Tag Archives: Virginia Tech Shootings

- Higher Aim: Guns, Safety and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings



Release of Virginia Tech Panel Report, Patrick Henry Building, Richmond, Virginia, 30 August 2007, Office of the Governor.

Editor’s Note: The Library of Virginia, in partnership with the
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, sponsored four residential fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year to conduct in-depth research in the Library’s collections. Tom Kapsidelis, an independent author and former editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, spent the spring semester researching and writing Higher Aim: Guns, Safety and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings.

On one of the last days of my fellowship at the Library in July 2017, I peeked at a lock of John Randolph’s hair, read a letter from Ida Tarbell to Joseph Bryan about the aftermath of the Civil War, and delved further into Kaine administration archives and records on the 16 April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. It was the collection of the Governor Timothy M. Kaine records that attracted me to the library as part of my yearlong fellowship with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), the first semester in Charlottesville and the second here at the Library. The VFH has supported my continuing work on a book that examines some of the issues in the decade after the shootings, primarily through the experiences of survivors and others in the community who were deeply affected.

Over the past seven months I’ve peppered my office neighbors Brent Tarter, John Deal and Mari Julienne with questions about … read more »

- The Library of Virginia Releases Virginia Tech Review Panel Records


Handwritten notes from Second Public Meeting of Virginia Tech Review Panel, dated 21 May 2007, by Phil Schaenman, Virginia Tech Review Panel staff director, Records of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, Series II. Files of TriData, Subseries C.1. Files of Phil Schaenman, Box 16, Folder 4, Accession 51144, State Records Collection, Library of Virginia.

The Library of Virginia has completed processing the records of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, 2007-2009 (bulk 2007) (accession 51144) and they are open to researchers. This collection documents Virginia’s official investigation into the 16 April 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Included are the records of individual panel members, Seung Hui Cho’s educational records from Fairfax County and Virginia Tech as well as his Virginia Tech medical records, interview notes, chapter drafts of Mass Shootings at Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007: Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel presented to Governor Kaine, August 2007, and addendums to the report compiled in November and December 2009. This is a hybrid collection with paper records available in the Library’s Archives Research Room during normal business hours. The Virginia Tech Review Panel emails are accessible online via Digitool under State Archives Collections. Researchers are strongly encouraged to read the email Tip Sheets before using the collection.

On 16 April 2007, Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured at least 17 others before turning the gun on himself. The massacre at Virginia Tech is one of the deadliest shooting incidents by a single gunman in United States history. On 19 April 2007, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine commissioned the Virginia Tech Review Panel “to conduct an independent, thorough, and objective incident review of the tragedy at Virginia … read more »

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- We Remember: Virginia Tech Five Years Later


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Five years ago, Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured at least 17 others before turning the gun on himself.  The 16 April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history.  In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, I created a web archive collection, Tragedy at Virginia Tech, in order to capture the Commonwealth’s “on-line” response.  Included in the collection are the websites of Virginia Tech, the Office of the Governor, and the Virginia Tech Review Panel.  I remember creating the collection because of the “historic” nature of the shooting.  I confess that I initially viewed that day’s events with the emotional detachment of an archivist/historian.  But what made it “historic?” The number of people killed?  The 32 people who died that day are not numbers – they had names, families, hopes and dreams – a future.  The biographies captured in the Tragedy at Virginia Tech collection quickly shattered my impassiveness.  What I saw as “historic” in 2007 is an ever present tragedy for the families who lost their loved ones.  It is a wound that time cannot heal.

I was reminded of this when I began processing the e-mail records of Governor Tim Kaine’s administration.  The Kaine administration transferred to the Library of Virginia approximately 1.3 million e-mail messages from 215 staff members.  … read more »