Visitors' Guide

Hours

The Library's first-floor Lobby and Exhibition Gallery are open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

The Library's Reading Rooms are open to researchers Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, as well as on the Saturdays below.

Special Saturday Reading Room Hours:

To make sure that the Library will be open and available to the public during your planned visit, please check our Hours page or contact us for any changes to our regular hours due to holiday closings, special events, or inclement weather. To learn what to expect on your visit, please see the "Prepare for Your Visit" section below.

When planning a trip to the Richmond area, we recommend you check out the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Parking

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 BestParking.com. 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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Directions

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.

Prepare for Your Visit

Get a Library card! If you are a Virginia resident, begin the registration process online at our Registration page. You may also renew your account at our Renewal page. Non-residents may register/renew when they arrive.

To use your time at the Library more efficiently, call or email us at archdesk@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3888 to talk to our reference staff before your visit for advice and guidance. This "Preparing to Visit the Library" video may also be helpful.

Search the Library's catalog and digital holdings to identify materials you would like to see when you visit. Go to www.lva.virginia.gov and look under "For the Public."

Visit Virginia Memory at www.virginiamemory.com to explore our digital resources.

If you are researching family history, watch this Find Your Family History webinar about using our website, catalog, and digital collections.

Health & Safety

The Library of Virginia follows health and safety protocols based on the latest guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC currently considers the Richmond area to be at low risk for community transmission of COVID. Accordingly, the Library no longer requires masks indoors for visitors and staff. Unvaccinated guests and staff are still strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Visitors and staff who would like to continue to wear a mask while inside the building are welcome to do so.

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 Research Room

The Archives Research Room is open 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 to 4:30 PM, Tuesday through Friday, as well as 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on select Saturdays. Though you no longer need an appointment, we encourage you to call Archives Reference Services at 804-692-3888 to discuss your research needs before you visit. You must present a valid Library of Virginia library card (registered or renewed within the year) in order to access materials. The collection materials served include original state agency records, local (city and county) records, and private papers such as bible records, organization records, and personal family papers.

View our Research Room policies.

State Records CenterArchives Annex Reading Room at the State Records Center

Although the State Records Center is still conducting business, the Archives Annex Reading Room is currently closed to visitors until further notice. Please contact Archives Research Services at 804-692-3888 to have materials transferred to the main Library building for viewing.

Special Collections

Our Reading Room is open Tuesday through Friday by appointment. Researchers need to consult with the staff about available materials by calling 804-692-3703 or emailing specialcoll@lva.virginia.gov. The collection materials served here in the Special Collections Reading Room on floor 2M include: Architecture (original plans and drawings), Broadsides, Ephemera, Prints & Photographs, Maps, Rare Books, Sheet Music, State Art, and other Visual Studies Collections. We do not serve original manuscript materials in our reading room.

Special Collections researchers must have a current library card and follow the same policies as govern the use of materials in the Archives Research Room at the Library of Virginia. All our collections (listed above) are served by appointment only by Special Collections staff. When you contact us for an appointment, please provide us with call numbers, item information and/or any details that you have on the material you wish to research.

Microfilm

Microfilm scanners are available for use Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:45 PM and select Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4: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. 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). We are unable to provide change for large bills. 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.

Email Terminals

Email terminals are available for use Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You must have a valid Library of Virginia library card (registered or renewed within the year) to print. 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). We are unable to provide change for large bills.

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 at the Library is open in person Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, plus Reading Room Saturdays, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. If you prefer to shop online, visit our online shop. The Virginia Shop at the Capitol is open in person Monday-Saturday, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. The shop offers books, gifts, souvenirs, décor, and other items for history lovers and the literary-minded.

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 http://www.visitrichmondva.com/things-to-do/restaurants/ for restaurants in the downtown area. Please be advised that some nearby eating facilities are not open on weekends.


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