Celebrate Black History Month

Join us in commemorating Black History Month in February with virtual events, online resources, and a banner exhibition. Two free upcoming virtual events offer fascinating looks into Black history in Virginia. Online resources include past exhibitions on our Virginia Memory website and educational materials at Document Bank of Virginia. And watch for news soon from Dominion Energy and the Library announcing 2021’s Strong Men & Women in Virginia, who are honored for their contributions to the commonwealth and the nation. Biographies of honorees will be featured in a banner exhibition at the Library later this month.


2021 Carole Weinstein Author Series Begins February 25

This year’s Carole Weinstein Author Series offers a deep look into Virginia. Historians, poets, and a New York Times best-selling author cover topics such as monuments, racial equity, and the Founding Fathers from a variety of fascinating recent books. As part of the Library’s mission to support the literary arts, this series focuses on Virginia authors and Virginia subjects across all genres. The events are free and open to the public and will be held virtually until pandemic restrictions allow for in-person events.


Art in Literature Award Nominations Due March 15

Each year the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts present the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, which recognizes an outstanding book that is written primarily in response to a work (or works) of art while also showing the highest literary quality as a creative or scholarly work on its own merit. This unique award, established in 2013, was named in honor of Mary Lynn Kotz, longtime contributing editor of ARTnews magazine. For years Kotz has spoken passionately about the need for clear, exciting writing about art. The Kotz Award is presented during the Library’s annual Literary Awards Celebration each October. Award nominations will be accepted through March 15, 2021.


The Virginia Shop Loves Local Artists!

Visit the Virginia Shop this month to show some love to local artists like those from Studio Two Three.


From the UncommonWealth blog:

“More Americans Killed by Flu Than by Bullets”: Riding the Roller Coaster of the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic

As the world enters 2021, we continue to ride a roller coaster of news (and emotions) regarding the COVID-19 virus. Our smart phones provide almost limitless information at our fingertips, allowing us to take this ride constantly if we choose. While downloading apps to my new cell phone over the holiday, I began to wonder how newspapers—the primary source for news a century ago—presented information during the influenza pandemic of 1918–1919. I thought Norfolk, Virginia, would be interesting to examine because of its prominent role in World War I as a naval port and point of embarkation for soldiers heading to Europe.