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The Library of Virginia e-Newsletter
July 2013

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Library of Virginia Announces Selection of 2013 Brown Fellows

Barbara Adcock, an elementary school teacher at Pocahontas Elementary School in Powhatan County, and Catherine Kammer, a social studies teacher at Granby High School in Norfolk, have been selected as the Library of Virginia's 2013 Brown Fellows. The Brown Fellowships are awarded annually and provide educators with an opportunity to study a topic related to Virginia's history and culture and to develop teaching materials in collaboration with the Library's professional staff.

Adcock—a 26-year veteran of the classroom—is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has taught kindergarten through fifth grade. She currently serves as a second through fourth grade STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy teacher at Pocahontas Elementary School in Powhatan. She has a passion for the environment and will use her interest to develop statewide educational resources related to the Library's upcoming (Spring 2014) exhibition Flora of Virginia. "I am thrilled to be a Brown Fellow!" said Adcock. "It will give me the opportunity to explore authentic resources and develop inquiry-based lessons that will stimulate great learning for my students and...

Emblidge Elected to Full Term as Chair of the State Library Board

Dr. Mark Emblidge, of Richmond, who was elected chair of the Library Board in January 2013 upon the resignation of Meyera Oberndorf, has been elected as chair for a full term by the Library Board at its annual meeting in June. He was appointed to the board by Governor Tim Kaine in 2009. He currently serves as professor of practice in EDLF in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He received a BA in political science at Gordon College, Massachusetts, and a master's degree and doctorate in education at the University of Virginia. He is the founding director of the Virginia Literacy Foundation and Communities...

NGS to Meet in Richmond in 2014

The National Genealogical Society will hold its 2014 Family History Conference May 7–10 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Marriott Hotel located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The conference theme, Virginia: The First Frontier, will explore the records and history that draw so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion. Lecture topics will also include migration into, within, and out of the region down the Great Wagon Road, over the Appalachian Mountains, and across the South to Texas and beyond.

On the evening of May 8, conference participants can join the Virginia Genealogical Society on a trip to Colonial Virginia. The event will be held at the Library of Virginia, which is located three blocks from the Marriott Hotel, beginning at 6:30 PM. This ticketed event will be limited to 250 participants. The Library will not be open for research on that evening but will have extended hours during the conference, which will be publicized on the NGS Conference blog...

Puga Helps Fix a Case of Mistaken Identity

Mary Bowser Dana Puga, prints and photographs specialist in Special Collections at the Library of Virginia, recently helped a researcher solve a mystery surrounding an image purportedly of Mary Bowser, a Union spy during the Civil War. The image has now been identified as a different Mary Bowser.

Bowser, who was probably born a slave in or near Richmond, was a servant of Elizabeth Van Lew. During the Civil War, Bowser worked in the official residence of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. She gathered information and passed it along to a Union spy named Thomas McNiven, who then used Van Lew's network of spies to get the information to Union forces.

Little is known about Bowser. Very few reliable sources are available. A few early 1900s news articles and references in Elizabeth Van Lew's Civil War diaries to the efforts of an African American named Mary are all that offer solid evidence. Subsequent articles and stories are full of embellishments. In the 1950s her family destroyed Bowser's writings about her experience...

Database Spotlight: The Civil War in Words and Deeds

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War presents a significant opportunity for Americans to recall and reflect on the conflict and its legacy. The regimental histories and personal narratives included in this database are valuable resources for researchers with an interest in local and Civil War history, as well as for genealogists.

The Civil War in Words and Deeds database provides access to first-person accounts and regimental histories compiled in the postwar period and early 20th century. These documents chronicle the highs and lows...

CCRP Grants Given to 32 Projects across Virginia

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce that the Circuit Court Records Grant Review Board at its June meeting awarded $339,768 to 32 grant projects to local circuit courts. The board is composed of six members: four circuit court clerks appointed annually by the president of the Virginia Court Clerks' Association and two staff members from the Library of Virginia, currently the State Archivist and the Local Records Program Manager. The board determined that the item conservation category was its first priority for funding. Among the items conserved are deed books, will books, minute books, marriage registers, and chancery order books. Thirty grants were awarded in this category as well as one grant for preservation and one for processing...

Richmond Public Library Director Recognized as a Champion of Change

On June 11, the White House honored 12 people as museum and library "Champions of Change." The Champions of Change event focused on libraries and museums that make a difference for their neighborhoods and for our nation. Harriet Henderson Coalter, director of the Richmond Public Library, was one of the individuals receiving this prestigious honor. Coalter has been director of the Richmond Public Library since 2007 and has worked in the field of library science and administration for nearly 40 years. She is a former president of the Public Library Association and the Virginia Library Association. In 2012 Coalter received the prestigious American Library Association Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children. She previously was director of libraries in Montgomery County, Maryland; Louisville...

