The Library of Virginia Newsletter

Holiday Schedule

The Library of Virginia will be closed Friday–Monday, December 23–26, 2016, for the Christmas holiday and Saturday–Monday, December 31, 2016–January 2, 2017, for the New Year’s holiday. In addition, the State Records Center will be closed Wednesday–Thursday, December 28–29, 2016. Please plan your research trips and visits to the Library to avoid these dates.

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Check Out Our Website Before You Visit

Looking for a branch of your family tree? Trying to find out when your home or business was built? Or do you just want to browse books on Virginia’s history and culture? You can do all of these things at the Library of Virginia, but it’s a big place with literally millions of items! We want to make sure that your visit is as seamless as possible. Here are some tips on what you can do before your visit to make your time with us efficient and enjoyable.

Before visiting, check out our website: Click on “About Us” at the top of the main page. There you’ll find Policies and Guidelines for using our collections as well as a Visitors’ Guide, which is especially helpful for first-time users. It offers short videos to help you prepare for your visit and orient you to our building, with information on parking and directions. Click on “News and Events,” also at the top of the main page, for a calendar of events and our holiday schedule.

It’s helpful to have some items identified before you visit. Go to the “For the Public” section from the main page to explore our collections. You’ll find a topical guide, indexes, and databases on the “Using the Collections” page. Click on “Search the LVA Catalog” to find books, newspapers, archival resources, and Special Collections items such as rare books, photographs, maps, and architectural plans. Also under “For the Public” is a link to Virginia Memory, a fantastic assortment of digital resources including indexes and images from a wide range of collections. If you’re doing genealogical research, check our Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm at the following link: Many of these are available through the Inter-Library Loan program.

With all of these remote resources available, you might wonder, “Why should I come?” Well, the millions of digital images on our website are only a tiny fraction of our overall holdings. Negotiating such a vast collection requires the expertise of archivists and librarians who work with these materials every day. Go to the “Contact Us” link at the top of the main page and don’t hesitate to call or e-mail if you have any questions. Be sure to bring photo identification with a current address, which is required to obtain a library card. You will need a library card to access items as well as to make copies or printouts. Consider bringing a USB drive to save the digital images you find. We hope to see you soon!

–submitted by Gregg Kimball, Director of Public Services and Outreach

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Holiday Shopping Made Easy

Visit the Virginia Shop at the Library during December for your holiday gift giving. All in-store purchases of regularly priced items will be 25 percent off between December 12 and 22. All holiday-themed items are available at a 30 percent discount when ordered online at

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Year-End Giving Supports the Commonwealth’s Treasures

As we approach the holidays, please consider a year-end gift in support of the Library of Virginia. Funding from individuals like you—people who truly appreciate the importance of our collections—plays a vital role in sustaining our acquisition and restoration efforts.

Your donation of at least $50 will also provide all the benefits that come with membership, including an annual print subscription to Broadside, our quarterly magazine; 10 percent off all purchases at the Virginia Shops; and invitations to special members-only events and programs. Most importantly, by making a tax-deductible gift, you help ensure that the Library continues to promote, preserve, and exhibit the Commonwealth's vast treasures.

And because we are in the season of giving, why not give the gift of membership? You can arrange a gift membership by calling Dawn Greggs at (804) 692-3813.

You can make your gift by printing and mailing the form located on the Library's website ( or by calling Dawn Greggs.

–submitted by Amy Bridge, Executive Director, Library of Virginia Foundation

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Nominate Your Favorite Virginia Authors and Books for the Literary Awards

Now is your chance to nominate books for the Library of Virginia's 2017 literary awards. The deadline for all nominations is February 10, 2017. Books eligible for the awards must have been written by a Virginia author or, for nonfiction books, have a Virginia-related theme. A Virginia author is defined as a writer meeting one or more of the following qualifications: a native-born Virginian, an author living in Virginia, or an author whose permanent home address is in Virginia.

Entries may be submitted in the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Reference works, anthologies, documentary editions, children's and juvenile literature, photographic books, self-help books, and "how-to" books are not eligible for this award.

Entries for the 2017 awards must have been published and distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2016. Four copies must be submitted for each book nominated.

Entry forms may be submitted online through the Library’s website at You may also print and complete the nomination form ( and mail it to: The Library of Virginia Literary Awards, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23219-8000. For more information about the Library’s Literary Awards program, please call (804) 692-3535.

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