Visitors' Guide

The Library's Reading Rooms are open to researchers Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Please check our News & Events or contact us for any changes to our regular hours due to holiday closings, special events, or inclement weather.


When planning a trip to the Richmond area, we recommend you check out the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. Please also check our calendar to ensure the Library will be open and available to the public during your planned visit.


The Library of Virginia offers limited free parking to patrons using the building during operating hours. If the Library's garage is full, the City of Richmond offers on- and off-street parking options, and a map to other parking decks is available at The parking garage entrances at the Library of Virginia are located on 8th and 9th Streets and have a height restrictions of 7 feet.  Both 8th and 9th Streets are one way streets.  Elevators will take patrons from the parking garage to the lobby of the library.  Parking validations are given in the lobby when leaving the library.

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From Interstate 95 (from the North or from the South)
Take Exit 74C. A highway sign will say Library of Virginia. Proceed west on Broad Street until you reach 9th Street. Turn right and immediately get into the far left lane. Proceed down the block and prepare to turn left into the parking deck.

From Interstate 64 West (e.g. coming from Williamsburg)
Take the exit for Fifth Street and the Coliseum. Turn left on Marshall Street a few blocks (past the Coliseum on your left) after you exit Interstate 64. Proceed to Eighth Street, and turn right. The parking lot entrance will be immediately on your left.

From Interstate 64 East (e.g. coming from Charlottesville)
Take Interstate 95 South to Exit 74C. See instructions above for I-95.

Using the Collections and Policies

While the Library's reading rooms are open to the public, many of our collections are located in our closed stacks, meaning items must be requested through our catalog or via staff in order for you to use them. Therefore, access to these collections requires a valid I.D. In order to avoid delays and unexpected problems, please review the policies governing access to and use of our collections prior to your arrival at the Library. The Public Services staff, located on the second floor of the Library, will assist you. You can familiarize yourself with the layout of our public spaces with this floorplan.

Archives Manuscripts Room

The Archives Manuscripts Room is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM with the last request for records taken at 4:00 PM. You must present a valid Library of Virginia library card (registered or renewed within the year) in order to access materials. Items are not pulled from the stacks between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. However, during that hour, you may access materials that have already been retrieved for you. The collection materials served here include original state agency records, local (city and county) records, and private papers such as bible records, organization records, and personal papers.

View our Research Room policies.

State Records CenterArchives Annex Reading Room at the State Records Center

The Archives Annex Reading Room is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM. The building is closed during the lunch hour. Researchers should consult with the Archives Reference Services staff about materials housed there and call 804-692-3888 in advance to schedule an appointment. The Archives Annex Reading Room will be open by advance appointment only.  Walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Please call no later than 4:30 PM the day before you plan to visit (only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays) to make an appointment. Researchers must register to use the room and follow the same policies as govern the use of materials in the Archives and Map Research Rooms at the Library of Virginia.

State Records Center Directions

Manuscripts & Special Collections

Our Reading Room is open Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 4:30 PM for patron use. The collection materials served here include: Architecture (plans and drawings), Broadsides, Ephemera, Prints & Photographs, Map Collection (by appointment only for maps - see further down for details), Rare Book Collection, Sheet Music, State Art Collection, and Visual Studies Collection. We do not serve original manuscript materials in our reading room. Researchers may want to consult with the Special Collections staff about available materials by calling 804-692-3703 or emailing Researchers must have a current library card and follow the same policies as govern the use of materials in the Archives and Map Research Rooms at the Library of Virginia. Maps are served by appointment only by Manuscripts & Special Collections staff. If you are interested in researching or viewing a map, please call our Senior Map Archivist to set up an appointment at 804-692-3617 or send an e-mail to


Microfilm scanners are available for use Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM–4:45 PM. There is a two-hour time limit if all the scanners are in use and others are waiting. You may print from microfilm for a fee or scan to your own flash drive free of charge. Microfilm readily available in the cabinets includes city and county records, personal and land taxes, Virginia census records, and some newspapers—plus our collection of miscellaneous reels. Additional microfilm from our closed stacks is also available but must be requested prior to 4:30 PM. The copy center includes a photocopier, a book scanner, and a machine to add funds to your library card. You may copy for a fee or save to your own flash drive free of charge. The machine accepts cash ($1 minimum, bills only) or credit/debit ($5 minimum). To make photocopies or prints or to access materials from our closed stack, you must have a library card (registered or renewed within the year).

View our Microfilm policies.

E-mail Terminals

E-mail terminals are available for use Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM–4:50 PM. You must have a valid Library of Virginia library card (registered or renewed within the year) to access your e-mail or to print. Two computers are available, each for a maximum of two 15-minute sessions per day (sessions are timed). A print station and a machine to add funds to your library card are located nearby. The machine accepts cash ($1 minimum, bills only) or credit/debit ($5 minimum).

View our Internet policies.

Wireless Internet Access

Wireless Internet access is provided on the first and second floors of the Library of Virginia. Electrical outlets for plugging in laptops are available at the study tables in the second floor Reading Rooms. Printing is available when using the Library's public computer workstations and wireless printing is available on personal laptops. More Information

The Virginia Shop

The Virginia Shop is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Extended hours are often held during evening and weekend public events at the Library of Virginia. The Virginia Shop offers programs such as artist demonstrations, First Friday events, and an evening book club, Books on Broad. We regularly feature the work of Virginia artists and artisans and focus on products made in, and inspired by, the commonwealth. If you have questions or would like to place an order please contact the Virginia Shop staff at 804-692-3524 or visit our online shop at

Food Services

There are several restaurants in the vicinity of the Library of Virginia. You can search the website of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau for restaurants in the downtown area. Please be advised that some near by eating facilities are not open on weekends.

Research Groups

Groups planning to visit the library are encouraged to contact Archives Reference Services (to use the archival, manuscript and map collections) or Library Reference Services (to use the reference collections and databases) before arrival. Reference archivists or reference librarians may be available to speak to groups regarding use of the collections, indexes, and electronic resources. If the group has a special area or topic of study, staff will be able to prepare more effectively if notified of the group's arrival ahead of time. We strongly recommend that research groups be limited to a maximum of twenty people in order to make effective use of time and resources.

Please be aware that it is important to contact us in advance especially if your group is not very experienced in using library collections. Staffing constraints may limit the amount of time and availability of research archivists or reference librarians to assist your group.

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