA) Public Library, and Tyler (TX) Public Library.

A past president of the Public Library Association (PLA), Coalter co-chaired the Every Child Ready to Read project for PLA and the Association for Library Services to Children. She has also served as president of the Virginia Library Association, as a member of the Urban Libraries Council Board of Directors, and as councilor-at-large for the American Library Association.

The endowment fund will generate an annual grant award for library staff pursuing projects in support of the library’s efforts toward early literacy and education. Examples of applicable projects include Every Child Ready to Read, Mind in the Making, school readiness, and initiatives that support parents or early childhood educators. The fund will accept requests for program support, staff training, capital enhancements, and program promotion.

To make a donation, please contact Karin Hansen, executive director, Richmond Public Library Foundation, at (804) 646-5511 or

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