Libraries and the people that staff them, fund them, and use them have a long history of civic engagement—they’re involved in their communities and make positive changes that improve the quality of life for all. From reading to children at story time to upholding the Freedom of Information Act, library activities contribute to the greater good.
At the Library of Virginia, we’ve been working hard to be more open to collaboration and new directions based on the needs of the communities we serve and to welcome and encourage citizen engagement.
We want to share our processes and invite people into them when possible. Projects such as our crowdsourcing transcription site Making History: Transcribe have brought together archivists, high school students, genealogists, computer programmers, and community volunteers. Working together has taught us a lot, and we want to learn more!
We’re launching a new website specifically for feedback,Making History: Connect. Through Connect, we want to gather opinions on Library of Virginia projects and services. The more you tell us what you like, or what we’re missing, the better we can meet your needs. You can help us brainstorm potential new directions for our projects, or tell us about things you’ve discovered in the collections. Quick polls will help us understand what you enjoy and what we might need to change. The first three areas you can provide feedback on are Visiting the Library (either in person or digitally), Making History: Transcribe, and Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative.
The information and documents at the Library of Virginia tell our collective story, from the House of the Burgesses to modern electronic governor’s records. Understanding history enriches the present. Help us do it right! Your opinions are invaluable and shape how we do our work. Please share them at Making History: Connect.
–Sonya Coleman, Digital Collections Specialist
I am researching Jefferson County, Virginia prior to June 20, 1863. What records would LVA have for me to research the previous Virginia counties now West VA. Specifically researching free people of color in Jefferson County, Virginia. Thank you!
Personal property and land tax records, as types of state records sent to Richmond for recordation, are the most prominent records at the LVA for localities now in other states. These records are on microfilm and available via interlibrary loan (ILL). Other types of state records may be of use in your research. We do have some WV vital records volumes 1853-1863. They are available on microfilm in the reading rooms. County records remained with the county courts when the state of WV was created in 1863. The LVA does have some copies of county records on microfilm for research use. These reel cannot be loaned via ILL. The print collection also contains a considerable number of indexes and abstracts for WV locality records.