This online exhibit focuses on the evolution of the District of Columbia, Alexandria and Virginia as told through maps. Maps from several Library of Virginia collections show the District from the eighteenth century through the American Civil War, and when the Town of Alexandria was a part of the District from the 1790s until 1846, when it was retro–ceded to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Here, you will find maps from several collections that tell that story and were exhibited as part of the Library's 13th annual Alan M. and Natalie P. Voorhees Lecture on the History of Cartography on April 16, 2016, titled "Virginia's District of Columbia."
The Alan M. Voorhees Map Collection extends from the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle through the U.S. Civil War period with the bulk of the collection consisting of pre–20th century maps. Included are maps made by Schedel, Ptolemy, deBry, Mercator, and Smith among many others. In a variety of map formats, such as nautical charts and views, the collection focuses primarily on the Chesapeake Bay area and the development of Virginia within the larger geographical and historical contexts of Europe and America.
These German-American early printed works are items produced by the Henkel Press, established by two brothers, Solomon and Ambrose, in New Market, Shenandoah County, Va. In 1806. Staying true to their German heritage, many items were available in German or bilingual format, particularly the illustrated primers displayed within. The Henkel family also included several prominent Evangelical Lutheran ministers, as well as entrepreneurs, farmers, and early pharmacists. Their broadsides marketing their own medical products and early printed religious works are also found in this visually striking and informative exhibit with materials held in Manuscripts & Special Collections.
These colorful illustrations, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820), detail the waterways and natural beauty of Virginia, found within his "Essay on Landscape," a two volume sketchbook (1798-1799). He was particularly fond of the James River and sketched it often within these pages. Best known as a premiere architect; Latrobe was also a naturalist and traveler who studied water, rock formation, vegetation and architecture in a variety of Virginian & European settings. His colorful watercolor & pen & ink illustrations complete with exacting descriptions in legible, neatly done penmanship are engaging and honest. His preference was for natural beauty in a landscape. These images provide excellent visual sources for Virginia landscape & culture at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Americans took up cycling in record numbers during the latter half of the 19th century. The invention of the safety bicycle, the bicycle form we know today, allowed more people to ride bicycles with ease. Cycling hit its peak during the 1890s and this period is known as the Bicycle Boom. The Bicycle Boom spurred on societal change through manufacturing, increased mobility, and women's reform. This exhibit explores those changes through illustrations featured in Puck Magazine from 1894 to 1898.
Take a tour of classic components of architecture and the realization of these marvels coming together to create some of the world's most iconic buildings in Wonder of Architecture. The beautiful plates in this exhibit are from Encyclopaedia Londinensis, part of the Library's Rare Book Collection. Compiled by John Wilkes of Milland House between 1810 and 1829, this volume explores the mathematical balance and proportion required for many components of architecture, such as the five classical orders of columns. It also depicts the evolution of architectural forms and components, leading finally to plates depicting iconic structures in Europe. St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Parthenon, and Salisbury Cathedral are just some of the notable architectural wonders that can be found.
Take a stroll through our garden! Botanica is an exploration of botanical texts and art through the volumes of the Rare Book Collection at the Library of Virginia. Early herbals which describe plants for their medicinal value (Gerard's Generall Historie of Plantes, 1633 & Salmon's Botanologia: The English Herbal, 1710), textbooks and floras (Elements of Botany by Benjamin Barton Smith, 1804 & Flora Carolinaensis by John Linnaeus Edward Whitridge Shecut, 1806) which study plants scientifically based on their botany and taxonomic relationships. The exhibition also highlights the plant images as art objects that are not only beautiful but portray their subjects faithfully and timelessly.
Hand colored engravings of North American birds from American Ornithology by Alexander Wilson (1766-1813). This beautiful set of books, published from 1808 to 1825, is considered the first comprehensive work on American natural history and contains 76 full page illustrations.
"To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade offers a frank exploration of Virginia's role in the business of the second middle passage—the forced relocation of two-thirds of a million African Americans from the Upper South to the Cotton South in the decades before the Civil War. Anchoring the exhibition is a series of images created by English artist Eyre Crowe (1824–1910), who in March 1853 witnessed the proceedings of Richmond's largest business. Crowe turned his sketches and experience into a series of remarkable paintings and engravings that humanized the enslaved and spoke eloquently of the pathos and upheaval of the trade. The story of the American slave trade is one of numbers, but it is also the story of individuals whose families were torn apart and whose lives were forever altered.
Please visit To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade to view the beta version of our online exhibition.
The March 21 symposium video is available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMBxwRsuTIgikBGdpXQX70SiDlObcwJvU.
Learn about two women caught in the domestic slave trade, visit Out of the Box http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/?s=hester+jane and http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/?s=lizzy
Help transcribe documents from the domestic slave trade at Making History, http://www.virginiamemory.com/transcribe/"
A version of the exhibition is traveling. Please visit http://www.virginiamemory.com/online-exhibitions/exhibits/show/to-be-sold/to-be-sold-traveling-exhibitio for more information.
Where you live makes all the difference, but that difference has a history. The current circumstances of Richmond's neighborhoods have roots in state and federal policies that have had lasting effects on concentrations of poverty and growth, lending patterns, homeownership, and educational outcomes for children. Neighborhoods that received a D grade in the 1950s now have a high concentration of federal housing subsidies and high levels of poverty. Children in these same neighborhoods score lower on SOL tests than their peers in neighborhoods with low poverty rates. During the foreclosure crisis, these neighborhoods featured high rates of default. We can use historic and current maps and data to better understand the connection between public policy and economic development in the Richmond region.