Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia


Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled  icon

Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled
(April 3, 2017—December 5, 2017)

Exhibition Gallery | April 3-December 5, 2017

Virginians imbibed their last legal drink on Halloween night in 1916-more than three years before national Prohibition was enacted. Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled tells the story of Virginia Prohibition and its legacy, including the establishment of Virginia's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control and NASCAR. Newsreels of still-busting raids, music from the Jazz Age, and vintage stills complement the archival record of the exploits of Virginia's Prohibition Commission. Supported in part by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. Style Weekly is the print media sponsor.

For more information about the traveling version of this exhibition, available in summer 2017, please contact Barbara C. Batson, exhibitions coordinator, at To view the current itenerary for this exhibit, please click here.

Check out our blogs "Out of the Box" and "Fit to Print" to read more about Prohibition records at the Library of Virginia.

  • Thursday, April 13, 2017, 5:00-7:00 PM: “Last Call” Imperial Brown Ale Release Celebration, a collaborative brew with Three Notch'd Brewing Company. Join the Library of Virginia and Library of Virginia Foundation to celebrate the opening of the exhibition with this boozy brown ale. At Three Notch'd Brewing Company, 2930 West Broad Street, Richmond. Free.

  • Friday, May 5, 2017, 5:30-7:30 PM: "Goodbye Booze": The Music of Prohibition (with a Beer Chaser) offers an upbeat look at popular music of the Prohibition era through live and recorded performances. A reception featuring "Last Call" Imperial Brown Ale, created by the Library in collaboration with Three Notch'd Brewing Company, follows the music program. Sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy and Virginia Distillery Company. At the Library of Virginia. Free.

  • Wednesday, June 7, 2017, Noon-1:00 PM: Liquor Lore: Enforcement Stories from the Virginia ABC. Retired and current Virginia ABC special agents share stories from the exciting cases they've encountered during their careers and explore how their experiences compare to the tumultuous days of Prohibition. Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. At the Library of Virginia. Free.

  • Thursday, September 28, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM: Virginia Vice: Legislating Morality. This panel discussion on the fascinating and controversial subject of state control of personal behavior and morality features experts on film censorship and drug and alcohol prohibition. Free.

  • Thursday, November 2, 2017, 6:00-8:00 PM: “Last Call” Imperial Brown Ale Re-release & Storytelling Event. Our collaborative brew created this spring with Three Notch’d Brewing Company has been aging in bourbon barrels for months. Come celebrate its re-release and listen to some alcohol-related true tales presented by the popular storytelling group Secretly Y’all. At Three Notch’d Brewing Company, 2930 West Broad Street, Richmond, $5 donation.

  • For more events, visit the Library's News & Events page,

Running for Office icon

Running for Office
(Online Exhibition)

American political ephemera is older than America itself. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" set the tone for using plain language for persuasion to a political side. Flyers, pamphlets, posters, buttons, television ads, and more use the same plain persuasive language today. "Running for Office" highlights 20th century political ephemera found at the Library of Virginia.

First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom icon

First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom
(March 4, 2017—March 4, 2017)

No one familiar with today's public and political debates about religious liberty and the relationship of church and state can doubt that Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom holds lasting significance. The Library of Virginia's exhibition First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom explores the intent and interpretation of the statute, one of the most revolutionary pieces of legislation in American history. First Freedom is on view at the Library of Virginia through March 4, 2017. Register to attend a free panel discussion on Religious Diversity and Immigration in Virginia, Tuesday, June 21, 2016, Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM, Library of Virginia. Registration required

For more about religious freedom and Virginia, explore Shaping the Constitution.

Washington icon

(Online Exhibition)

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."

Geographia icon

(Online Exhibition)

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.

H ist für Henkel icon

H ist für Henkel
(Online Exhibition)

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.

Representation of the Beauty of Nature icon

Representation of the Beauty of Nature
(Online Exhibition)

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.

Wheels of Change icon

Wheels of Change
(Online Exhibition)

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.

Remaking Virginia icon

Remaking Virginia
(July 6, 2015—March 26, 2016)

Marking the end of the 150th commemoration of the American Civil War, Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation explores how the end of slavery and emancipation affected every Virginian, forcing people to renegotiate and transform their relationships. Remaking Virginia focuses on how African Americans made the change from property to citizens and explores the societal transformation experienced by all Virginians through labor, church, education, families, political rights, military service, and violence.

Remaking Virginia is on view in the Library of Virginia's lobby and gallery, July 6, 2015-March 26, 2016.

Remaking Virginia online exhibition

Wonder of Architecture icon

Wonder of Architecture
(Online Exhibition)

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.