On October 16, 1957, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Virginia during the commonwealth's 350th anniversary celebration of the founding of Jamestown. Then, as now, the Queen's visit prompted intense interest from the state's people and the media. To mark the 2007 royal visit, the Library of Virginia presented photographs, audio, newspaper accounts, and state records from the 1957 events.
Myth and Memory: Understanding Four Hundred Years of Virginia History examined how Virginians have remembered their past through public events, through writing about history, and through marking history on the landscape. Because Virginians are peculiarly interested in, and contentious about, their past, their historical memory often results in competing interpretations.
Through timing, perseverance, and sheer good fortune, Leslie Garland Bolling (1898–1955) captured the attention and imagination of the art public from 1926 to 1943 with more than eighty portrait busts and sculptures of working people and nude figures. He faced obstacles: he was African American, he was self–taught, and he lived in the segregated South. The web exhibition includes descriptions and, where available, illustrations of works discovered after the physical exhibition closed. The catalog, Freeing Art from Wood, is available from the Virginia Shop.
Learn more about the Virginia Library Association (VLA) which has developed, promoted, and improved library and information services and the profession of librarianship to advance literacy and learning and to ensure access to information for all Virginians.
Working Out Her Destiny: Women's History in Virginia, 1600-2004 took a fresh look at the history of Virginia's women and the history of Virginia in the light of twenty years of innovative scholarship since the 1984-1985 Virginia Women's Cultural History Project presented the first ever exhibition and book on Virginia women's history, "'A Share of Honour,' Virginia Women 1600-1945."
Maps, Charts & Atlases honored the dedication and devotion of Alan M. Voorhees to the collection, preservation, and study of cartographic materials. An avid collector, Mr. Voorhees donated to the Library of Virginia maps that focus on the exploration of the Chesapeake Bay area and the development of Virginia within the context of both European and American history. The cultural perceptions, political aspirations, and extent of geographical knowledge of those who created these maps and atlases are evident in the lavish cartouches, or title areas, and the illustrations and land claims, many with bright hand-coloring. These maps are available for research use in the Library of Virginia's Nathalie P. Voorhees Map Room.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down segregation in school, Brown v. Board of Education explored Virginia's reaction to the ruling through the letters and petitions of individual citizens and organizations sent to elected officials and through the adoption of the policy of "Massive Resistance."
Radio in Virginia used the WRVA collection to explore the rise of radio in the Commonwealth. Established in 1925, WRVA was one of the earliest radio stations in Virginia. Listen to sample recordings from the Library's WRVA collection.
Legacies of the New Deal in Virginia offered overviews of two major components of Roosevelt's New Deal—the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Projects Administration—whose achievements continue to enrich our lives. New Deal-related collections at the Library that were highlighted in the exhibition are still available in genealogical, historical, sociological, and cultural research.
Virginia Roots Music: Creating and Conserving Tradition explored the collecting and recording of Virginia music in the two decades before World War II. That music formed the bedrock of the country, blues, and gospel music traditions that exist today. Both the collectors and the recorders responded to fundamental changes in the economy, technology, and society of America and the South as phonographs and radio began to spread traditional musical forms to a wider audience. Listen to sound files of these early recordings of Virginia's music.