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The Library of Virginia e-Newsletter
March 2015

Click any excerpt below to read the full article.

2015 Virginia Women in History Program Honors Eight Outstanding Women

The first African American woman to become a certified public accountant in Virginia, the first woman to preside over the House of Delegates' powerful budget-writing committee, and an African American poet who uses bold language to raise awareness of social issues are among eight Virginia women recognized by the Library of Virginia as part of its Virginia Women in History program. The eight are also featured on a handsome poster and in the Library's 2015 Virginia Women in History panel exhibition, on display on the second floor of the Library of Virginia, during the month of March. The exhibition will then travel to libraries, schools, and cultural institutions across the state. Copies of the 2015 poster and learning activities tied to the Virginia Standards of Learning were distributed to public and private schools and cultural institutions across Virginia.

The 2015 Virginia Women in History program culminates on March 26 with an inspiring evening program recognizing the honorees. The ceremony begins at 6:00 PM at the Library of Virginia and will be hosted by May-Lily Lee, with a reception to follow. The program and reception are free. To RSVP, contact...

Rare Map of the War of 1812's Battle of Craney Island Is now at the Library of Virginia

A piece of Hampton Roads history from the War of 1812 is now in the possession of the Library of Virginia, where it is being conserved thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Carole and Marcus Weinstein. Documents illustrating the War of 1812 are scarce. The roughly 8" x 13" map, entitled The Defence of Craney Island Map, 1813, by George F. de la Roche,is a rare example of a wartime map from the American perspective, completed by a battle participant at the time of the action.

In 1813, American forces repulsed a 700-strong British landing party that came ashore at Hoffler's Creek west of Craney Island at the mouth of the Elizabeth River. Their ultimate objective was the capture of Norfolk. A second British attempt on the eastern side of the island also met with defeat. The Americans thus scored a victory protecting Norfolk from British invasion.

De la Roche's map is described as "Map by Sailing Master George de la Roche, drawn the day after the action, exhibiting a general view of the topography of the country, and of the position of the American...

Friends of the Virginia State Archives' "Straight to the Source" Conference Set for March 27

Current and former Library of Virginia staff members will speak at the Friends of the Virginia State Archives' Straight to the Source Conference to be held at the Library on Friday, March 27, 2015. This marks the 23rd year that the two organizations have presented this annual spring event, which is the longest-running series of public programs at the Library of Virginia focused on the archival collection.

Kathy Jordan, digital initiatives and web services manager, will discuss using the Library's website. Minor Weisiger, coordinator of archives reference services, will share lesser-known sources for Revolutionary War research at the Library. Sarah Nerney, formerly a local records archivist at the Library, will discuss the Library's highly successful Montgomery County Chancery...

Library to Participate in International Conference on Healing History: Memory, Legacy, and Social Change

On April 7, the Library of Virginia will participate in an international conference on Healing History: Memory, Legacy, and Social Change sponsored by Initiatives for Change and Hope in the Cities. The event follows an international conference on a similar theme held in Caux, Switzerland, in 2013, which was attended by hundreds of delegates from around the world as well as several Richmond leaders including Dr. Edward Ayers, president of the University of Richmond, and Christy Coleman, Co-CEO of the American Civil War Museum. Initiatives of Change/Hope in the Cities is the organizer of the 2015 conference.

The Library's current exhibition, To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade, which runs through May 30, was one of the main reasons local organizers wanted the Library to be part of the conference. The exhibition tells the story of the prominent role Richmond played in the domestic slave trade. This internal trade accounted for the largest forced migration of people in the United States, moving as many as two thirds of a million people from the Upper South...

Exhibition Coming July 6: Remaking Virginia

Even as the Civil War was still being fought, the status of almost a half-million African Americans in Virginia began to change. No longer were they someone else's property—they were free. They anticipated the promise of change from their former status as slaves: the promises of education, political participation, and full citizenship. Yet, in their struggle to achieve these goals, freedmen and freedwomen faced the hostility of their former masters and the society that had long benefitted from their labor. Union troops and U.S. government officials reconstructing the Southern states were often indifferent. What challenges did African Americans face in their struggle to achieve what they believed freedom would bring them? What obstacles blocked their efforts to gain citizenship? How successful were African Americans during Reconstruction in claiming their objectives? Did the 14th and...

Library Schedules Monthly "Transcribe-a-thons"

We hope you've had a chance to check out Making History: Transcribe, the Library of Virginia's new crowdsourcing transcription website. After inviting the public to help us transcribe all sorts of documents from Virginia's past—uncovering long-forgotten stories and making them more "searchable" for the future—we were not disappointed! Since its launch about six months ago, almost 4,000 pages have been transcribed by the public and approved by Library staff—and we're picking up steam!

