average size 11 x 15 inches
The state’s bicameral legislature, consisting of the House of Delegates and the Senate, was confirmed in the Virginia Constitution of 1776, but can trace its lineage directly to the 1619 Jamestown House of Burgesses, making it effectively the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. The present Virginia Constitution requires that the House consist of 90–100 members and the Senate of 33–40 members. Arranged chronologically, the Virginia Legislature Photograph Collection contains annual composite portraits of the General Assembly, beginning near the advent of photography in 1857, which are primarily the work of Richmond’s Foster Studio, and later Dementi Studio. The rosters witness the emergence of women, and the re-emergence of black Virginians, in the realm of state policymaking. Although not every year is represented in the collection, in many cases the rosters feature the only known photographs of early Virginia lawmakers.
Arrangement and access:
The entire collection is available on DigiTool