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Using the Collections

As the commonwealth's library at the seat of government and the state archives, the Library of Virginia's collections of books, periodicals, government publications, newspapers, architectural drawings and plans, manuscripts, archival records, maps, rare books, prints and photographs, and fine art are unsurpassed in depth and scope. These collections document the history, culture, and people of the commonwealth and are available on paper and microfilm, as well as digitally.

Start your Research!

By Topic

Not sure where to start? Check out Best Sources for Virginia Research by Time Period, Genealogy - How to Begin, and Genealogical Records at the Library of Virginia.

Guides and Indexes include bibliographies and descriptive research notes to our print, newspaper, manuscript, and archival collections. Created over many years by staff subject experts and continually updated and added to, these valuable research tools are arranged by topic.

Databases and eBooks are external resources to which the Library subscribes. They provide access to current and historical newspapers, magazines, and journals, as well as genealogical resources, historical maps, civil war records, encyclopedias and directories, and many other texts. Users can access these resources while using the Library's Wi-Fi network (LVA-Guest). Many of them can also be accessed outside of the Library with the use of a Library of Virginia library card. When prompted, please enter your Library of Virginia card number or valid Virginia state driver’s license or ID # if you registered online.


Alphabetical Listing of all of the guides, indexes and research databases.

Library Catalog allows you to search our print, manuscript, and archival collections.

Virginia Memory is the new home of the Library's digital collections.

Additional Resources

What's New in the Collections highlights newly accessioned, recently processed, and notable materials added to the Library's collections.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Find It Virginia offers full text access to a variety of magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, and other reference works. Requires use of a valid library card from a Virginia public library.

TumbleBookLibrary - The Library of Virginia has purchased the TumbleBookLibrary for use by Virginia’s public libraries. The TumbleBookLibrary is a collection of TumbleBooks, animated, talking picture books, suited for elementary school children. TumbleBooks are created from existing picture books, adding sound, animation, music and narration to create an electronic picture book... more information »

Virginia Public Library Directory

Historical and Genealogical Societies in Virginia

Virginia Heritage Project database of finding aids to manuscript and archival collections housed at a variety of Virginia institutions.

Professional researchers specializing in Virginia history and use of the Library's collections.

Government Information Online Ask a Librarian Government Information Online (GIO) - is a free national online information service supported by nearly thirty public, academic, and state libraries throughout the United States. Participating librarians specialize in finding government information sources of all kinds, and will try to answer your questions through chat or email.

Visitors' Guide