Part of the appeal of Making History: Transcribe is that people can participate from anywhere in the world. But because we also want to foster a sense of community among our dedicated volunteers, we will host a "Transcribe-a-thon" at the Library of Virginia on the last Saturday of each month from noon to 2:00 PM. Facilitated by the volunteer...

Fun & Free at the Library

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The Joys and Challenges of Historical Research
Place: Conference Rooms, Free
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Joanne Yeck and Shelly Murphy, longtime researchers  at the Library of Virginia, will offer an informative discussion of the practical challenges of working with burned counties, incomplete records, and African American family histories.

Friday, March 20, 2015
Solomon Northup and the Tragic Voyage of the Orleans
Time: 5:30 PM–7:00 PM
New Location: Conference Rooms, Free but reservations required. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/solomon-northup-and-the-tragic-voyage-of-the-orleans-by-dr-calvin-schermerhorn-tickets-15600471430
Arizona State University scholar Calvin Schermerhorn recounts the life of Solomon Northup, the central character of the movie 12 Years a Slave, and his voyage on the slaver Orleans as a case study of the complexities of the interstate slave trade.

Saturday, March 21, 2015
To Be Sold Symposium: The American Slave Trade from Virginia to New Orleans
Time: 9:00 AM–5:15 PM
Place: Lecture Hall,  Free, but reservations required. vamem.com/03-21-2015
"To Be Sold: The American Slave Trade from Virginia to New Orleans" is a day-long symposium that will take place in both Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Morning sessions will be held in Richmond and simulcast in New Orleans, while afternoon sessions will be held in New Orleans and simulcast in Richmond. Participants at both locations will be able to engage in live discussions with attendees and presenters at both sites.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
2015 Virginia Women in History Program & Reception
Time: 6:00-8:00 PM
Virginia Women in History Place: Lecture Hall, Free, but reservations requested, call 804-692-3999.
Join the Library of Virginia and host May-Lily Lee in recognizing eight exceptional Virginia women who have made important contributions to Virginia, the nation, and the world. A reception follows the program. The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Richmond.com are the print and digital media sponsor for the 2015 Virginia Women in History program. Check The Times-Dispatch each Tuesday and Thursday March 3 through 26 for Virginia Women in History profiles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Digital Scholarship: Re-creating Richmond's Slave District 

Time: Noon-1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms
University of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab staff present an overview of a recent project to develop a 3D map overview of Richmond and its antebellum slave district. This program complements To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Living in the Aftermath of Slavery & Apartheid: Reflections from the US and South Africa 
Time: 8:00-9:30 PM
Place: Lecture Hall
The program features Dr. Edward Ayers, American history scholar and president of the University of Richmond; the Very Rev. Michael Weeder, dean of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, and public historian of South African slavery; and Bonita Bennett, director of Cape Town's District Six Museum, which documents the story of forced removal of residents under apartheid. This is one of three forums that are free and open to the public at the "Healing History: Memory, Legacy, and Social Change" conference taking place in Richmond, April 6–9 (http://us.iofc.org/HH2015). Please register for this event at http://conta.cc/1DqWUL0.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Poetic Principals featuring Dexter Booth 
Time: 6:00-7:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms

Dexter L. Booth is the author of Scratching the Ghost, which won the 2012 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Major Jackson), and was a finalist for the 2014 New Mexico–Arizona Book Award in Poetry, as well as a finalist for the 2014 Leimert Park Book Fair's Jessie Redmon Fauset Award. His poems appear in Blackbird, the Southeast Review, Ostrich Review, Grist, Willow Springs, Virginia Quarterly, and other publications. Booth has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and was a finalist for the 2014 Joy Harjo Poetry Contest. He received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from Arizona State University, and he is currently a PhD candidate and Provost Fellow at the University of Southern California.

Through Saturday, May 30, 2015
To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM, Monday–Saturday
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free
This groundbreaking exhibition explores the pivotal role that Richmond played in the domestic slave trade. Curated by University of Virginia professor Maurie McInnis, To Be Sold draws from her book, Waiting to Be Sold: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade, and is anchored by a series of paintings and engravings by Eyre Crowe, a British artist who witnessed the slave trade as he traveled across the United States in 1853. Virginia was the largest mass exporter of enslaved people through the Richmond market, making the trade the most important economic activity in antebellum Virginia. This exhibition is not merely a story of numbers and economic impact, but also one that focuses on individuals and the impact that the trade had on enslaved people.

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