Library of Virginia Research Notes

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The Library of Virginia (LVA) in downtown Richmond is one of the most important repositories for published and original manuscript material pertaining to Virginia. To aid researchers in navigating its broad holdings, it makes pamphlets and research guides available to patrons on a variety of topics. If you are planning a visit to the library, or simply want to gain a better understanding of the holdings of the Library of Virginia, then you will certainly want to review this material.

What follows is a list of the published “Research Notes” and brochures that I have found the most interesting to me in my own Virginia genealogical research. Many, but not all, of the links will open a PDF file that you can download to your computer and view using Adobe Reader or similar software.

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Interior lobby of the Library of Virginia, with the Circulation Desk at the top of the stairs. The reading rooms are located on the second floor to the sides of the desk. Photos by the author.

Some tips for using the library:

  1. Get a Library of Virginia card at the Circulation Desk. You will need to present a photo ID with your current address. You need not be a resident of Virginia to obtain a card. Having a library card will enable you to use library resources onsite, and to conduct remote research using databases the library subscribes to, such as HistoryGeo.
  2. If you want to make photocopies and print them to paper, you will need to load funds onto your library card using one of the cashier machines. There is no longer a separate copy card. If you have an old copy card bring it with you. Any remaining funds will be transferred for you at the Circulation Desk.
  3. Microfilm readers and scanners are available upon registration in the West Reading Room, and may be used for a maximum of two hours if others are waiting. You can save files to a USB stick without paying any fees; if you print to paper it will cost you .25 per page. The library recommends using a USB stick that is less than 8 GB in size.
  4. Do plan on taking a meal break. The Discovery Cafe in the Library of Virginia lobby offers both breakfast and lunch options. Daily specials are available (like BBQ pulled pork sliders). If the tables are full, ask to share a table with someone and strike up a conversation. You never know who you may sit by, and it just may be a library staff member willing to share research tips with you!

I hope to return to Richmond again very soon to conduct more research in their extensive microfilm and manuscript collections.

Seattle Genealogical Society Bulletin Now Online

The Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS), which happens to be “my” local society, was founded in 1923, and celebrates its 90th anniversary this month. The society began publishing a monthly bulletin in 1952, which has since morphed into a much larger publication, now published twice per year.

Recently, SGS made unbound copies of the SGS Bulletin available to the Seattle Public Library for digitization. Volumes 1 – 50, covering the period 1952-2001, are now available online at the Seattle Public Library’s website, in the Special Collections section. The SGS Bulletin is fully searchable, and browseable.

SGS Bulletin online at Seattle Public Library

Please contact the Seattle Genealogical Society directly for later issues of this publication.

Virtual Genealogy Fair 2013

The United States National Archives will be hosting a Virtual Genealogy Fair September 3rd and 4th, 2013. Thirteen presentations will be made over the two-day period. There are no registration fees; all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

Scheduled presentations will cover a wide range of Federal records available through the National Archives: Civil War pension files, United States Colored Troops, immigration, naturalization and citizenship, Federal penitentiary records, Native American records, Chinese Exclusion Act, Freedman’s Bank records, etc. Details can be found at this link: http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair/

Webcast instructions are here:
http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair/webcast-instructions.html

For those who cannot attend “live”, the sessions will be recorded!

Follow or contribute to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #genfair2013.

I imagine this virtual offering is being made due to the prior cancellation of the on-premise 2013 National Archives Ninth Annual Genealogy Fair. For those unable to travel to Washington, D.C., a virtual genealogy fair is preferable. Perhaps if they do decide to resume the Annual Genealogy Fair they will also simulcast online via webinar.