178 photographs, 158 film negatives, 13 etchings
Courthouses were essential in establishing a sense of permanence and rule in early Virginia communities, being not only centers of legal and civic activity but venues for business and barter, playing host likewise to a spectrum of community-building social activities such as picnics and games. In the winter of 1940–1941, the Virginia-based Hirst Dillon Milhollen (1906–1970), an etcher by trade and chairman of the exhibits committee for the Washington Society of Etchers, photographed courthouses throughout the commonwealth, the only criterion for inclusion being that the courthouse had to predate 1871 in its construction. The following year, Milhollen privately printed Old Virginia Court Houses, a 100-edition loose-leaf portfolio whose etchings drew upon Milhollen’s own gathering of original photos.
Arrangement and access:
Alphabetical by county.
Etchings purchased 1973, photos and negatives purchased 1992
Hirst D. Milhollen, Old Virginia Court Houses (1942)—original limited edition portfolio held in LVA Special Collections
Related resources and collections:
Carl Lounsbury, The Courthouses of Early Virginia: An Architectural History (2005)