Programs

Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Each autumn, the Library of Virginia hosts the Annual Virginia Literary Awards Celebration. This gala event, sponsored by Dominion, attracts authors, publishers, and those who enjoy the written word. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet and engage promising new authors, as well as literary legends. Seven different awards are presented at the celebration.

Archives Month

Archives Month celebrates those institutions and individuals that help preserve and make accessible the important records of our actions as citizens, businesses, religious groups, government and society. The work of these institutions and individuals gives us a sense of being part of a larger picture and helps us begin to see ourselves connected to others: family, community, nation, or a group defined by ethnicity, religion, work or play.

Since 2002, the Library of Virginia, in conjunction with the Virginia Caucus of the Mid–Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and the Library of Virginia Foundation, has produced a poster commemorating the commonwealth's archival and special collections repositories and the rich, cultural record they protect. Cultural heritage repositories from across the state have contributed to the Archives Month celebration by hosting events and sharing images for inclusion on the poster and related Web site.

Book Talks

The Library of Virginia hosts an ongoing Book Talk Series, sponsored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, featuring authors of works on Virginia subjects and Virginia authors (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) discussing their research and writing. These offerings cover topics ranging from Virginia’s role in the founding of the United States to the legacy of the Civil War to the many facets of the civil rights struggle in Virginia and nearly everything in between. The series allows the audience the opportunity to listen to and interact with a variety of scholars and literary artists, as well as to purchase their latest publications and have them autographed by the authors.

Lectures

The Library of Virginia offers lectures by researchers and subject specialists showcasing the contents of the Library’s many collections, projects, and materials and their potential for research. Since 1997 speakers have included many Library staff members; academic lecturers such as Peter Onuf, Warren Billings, Philip Schwarz, and J. Jefferson Looney; and many independent researchers including archaeologist Lyle Browning, genealogist Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis, and map specialist Richard Stephenson.

We invite you to view our upcoming book talks as well as a listing of audio and video recordings of previous book talks. For a complete history of our book talks and other events please use our events calendar.

The Library of Virginia's book talks are made possible with federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Broadside

Our quarterly magazine describes and illustrates the holdings and happenings at the Library of Virginia. Discover fascinating items from the collections as well as events, exhibitions, educational programs, and opportunities to become more involved. Sign up to receive Broadside and browse past issues.

Dictionary of Virginia Biography

The Library's ongoing Dictionary of Virginia Biography project is a biographical reference work covering all centuries, regions, and categories of Virginia's history and culture. Many of the entries offer the first reliable biography ever printed about their subjects. Entries from the published volumes of the DVB (Aaroe–Daniels) and new biographies from the surname Darden to the letter Z are being published online by the Library of Virginia, some in partnership with Encyclopedia Virginia, a project of Virginia Humanities.

Genealogy Workshop Series at the Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia houses a vast collection of materials and records documenting the lives of Virginians. Delving into those records to explore your family’s history can be an immensely satisfying and rewarding experience. We are now offering an ongoing series of workshops to help you with your quest. Geared to all levels of expertise, the workshops will explore our collections and offer advice on how to organize your research.

Future plans for the program include half- and full-day workshops, multiday conferences, and online webinars—with content for beginner, intermediate, and experienced genealogists.

The Library of Virginia's Genealogy Workshop Series is made possible in part with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

2018 SCHEDULE

BEGINNER GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
Finding Your Family History: An Introduction to Genealogical Research

Friday, April 13, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $15 ($10 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://beginnergenealogy2018.eventbrite.com

Are you interested in exploring your family tree but don’t know where to begin? Join Library of Virginia senior reference librarian Zach Vickery and senior reference archivist Kevin Shupe to learn about basic research strategies, useful websites, and helpful resources found at the Library. No experience necessary. Plan to arrive early to sign up for a Library of Virginia card at the circulation desk before the workshop begins. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
African American Research at the Library of Virginia: Genealogy to 1870

Friday, May 18, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $25 ($20 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://africanamericangenealogy2018.eventbrite.com

Explore the methods and resources for African American genealogy prior to the end of the Civil War. Library of Virginia reference archivist Cara Griggs presents ways to determine whether an individual was enslaved or free and what types of records will be useful for further research. Learn about the Library's collections including cohabitation registers, free Negro registers, lists, wills, deeds, and tax records as well as selected federal records that can be accessed through databases. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