Library Board Sets Meeting Schedule

At its annual meeting in June the Library Board set its schedule for the coming year. The 15-member board will meet in Richmond at the Library of Virginia on:
  • September 23, 2013
  • January 13, 2014
  • April 7, 2014
  • June 16, 2014 (Annual Meeting)
Meetings of the Library Board are open to the public. The Library Board is a policy board and makes rules and regulations relating to the Library of Virginia, public libraries, and public records.
Fun & Free at the Library
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
From a Richmond Streetcar From a Richmond Streetcar: Life Through the Lens of Harris Stilson
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Kitty Snow's book features the work of her great-grandfather Harry Stilson, a streetcar motorman and photographer. Taken from his streetcar, his photographs of the working class in capture a rare view of how the city looked at the beginning of the 20th century.

Monday, July 22, 2013—Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Fourth Annual Anne & Ryland Brown Teacher Institute at the Library of Virginia: Picturing the Old Dominion
The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the fourth annual Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Institute. The goal of the institute is to enhance knowledge of and training in history and social science instruction in the commonwealth of Virginia by providing educators with opportunities for in-depth study and as well as teaching resources. Details: http://edu.lva.virginia.gov/brown/brown-institute

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Monument Avenue Memories "Books on Broad" featuring Patricia Cecil Hass
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: Lecture Hall
Monument Avenue Memories is a compilation of personal memoirs of Richmond residents who grew up on Monument Avenue during the zenith of its prominence in Richmond society. Reception (wine and cheese) 5:30–6:00 PM, book talk 6:00–7:00 PM, and book signing 7:00–7:30 PM. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
From Marshall to Moussaoui BOOK LAUNCH: From Marshall to Moussaoui: Federal Justice in the Eastern District of Virginia by John O. Peters
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Place: Lecture Hall
Join us for the launch of John O. Peters's From Marshall to Moussaoui: Federal Justice in the Eastern District of Virginia. The book focuses on the jurists who have presided over U.S. District Court cases that range from treason and trespass to liquor and libel, and from civil war to civil rights. A wine-and-cheese reception and book signing will follow the talk.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Multiple Exposure "Books on Broad" featuring Ellen Crosby
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: Lecture Hall

Join us in celebration for the launch of Ellen Crosby's newest mystery series featuring sleuth Sophie Medina. Crosby is best-known for her Virginia wine country mysteries and is a perennial favorite of the Library of Virginia. Reception (wine and cheese) 5:30–6:00 PM, book talk 6:00–7:00 PM, and book signing 7:00–7:30 PM.

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Disunion Exploring Disunion: Public Histories, Memory, and Richmond's Civil War Legacy
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: Lecture Hall
The on-going New York Times blog series Disunion is fostering conversations between historians, editors, and readers about the meaning of the Civil War on its 150th anniversary. Following the events of the war as they unfolded, Disunion is a good example of public discourse on American history. University of Richmond President Ed Ayers leads a spirited discussion among journalists and historians—including New York Times editor Clay Risen—that explores the meaning of the Civil War in Richmond, a city still frequently described in print as "the former Capitol of the Confederacy."

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Brotherhood Book Launch: Brotherhood by Anne Westrick
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
Join us for the launch of Anne Westrick's debut, Brotherhood, a young-adult novel set in Virginia in 1867. The book highlights an often-overlooked period in American history, post–Civil War Reconstruction, and explores the social and economic upheaval created by the war. Reception (wine and cheese) with the author, 5:30–6:00 PM; author talk and reading, 6:00–7:00 PM; and book signing, 7:00–7:30 PM.

Through Saturday, October 5, 2013
Dark Side Dark Side: Night Photography in Virginia
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Night photography compels viewers to look at the world from a slightly different perspective. Dark Side introduces us to the unique world of darkness and shadows. The exhibition surveys the many ways in which professional and amateur photographers have used their cameras over the past century to create compelling nocturnal images of the commonwealth. While it examines the materials and historic processes that made night photography possible, Dark Side, also introduces several contemporary photographers who are currently using it as an artistic medium.

Through Saturday, February 22, 2014
The Importance of Being Cute The Importance of Being Cute: Pet Photography in Virginia
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Photographs of animals dominate the web. From the cute to the ridiculous, millions of pet images are viewed and shared each day. The historical precedent for this online phenomenon can be found in The Importance of Being Cute. This entertaining exhibition focuses on the relationships that have existed between Virginians and their pets since the advent of photography. Vintage images from the Library of Virginia's collection allow visitors to explore more than a century and a half of pet photography, including photographs from Victorian cartes de visite, cabinet cards, and original glass plate negatives. Today's visitors will be able to participate by submitting a picture of their furry loved ones to become part of the exhibition.

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