April 2021 Events
panel discussion


Enslaved Virginia Ironworker to California Pioneer: 

A Conversation with the Descendants of Emanuel Quivers

TimeThursday, April 1, 2021 from 5:30 PM–6:30 PM
PriceFree, but registration required

Join us for a fascinating conversation in honor of Civil War and Emancipation Day. In the late 1990s, Viola Baecher launched a search into her family roots that took her from the West Coast back to the East Coast in Charles City County on the James River. This is where she uncovered the remarkable life story of her ancestor, Emanuel Quivers. Baecher traced Quivers's journey from Berkeley Plantation, where he worked as a blacksmith, to Richmond’s Tredegar Iron Works, where he worked as an ironworker and foreman, and on to California during the Gold Rush—a journey from enslavement to freedom. This program brings together several Quivers descendants to discuss Emanuel’s life and their ongoing efforts to uncover the story of his family. They will also reflect on what Quivers’s inspirational odyssey can teach us about rising above circumstances, being an agent of change, and the continuing struggle for Black equality in the 21st century. These conversations are an important part of gathering a fuller understanding of the complexity of American history and the contributions of African Americans. Gregg D. Kimball (director of public services and outreach, Library of Virginia) and Joseph Rogers (education programs manager, American Civil War Museum) will moderate this conversation with Quivers descendants Viola Baecher, Victoria Baecher Wassmer, Rev. Dr. Rodger Hall Reed Sr., and Dr. Denné Reed.

Register Here


Private Papers at the Library of Virginia

TimeFriday, April 9, 2021 from 10:00 AM–11:00 AM
Price$15 ($10 for Library of Virginia members)

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 Private Papers Collection and the valuable information they contain. They will also share tips on how you can preserve your own family papers. Contact Ashley Ramey at ashley.ramey@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3001 for more information.

Register Here
book club

Virtual Literary Virginia Book Group

TimeWednesday, April 14, 2021 from 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

For now our book group meetings will be virtual. Please log in at 6:00 PM through either the GoogleMeets link or the phone number below:

Meeting ID


Phone Number

(US)+1 347-941-2137

PIN: 343 725 357#

Read and discuss the best of today's Virginia literature—books by Library of Virginia Literary Award winners and finalists in fiction and nonfiction. This month, we'll discuss a Poetry Roundup including

Colonize Me by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley (2020 Poetry Award winner)

Honeyfish by Lauren Alleyne (2020 Poetry Award finalist)

My Surly Heart by David Huddle (2020 Poetry Award finalist) 

In May we'll discuss One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski (2020 Fiction Award finalist).

Library of Virginia loaner books are unavailable at this time, but check your local public library for curbside checkout or digital download. Grab these books from the Virginia Shop online (Colonize, Honeyfish, Heart) and other online retail outlets. For more information, contact Nan Carmack at nan.carmack@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3792.

book talk


By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital

TimeThursday, April 15, 2021 from 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

To celebrate April as Poetry Month, please join us online for a talk by poet, literary historian, and editor Kim Roberts on her book By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital. This comprehensive anthology features poems by both well-known and overlooked poets working and living in the capital from the city's founding in 1800 to 1930. Roberts expertly presents the work of 132 poets, including poems by celebrated DC writers such as Francis Scott Key, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ambrose Bierce, Henry Adams, and James Weldon Johnson, as well as the work of lesser-known poets—especially women, writers of color, and working-class writers. A significant number of the poems are by writers who were born enslaved, such as Fanny Jackson Coppin, T. Thomas Fortune, and John Sella Martin.

The Carole Weinstein Author Series supports the literary arts by bringing both new and well-known authors to the Library of Virginia through online or in-person events. Free and open to the public, the series focuses on Virginia authors and Virginia subjects across all genres. This book is available from the Virginia Shop. For more information, contact Dawn Greggs at 804.692.3813 or dawn.greggs@lva.virginia.gov.

Register Here
book club

Common Ground Virginia History Book Group

TimeTuesday, April 20, 2021 from 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

Read and discuss compelling nonfiction books handpicked by Library staff that explore Virginia history, society, and culture. This month, we'll discuss White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia by Kiki Petrosino (2020). Next month, we'll discuss American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (2018). Check your local public library to borrow titles, or purchase through the Virginia Shop or other online retailers.

We invite attendees to sign up for our monthly email list. Get meeting reminders as well as unique historical resources from the Library's collections selected to accompany upcoming discussions. To sign up for the list or request more information about this event, contact Becky Schneider at rebecca.schneider@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3550.

