Virginia Archives Month October 2011

“Stern accuracy in inquiring, bold imagination in describing, these are the cogs on which history soars or flutters and wobbles.” -Thomas Carlyle


October is Archives Month in Virginia, and we'd like to invite you to join in the celebration, "Celebrating Advocacy for Archives" Please enjoy and share the Archives Month poster, created from images submitted from fifteen archival repositories across the state. The poster highlights Virginians' rich history of service, innovation, creativity, and artistry, with images from Virginia archives and manuscript collections. (See Downloads to download a pdf of the poster).

We also welcome you to explore your Virginia history by delving into an archives collection near you during the month of October. Numerous programs and lectures are slated to take place at institutions around the Commonwealth, so keep track of new events on this web page or on the Archives Month Facebook page.

Virginia Archives Month Events:

Library of Virginia -

Friday, September 30th, 2011
DACS – Describing Archives: A Content Standard Workshop

Get an in-depth, practical consideration of the key concepts and descriptive elements in Describing Archives: A Content Standard, the U.S. standard. Explore strategies for incorporating this standard into workflows for accessioning, arrangement, and description through discussions and hands-on work with a variety of exercises, culminating in a DACS-based analysis of existing finding aids. This workshop, a basic introduction to the standard, focuses on application of DACS rules and concepts, which participants can apply to repository processes and descriptive outputs. Co-Sponsored by the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board, National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Library of Virginia

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
8:30am to 12:30pm
Holdings Protection & Risk Assessment Training Program

Richard Dine of the National Archives & Records Administration will present Holdings Protection & Risk Assessment Training in the Lecture Hall of the Library of Virginia on October 5, 2011, at 8:30 AM.  The program is designed to provide training and awareness to staff on a variety of loss prevention measures, to raise awareness of the growing trend of stolen records, and improve communication to make recoveries.  This program is part of a national outreach program by NARA to provide services to peer public and private agencies and institutions throughout the country.

Some of the topics included in the training are:
-Researcher Registration and Orientation - best practices on Rules and Regulations
-External Theft and Loss Prevention - identifying and confronting a suspicious researcher
-Internal Theft - identifying, reporting and investigation (on average, 73% of agency losses are internal)
-Physical Security of records - stack security and processing
-Risk Assessment and environmental concerns
-Record Transportation
-Security and Best practices for documents out for exhibit or on loan
Also presenting will be Inspector General Paul Brachfeld and Special Agent Kelly Maltagliati to discuss Recovering America's Lost and Stolen National Treasures.  The threat of pilfering historical records by trusted researchers and staff alike is a challenge faced by all repositories, big and small.  At the National Archives and Records Administration, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) established the Archival Recovery Team (ART) to combat those that would seek to pilfer from the holdings of our nation.  ART stands at the forefront in combating institutional theft by tackling the issue head on.  Recoveries have been substantial, prosecutions successful, and proactive measures instituted to protect the records and artifacts of the United States.  They will share their experience and knowledge in the hope of helping you and the institutions you represent combat this pernicious threat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
11:00 AM–2:00 PM
Archives Open House

Please join the Library of Virginia as we celebrate Archives Month and the value of Virginia's historical records. Visit us to see displays from the Library's many collections, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives stacks and conservation labs, and watch staff demonstrations on how to effectively use the collection. Library staff will be available to talk about their work, collections, and share expert tips about archival research and records preservation.


Poe Museum -

Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Unhappy Hour from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
“The Tell-Tale Heart”
Is that the beating of the old man's heart or the band playing in the Poe Museum? Nobody does Halloween like the Master of the Macabre, so come to the Poe Museum for the final Unhappy Hour of the season. Wear your costumes and come prepared for an eerie evening featuring live music, performances, games, and refreshments. It will be the only Halloween party in Richmond featuring real ghosts.
The Poe Museum is located at 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, VA


Virginia Commonwealth University -

Archives Fair
2011 Virginia Archives Month Extravaganza!
Friday, October 28th
11:00am to 2:00pm
James Branch Cabell Library on the VCU Monroe Park Campus

The Virginia Archives Fair introduces students, educators, historians, and genealogists to primary source materials preserved for your use in area museums, libraries, universities, historical societies, and associations. Archivists and librarians will be available to talk about their collections, their institutions, and hear expert tips about archival research and preservation.

