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.
Jefferson & The Capitol of Virginia examined how Jefferson, the founder of monumental civic architecture, began his achievements in civic design with the Virginia State Capitol in which he united the lofty principles and grand scale of the Classical tradition with established Virginia customs.
Taking Office: Inaugurations of Virginia's Governors documents how the gubernatorial inauguration has evolved from a quiet ceremony to a public event.
In the 1930s, New York-born Julius John Lankes and Virginian Charles William Smith both worked in woodcut, an old style of printmaking, and in Virginia. Explore how these two artists created different views of Virginia in the same medium.
Through images and documents, Virginia's Coal Towns explored the history of coal as a significant part of Virginia's economy, as well as the lives of the miners, who spent so much time underground in dangerous, dirty jobs, and their families.
Marking the 200th anniversary of his becoming the fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the exhibition John Marshall highlighted the life of Marshall (1755–1838).
Pleasure in the Garden explored Virginia's history of gardening. Vegetable garden, flower garden, orchard, kitchen garden, pleasure garden-Virginians tilled and planted a variety of gardens from the beginning of settlement. Gardens not only provided food but also offered pleasing and colorful vistas as well as places for leisure. At the heart of gardening and landscape design was a desire to impose order on the landscape.