Please log in at 6:00 PM through Zoom. 

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system. 

Monthly: https://zoom.us/meeting/tJEsc--gqTMrGdEfziXmCHQsEfA5HoFcJbz9/ics?icsToken=98tyKuCtrz8sEtOdsRqCRowMBY-gM_zwtlxcjad4mgXsOy1wSjLlE-RjZ5pwNtv6 

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/95146878135 

Meeting ID: 951 4687 8135 

Passcode: 623795 

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aQbLnxsqg

panel discussion

"Who Is Jackson?"

Part 1 of The JXN Project Summer Lecture Series

TimeWednesday, April 21, 2021 from 7:00 PM–8:00 PM

In partnership with the Library of Virginia and The JXN Project, Richmond Public Library is pleased to present The JXN Project Summer Lecture Series. The JXN Project's co-creators, Enjoli Moon and Dr. Sesha Joi Moon, seek to recontextualize and more accurately capture the role of Richmond, Virginia, and Jackson Ward in the Black America experience. Through a year-long celebration of Jackson Ward's 150th anniversary, a set of initiatives to rename the ward's streets after former residents, and a push to increase Black representation in Richmond's historical preservation bodies, The JXN Project will partner with community stakeholders to build a Richmond that honors Black excellence.

In this first talk in a six-part series, Enjoli Moon and Dr. Sesha Joi Moon will discuss the goals that drive The JXN Project as well as the historical research that undergirds it. The public is invited to attend these lectures via Zoom, comment, and become part of the process of this historic justice initiative. Check out the RPL calendar for the forthcoming details for future talks in the lecture series! 

Register Here
volunteer opportunity

Making History with LVA

TimeSaturday, April 24, 2021 from 12:00 PM–2:00 PM

Crowdsource with us! The Library of Virginia acquires, preserves, and promotes access to unique collections of Virginia’s history and culture. With more content and research moving online, we seek to make digital documents as accessible as possible by crowdsourcing their contents. Volunteers will transcribe handwritten pages and historical newspapers by reading the text and typing it into digital form. Join us for a virtual volunteer session to learn how you can help make historical documents more searchable and usable for researchers now and in the future.

Each session will focus on one or more of these three crowdsourcing projects (depending on document availability):

After Library of Virginia staff members introduce the platform and demonstrate the activity, volunteers will work independently for the remaining time. Participants can share their screens and ask questions about specific documents or issues. Information about joining through Zoom will be emailed the week of the event.

Participate in enhancing access to collections of over 400 years of Virginia history, people, and culture. From peace to wartime, wedding announcements and world-changing events, and court records to letters home, there will be something for everyone. Help us tell the narrative of all Virginians—the famous, infamous and even anonymous—and join us in Making History.

Contact Sonya Coleman for more information at makinghistory@virginiamemory.com or call Hands On Greater Richmond at 804-330-7400. Registration is required. 

Register Here
Ongoing Gallery Exhibitions

Unfinished Business

TimeMonday, February 24, 2020–Friday, May 28, 2021

Extending the right to vote to women in 1920 was a milestone in American history. But much work remained to ensure that all citizens had a fair and equal voice in governing the country and shaping its policies. Unfinished Business, a series of panel displays near the Exhibition Gallery, explores the fundamental question of citizenship through obstacles that limited suffrage to some Americans, including the Equal Rights Amendment (first introduced in 1923), extending citizenship to America’s indigenous peoples, eliminating the poll tax and literacy tests, and the continuing advocacy for restoration of rights to felons. This exhibition complements We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia, running through May 28, 2021, in the Exhibition Gallery.


We Demand:

Women's Suffrage in Virginia

TimeMonday, January 13, 2020–Friday, May 28, 2021
LocationExhibition Gallery and Lobby

The year 2020 marked the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing women's right to vote. The story of Virginia's suffragists and their contributions to the fight for woman suffrage is little known. We Demand: Women's Suffrage in Virginia reveals how women created two statewide organizations to win the right to vote. Virginia suffragists were a remarkable group of talented and dedicated women who have largely been forgotten. They were artists and writers, business and professional women, and educators and reformers who marched in parades, rallied at the state capitol, spoke to crowds on street corners, staffed booths at state and county fairs, lobbied legislators and congressmen, picketed the White House, and even went to jail. At the centenary of woman suffrage, these remarkable women are at last recognized for their important achievements and contributions.

Items on display include suffrage postcards and memorabilia such as pinback buttons and badges, as well as banners from the Virginia branch of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, photographs, and film footage. This exhibition is a project of the Task Force to Commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. 

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