Book Talk
Friday, October 28th, 2011
James Branch Cabell Library Multipurpose Room (Room 250)
Join us for a book talk sponsored by VCU Libraries. Author Brian Burns will be speaking about his new book - Lewis Ginter: Richmond’s Gilded Age Icon. See this link for more information about the book:


Virginia Historical Society -

Behind the Scenes Tour

The Age of Exploration
Monday, October 10, 2011    
10:30am to 12:00pm
Tour participants will have the opportunity to view a mix of maps, pamphlets, books, and objects relating to the discovery and settlement of Virginia. Participants will also glimpse materials in our collection covering later exploration undertaken by Virginians in places such as the western United States, South America, Asia, the Arctic and Antarctica.
Cost $10 for VHS members and $17 for nonmembers. Reservations required. Please call 804.342.9676 or email

Gallery walks

Gallery walks take place in the galleries of the Virginia Historical Society. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $4/children & students, and free to members (please present card).
The Story of Virginia: Reconstruction and Recovery
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
William M. S. Rasmussen
Lead Curator
Learn more about this long-term exhibition
An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Chris Van Tassell
Program Coordinator
Learn more about this exhibition
The Civil War in Virginia: Battle Flags
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Rebecca A. Rose
Learn more about this exhibition

Banner Lectures

Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $4/children and students, free/members (please present card) and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon.
Banner Lecture Series
The First Thanksgiving
Thursday, October 13, 2011
By Graham Woodlief and Barbara Ramos

Because of what they learned in elementary school, most Americans probably associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1621. Less well know outside Virginia is the fact that more than a year earlier, a hardy band of Englishmen landed at Berkeley Hundred on the James River and held the real first Thanksgiving. Captain John Woodlief and thirty-seven men sailed from Bristol, England, on the ship Margaret and reached Berkeley Hundred nearly three months later in December 1619. They marked their deliverance from the stormy north Atlantic with a simple service of thanks to God. Graham Woodlief and Barbara Ramos will tell the story of this first Thanksgiving in English-speaking America and of the origins of the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival, which led to President Kennedy's mention of Virginia in his Thanksgiving proclamation of 1963. This lecture is cosponsored with the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival.
Civil War Medicine
Wednesday, October 26 (7 pm) and
Thursday, October 27 (noon)
By Dr. Adrian Wheat

Staggering numbers of sick and wounded soldiers placed unprecedented demands on the practice of medicine on both sides during the Civil War. This lecture will describe the state of medical science in the 1860s and its application in Virginia during the war, mostly on the Confederate side. It will assess the complicated issue of care on the battlefield, transportation of patients to fixed general hospitals, and the role of sanitation. Dr. Adrian Wheat practiced medicine for many years as an army surgeon and helped found the Society of Civil War Surgeons. Most recently he advised the VHS on surgical topics for the exhibition An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia. This lecture is cosponsored with the Richmond National Battlefield Park.


Roanoke Public Libraries

Saturday, October 1, 2011
9:00am and 11:00am
Virginia Archives Month is almost here and Roanoke Public Libraries is kicking it off with a talk from author and genealogist, Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager.
Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager, CG, CGL, will speak October 1, 2011, at 9 a.m. in the Patrick Henry Ballroom, 611 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA. Her talk, “Dred & Harriet Scott: A Case Study in Finding Missing Links,” will examine the research methodology she used for her book, Dred & Harriet Scott: Their Family Story, and the resulting information it uncovered. Books for sale and signing will be available at the event.

Hager’s second talk, “Southern Claims Commission Research: A Basic Introduction,” will be at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Roanoke Public Libraries’ Virginia Room at 540.853.2073 or

This Virginia Room Event is presented in celebration of Virginia Archives Month and is proudly sponsored by Harrison Museum of African American Culture, History Museum of Western Virginia, Hollins University, Norfolk & Southern Museum, Roanoke College, Roanoke Public Libraries, Salem History Museum, and The Patrick Henry.


Virginia Museum of Transportation -

Discussion and book signing: Railroads in the African American Experience
Sunday, October 2, 2011
2 pm to 5 pm

The history of American railroads cannot be separated from African American history. Ted Kornweibel, Jr., author of Railroads in the African American Experience, tells the story of the black railroad experience from slavery to Amtrak. Mr. Kornweibel examines the significant contributions of blacks to the building, maintenance, operation and profitability of the American railway system. These stories of hardship and heroism, exploitation and endurance, anger and artistry illuminate a rich heritage and fascinating chapter in American history.


Society for American Archivists

Celebrate Virginia’s Archives Month by getting a set of trading cards - Virginia’s first state archivist, Morgan P. Robinson, was recognized with one of the trading cards issued by the Society of American Archivists in honor of its 75th anniversary. Just like baseball cards, SAA created 75 cards featuring prominent people, places, events, organizations, and ideas that have played a major role in the association's history. Interested in more information -


Archives Month is a collaborative effort to celebrate the commonwealth’s archival and special collections repositories and the rich cultural record they protect. It is a project of the Library of Virginia, in conjunction with the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference.

facebook twitter youtube instagram view more