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.
- Genealogical Records at the Library of Virginia
- Using Land Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia
- Using Vital Statistics Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia
- Using Personal Property Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia
- Using the Map Collection in the Archives at the Library of Virginia
- Using Virginia Revolutionary War Records
- Virginia Naturalizations, 1657-1776
- Using Virginia Civil War Records
- Colonial Tithables
- Legislative Petitions
- Soldiers of the War of 1812
- The Virginia Land Office
- Chancery Cases
- Northern Neck Proprietary Records
- Early Virginia Marriage Records
- Virginia Discovered and Described: John Smith’s Map of Virginia and its Derivatives
- From Williamsburg to Wills’s Creek: The Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia, Its Predecessors and Derivatives
Some tips for using the library:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.