MILITARY RECORDS GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
To Provide for the Common Defense: Virginia Military Records Research

Friday, June 8, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $25 ($20 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://militaryrecordsresearch2018.eventbrite.com

The Library of Virginia is the most important repository of military records of Virginians who served in various ways from Virginia’s founding in 1607 to the end of World War II. Library staff members Tom Crew (senior reference archivist) and Ginny Dunn (archives and library reference services manager) present records unique to the Library, as well as records available here on microfilm and in digital format from institutions such as the National Archives, including printed resources. Service in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World Wars I and II will be highlighted, along with militia service through the centuries, as well as lesser-known conflicts such as the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

INTERMEDIATE GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
How to Trace Your Virginia Roots

Friday, July 13, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $25 ($20 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://virginiaroots2018.eventbrite.com

Library of Virginia reference archivists Amanda Morrell and Bill Bynum and reference services librarian Sarah Huggins introduce you to the types of records in the Library's collections and help you get started with your Virginia-based genealogical research. Plan to arrive early to sign up for a Library of Virginia card at the circulation desk before the workshop begins. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
African American Research at the Library of Virginia: Reconstruction–World War I

Friday, September 21, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $25 ($20 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://libraryofvirginiaafricanamericangenealogy2018.eventbrite.com

This workshop provides an overview of records created during the Reconstruction era through World War I and explores how they relate to African American genealogy. Library of Virginia reference archivist Cara Griggs covers topics such as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; population schedules from the federal census; newspapers; and records for elections, educational institutions, businesses, and organizations. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

INTERMEDIATE GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
Private Papers Collections at the Library of Virginia

Friday, October 12, 2018 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Cost: $25 ($20 for Semper Virginia Society members)
Preregistration required: https://privatepapers2018.eventbrite.com

In addition to state and county records, the Library of Virginia holds nongovernment papers such as Bible records, family papers, letters, organization records, and business records. Library staff members Trenton Hizer (senior manuscripts acquisition and digital archivist) and Ginny Dunn (archives and library reference services manager) introduce you to the collections and the valuable information they contain. They will also share tips on how you can preserve your own family papers. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

Strong Men & Women in Virginia History

(formerly known as African American Trailblazers)

The Library of Virginia has joined forces with Dominion Virginia Power to form a new program. Dominion’s Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership series and the Library of Virginia’s African American Trailblazers in Virginia History are now one program — Strong Men & Women in Virginia History. This new program, which will operate in Virginia only, was inaugurated in January 2013 when eight honorees were announced.

Virginia Memory

Virginia Memory is your portal to the Library's rich and varied digital collections. We have been providing digital access to select collections since the mid-1990's. Many researchers, including genealogists, legal experts, title researchers, historians and students have benefited greatly from online access to collections such as Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants, photograph collections, military service records, and chancery court records.

While continuing to offer these traditional digital collections, Virginia Memory also offers a whole host of new, ever-evolving digital resources, including articles written by staff, lesson plans, a chronology of Virginia history, and This Day in Virginia History, all using the Library's collections of photographs, archival and manuscript items, and print materials. Online versions of our exhibitions are also available here. You can also sign up for RSS feeds so you'll know when we add new collections and features.

Virginia Women in History

The Library of Virginia's Virginia Women in History program celebrates women's accomplishments in all walks of life. The Library sponsors statewide activities that include a traveling exhibition, educational resources tied to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs), and an evening event in March to recognize our current honorees. Virginia Women in History is supported by the Virginia Business and Professional Women's Fund.

Exhibitions

The Library of Virginia offers exhibitions that explore a wide variety of the commonwealth’s political, social, and cultural history. The exhibition program promotes interest in and use of the collections and services of the Library of Virginia. In addition to using materials from the Library's collections, the exhibitions also incorporate materials from the larger library and museum community. Children’s activity booklets provide age-appropriate interpretation of each exhibition for our youngest visitors. For information on our current exhibitions, please see our News & Events calendar.

Online versions available on Virginia Memory include key themes and artifacts from the current, as well as past exhibitions.


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