Welcome from the Librarian of Virginia

Dennis T. Clark Portrait Welcome to the Library of Virginia. I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead one of the oldest and finest state libraries and archives in the nation, which recently entered its third century of service to the commonwealth.

With more than 130 million items in its collections, the Library is the primary global resource for exploring Virginia’s history, culture and government. We’re proud to be a highly regarded source among the national and international research communities and among everyday citizens seeking their stories within our rich archives.

A part of the Library’s responsibility is to preserve and provide access to Virginia’s incomparable stories. While serving as the official state archives, we also support the records management and preservation needs of other state and public agencies and administer funding and consultation to public libraries across the commonwealth.

I hope that you will learn more about us and explore our digital collections here. I invite you to visit us in person to explore our vast onsite holdings, view our latest exhibition or just grab a bite at the Can Can Café.

As we begin work on a new strategic plan this year to build on our storied past, the Library remains committed to preserving all of Virginia’s diverse stories and enhancing accessibility for everyone who seeks our services.

Dennis T. Clark Signature
Dennis T. Clark

History of the Library

The Library of Virginia was created by the General Assembly in 1823 to organize, care for, and manage the state's growing collection of books and official records — many of which date back to the early colonial period. The Library occupied rooms on the third floor of the Capitol in Richmond until 1895, when Virginia erected a new Library and office building on the eastern side of Capitol Square. Outgrowing this location, the Library in 1940 moved to a handsome, new art-deco building on Capitol Street, adjacent to City Hall and the Executive Mansion. In 1997, the Library opened to the public at 800 East Broad Street, its fourth home since its founding. View our Timeline of the Library of Virginia's 200 Years of Service to the Commonwealth.

The Library houses the most comprehensive collection of materials on Virginia government, history, and culture available anywhere. The collections illustrate the rich and varied past of the commonwealth, documenting the lives of Virginians whose deeds are known to all, as well as those of ordinary citizens whose accomplishments are the foundation of our heritage.The Library's printed, manuscript, map, and photographic collections attract researchers from across the country and the world, while the Library's Web sites provide collection-based content and access to our digital collections to those at great distances who are not able to travel to Richmond. In addition to managing and preserving its collections, the Library supplies research and reference assistance to state officials, provides consulting services to state and local government agencies and to Virginia's public libraries, administers numerous federal, state, and local grant programs, publishes award-winning books on Virginia history, provides educational programs and resources on Virginia history and culture for students and teachers, and offers the public a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, book-signings, and other programs.

In addition to the main Library building, the Library manages the State Records Center in Henrico County where inactive, non-permanent records of state agencies and local governments are housed.

About the Library

The Library of Virginia will inspire learning, ignite imagination, create possibilities, encourage understanding, and engage Virginia's past to empower its future.

As the Commonwealth's library and archives, the Library of Virginia is a trusted educational institution. We acquire, preserve, and promote access to unique collections of Virginia's history and culture and advance the development of library and records management services statewide.

View Library of Virginia expenditures magnifying glass

The Library's Reading Rooms are open to researchers Tuesday through Friday.

Please check the calendar for notices of events and closures.

For facility information, please contact David Wilson at 692-3929

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