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Libraries and archives are no longer mere physical spaces. Their presence and influence extends beyond the reading rooms into your Twitter and Facebook feeds, YouTube, and blogs. On November 7, the Library of Virginia will be opening a new exhibit, “Connect with Us,” that explores how the library uses social media to engage and encourage the community.  New acquisitions and unusual items will be displayed and visitors will be encouraged to post comments about the materials and their experiences within the library. Each month throughout the exhibit’s run into February we’ll be featuring a different social media outlet.
Leading up to the exhibit opening we encourage you to connect with us through our various social media outlets: Facebook, @LibraryofVA on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Multiple Exposure catablog, and the Out of the Boxblog. On Twitter and Facebook, in addition to our event announcements and collections information, we’ll be highlighting unique collections and having a round of trivia contests. To get you started, here is a quick tour of the Library of Virginia’s internet presence.
On our YouTube channel you can find an introductory video about our mission and collections; videos “From the Conservation Lab;” videos from our book talk series, featuring authors of works on Virginia subjects and Virginia authors of fiction and nonfiction discussing their research and writing; and videos for our “African American Trailblazers” and “Virginia Women in History” programs.
LVA’s photostream on Flickr contains images from the Adolph B. Rice Photograph Collection, which documents life in Richmond during the 1950s and the Hopewell, Virginia Locals of United Mine Workers of America and U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 45, World War Iphotograph collections. The Flickr project is meant to encourage Virginia residents, past and present, to comment on the photos and enhance our understanding of these views of twentieth-century Virginia and its people.
Multiple Exposureis a catablog from LVA’s Special Collections that draws from its wealth of images of family albums, postcards, mixed ephemera, bookplates, photographic prints, etc. The catablog brings greater visibility to our prints and photographs holdings, which are by necessity protected from the literal light of day and often mistakenly considered inaccessible.
Here at Out of the Box blog we share the stories and images discovered by our archivists as they process our many collections. For the “Connect with Us” exhibit, Out of the Box will publish a piece on coroners’ inquisitions, a record type newly available from Local Records Services. Coroners’ inquisitions are investigations into the deaths of individuals who died by a sudden, violent, unnatural or suspicious manner, or died without medical attendance. Causes of death found in these records include murder, infanticide, suicide, exposure to the elements, drownings, train accidents, and natural causes.
This month connect with us on our various social media outlets and don’t forget to join us for the exhibit opening on November 7th.

Bari Helms

Former Local Records Archivist

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