The Library of Virginia Newsletter
January 2012

Library of Virginia to Honor 2012 African American Trailblazers in Virginia History

In observance of African American History Month in February, the Library of Virginia is honoring eight distinguished Virginians as the 2012 African American Trailblazers in Virginia history for their contributions to Virginia and the nation. Those being honored this year include an anthropologist, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a filmmaker, political leader, civil rights activists, and a religious leader.

This year's honorees are:
Michael L. Blakely (1953- ), Williamsburg
Anthropologist and scientific director of the African American Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan

Noah Davis (1804-1867), Fredericksburg
Author of an emancipation narrative

James Farmer (1920-1999), Spotsylvania County
Civil rights leader and founder of CORE

John Jasper (1812-1901), Richmond
Baptist minister

Willie Lanier (1945- ), Richmond
Athlete and entrepreneur

Oscar Micheaux (1844-1951), Roanoke

Yvonne B. Miller (1934- ), Norfolk
Political leader

Irene Morgan (1917­-2007) Gloucester County
Principal in a civil rights lawsuit

The men and women featured as Trailblazers offer powerful examples of individuals who refused to be defined by their circumstances. Their biographies are a testament to the determination and perseverance displayed by extraordinary people during challenging times. Through education and advocacy, these individuals demonstrate how African Americans have actively campaigned for better lives for themselves and their people. It is these many contributions that the African American Trailblazers program seeks to share.

The 2012 African American Trailblazers in Virginia History program is sponsored by Dominion with media sponsor the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Biographies of the honorees will be displayed in an exhibition at the Library in February; featured on a poster that has been sent to schools, libraries, and museums across Virginia; and included on an educational Web site for teachers and students. To learn more about the individuals honored this year, visit our Web site at

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New Web Site Offers Parents Helpful Advice and Learning Activities for Children

If your New Year's resolution is to help children succeed and be ready to learn when they begin school, the Library of Virginia has a new online tool to help. DaybyDayVA ( is an online family literacy calendar, activity guide, and resource center. Each day the Web site suggests short-but fun-activities to help develop pre-reading skills, features an electronic picture book from the TumbleBook Library, and offers a short animated video for families to watch together. The site also lists other Web sites to explore. For parents and other caring adults, there is information on health and safety, craft ideas, suggestions on reading, and links to free e-books for children. Coming soon are links to your community public library and other family-friendly activities.

This site is based on a similar project by the State Library of South Carolina, which has generously shared its work with the Library of Virginia. Artwork featured on the site is by Helen Correll. Funding for DaybyDayVA is provided by Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Library of Virginia.

-submitted by Enid Costly, Library Development and Networking Services

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LVA Provides Onsite and Remote Access for Two New Databases

ERIC (Proquest)   
ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, is the world's largest digital library of education literature. The Proquest version provides "deep indexing" for tables and figures, which creates metadata for the vital research data that often remains hidden in tables and figures within journal articles. ERIC includes some links to full-text content, but primarily offers indexing of journal articles, conferences, government documents, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, and books. It includes thousands of Virginia-related entries with coverage extending from 1966 to the present.
This database contains more than 80,000 entries and provides the most up-to-date information on the antique maps market. The data has been compiled from the offerings of hundreds of dealer and auction catalogs. New listings are routinely added as they become available. In coming months the database will be enlarged with the addition of the records from the Antique Map Price Record.

Remote access is available for both of these databases from the Library's "Databases and Reference eBooks" Web page ( with a Library of Virginia library card.

Wi-Fi Access Now Available for All Subscription Databases
As a convenience for our on-site database users, all of the Library's subscription databases can now be accessed on the Library's Wi-Fi (LVA-Guest). Users can access the databases either by typing the Web site address into their browser (e.g., or or by using the database links on the Library's Web site: No login is required as long as users are connected to the Library of Virginia's Wi-Fi network.   

-submitted by Lisa Wehrmann, Public Services and Outreach

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Technology Petting Zoos Lead to Better-Trained Staff

Staff in the Library Development and Networking Division of the Library of Virginia spent part of 2011 touring the state with a van full of technology gadgets: e-readers, iPads, pocket video cameras, and more-thanks to a grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services. Cindy Church, continuing education consultant, and trainer Lisa R. Varga conducted training sessions called Wow, That's Cool! What Is It? in libraries around the state. Approximately 350 library staff members were trained during these sessions. The second phase of the process is now being deployed, with training sessions under way in regional technology centers.

Libraries had to apply to the Library of Virginia to be selected as regional technology centers-or technology petting zoos. The libraries selected include Alexandria Public Library, Campbell County Public Library, Montgomery Floyd Regional Library, Washington County Public Library, Mathews Memorial Library, Washington County Public Library, and Chesterfield County Public Library. Libraries selected as regional technology centers commit to offering a number of training sessions. Through IMLS grant funds, the Library of Virginia provides a train-the-trainer session in addition to establishing the regional technology centers with a variety of e-readers, iPads, flip cameras and more.

"We want public librarians to know as much about emerging technology as possible so they can help their patrons use e-books, iPads, and e-readers," said Cindy Church. "The technology petting-zoo sessions allowed librarians to test-drive new products so they could learn how they operate. In turn, these librarians can now train others on the latest technology toys. They are better equipped to demonstrate the devices and answer questions."

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Deadline to Nominate Books Is February 11

The deadline to nominate books for the Library of Virginia's annual literary awards is February 11, 2012. Books eligible for the awards must have been written by a Virginia author or, for nonfiction books, have a Virginia-related theme. A Virginia author is defined as a writer meeting one or more of the following qualifications: a native-born Virginian, an author living in Virginia, or an author whose permanent home address is in Virginia. Entries can be submitted in the following categories: fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

Entries for the 2012 awards must have been published and distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2011. Publishers should submit four copies of the books they nominate.

The following types of books are not eligible for the awards: reference works, anthologies, documentary editions, children's and juvenile literature, photographic books, self-help books, and "how-to" books.

Entry forms can be submitted online at or completed as an interactive PDF and mailed to: The Library of Virginia Literary Awards, 800 East Broad St., Richmond, Virginia, 23219-8000. For more information, please call 804-692-3722.

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Acclaimed Poet Eleanor Ross Taylor Dies at 91

Eleanor Ross Taylor, who won the Library of Virginia's literary award for poetry in 2000 for Late Leisure, has died at age 91. Born in Norwood, North Carolina, she lived in Charlottesville from 1967 until shortly before her death. Taylor was the widow of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Peter Taylor.

She was the author of six books of poetry published over  five decades and the recipient of the Shelley Memorial Prize awarded by the Poetry Society of America, the 2009 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. Her 2010 book, Captive Voices, was a National Critics Circle Award finalist.

In 2010 Taylor received the prestigious $100,000 Ruth Lilly Prize for Poetry, given by Poetry magazine for poets whose "lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition."

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2012 Symposium to Decide "Person of the Year 1862"

In 1927 Time magazine began its annual tradition of selecting "Person of the Year." On February 25, 2012, the Museum of the Confederacy and the Library of Virginia continue the highly successful format from last year to give you the opportunity to select the "Person of the Year"-not for the year 2012, but for 1862. The symposium will be held in the Lecture Hall of the Library of Virginia.

Answering this question is the charge given to the speakers-and to the audience­-at the 2012 symposium on February 25, 2012, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Historians David W. Blight, Robert K. Krick, James M. McPherson, John W. Mountcastle, and Emory M. Thomas will "nominate" candidates and make the case for their nominees. The audience will vote to decide the Person of the Year for 1862. Identities of the nominees will not be announced prior to the event. Just as the designation from Time magazine is not the best or most popular person, but the individual who most influenced that year's events, so should your choice for Person of the Year for 1862 indicate his or her importance. Was it Abraham Lincoln (the man whom last year's audience selected as Person of the Year for 1861)? Will it be General Robert E. Lee? Clara Barton or Frederick Douglass? Or maybe Franklin Buchanan?

The cost of the symposium is $35 for Museum members and Library donors; $50 for others. The cost includes a box lunch. Reservations and pre-payment are required. You may obtain a registration form, which may be mailed, or purchase tickets online at the Museum of the Confederacy's Web site: Registration at the door is possible, but lunches will not be available for same-day registrants. For information only, contact John Coski at 804-649-1861 (toll free 855-649-1861), ext. 131, or

-submitted by Sam Craghead, Museum of the Confederacy

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Localities Receive Grants to Preserve Local Court Records

The Circuit Court Records Preservation Program, funded through a $1.50 of the clerk's recordation fee, provides resources to help preserve and make accessible permanent circuit court records. The program awards grants to the commonwealth's circuit court clerks to help them address the needs of the records housed in their localities.

The Circuit Court Records Grants Review Board met in November to consider 39 grant applications submitted from 38 localities totaling $409,419. After evaluating and discussing all of the applications, the board awarded 31 grant projects for $173,620. Twenty-nine grants were awarded for item conservation including will books, deed books, law order books, minute books, marriage registers, cohabitation registers, and chancery order books. One grant was awarded to digitize will and fiduciary filings and one to process judgments. Because of the highly competitive nature of the grant applications, the board was unable to fund all requests and reduced  the amount requested for some funded projects.

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National Archives to Release 1940 Census Online in April 2012

The National Archives and Records Administration will place the entire 1940 Census-more than 18 terabytes of data-online, free of charge, for viewing and download by page or enumeration district beginning Monday, April 2, 2012, at 9 AM EDT. Individual census records are confidential by law for 72 years. The 1940 census was taken April 1, 1940.

Researchers will be able to search the 1940 Census using the public computers at National Archives facilities nationwide or personal computers with Internet access. In addition, for customers with large data requirements, the National Archives Trust Fund is selling the 1940 Census data on hard drives and hard-drive arrays. Microfilm copies of the 1940 Census data will be available for purchase from the Trust Fund, as well.

A name index does not exist for the 1940 Census. You can locate people by identifying the enumeration district in which they lived in 1940 and then browsing the Census population schedules for that enumeration district. The National Archives has placed copies of the enumeration district maps and descriptions in its Archival Research Catalog.

Many of the questions on the 1940 Census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 Census also asks many new questions. The instructions ask the enumerator to enter a mark after the name of the person furnishing the information about the family; indicate whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24-30, 1940; and list income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939.

The first U.S. population census was taken in 1790 and has been taken every tenth year since. Not every census is still in existence. The 1790, 1800, and 1890 federal census schedules for Virginia no longer exist. The 1890 population schedules for all states were almost completely destroyed in a 1921 fire. Library of Virginia copies of Virginia census microfilm are available through the Interlibrary Loan program of your local library. Go to for a complete listing of other U.S. Census records available through the Library of Virginia.

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Visit Your Local Library for the 2012 "Snuggle with a Book" Winter Reading Program

For the fourth year in a row the Library of Virginia is pleased to offer the Snuggle with a Book Winter Reading Program. Designed for young children from infants to five years old, the program aims to instill a love of reading by encouraging parents and other adults to read aloud to children.

This year's program features the cover art of First Dog by J. Patrick Lewis and Beth Zappitello and illustrated by Tim Bowers, a picture book with illustrations of a Portuguese water dog. The image is used with permission from Sleeping Bear Press™.

Contact your local library ( to learn more about programs and activities for this year's Snuggle with a Book Winter Reading Program.

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