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.
Drawing from the archival collections at the Library, Death or Liberty explored three dramatic events in Virginia that focused America's attention on the problem of slavery: Gabriel's Conspiracy in 1800, Nat Turner's Rebellion in Southampton County in 1831, and John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. Examine the documents online.
"A full vote, a free ballot and a fair count" examined key events and issues in Virginia's political history and charted the gradual enlargement of the franchise. Since the founding of Jamestown in 1607, political life in Virginia has undergone many changes that have often involved debates about who could vote and who could not.
Mapping Virginia offered a sampling of the many kinds of maps created by and for Virginians in the past 400 years. The history of cartography in Virginia reflects the pivotal role of the Old Dominion as a leader in much of the political, military, and economic history of the United States. In a rapidly changing society property ownership, political boundaries, economic resources, and the environment were best understood through the mapmaker's craft. Virginia in Maps, published in 1999 and the basis for the exhibition, is available from the Virginia Shop.
Father and Son: The Works of John Gadsby Chapman and Conrad Wise Chapman presented more than one hundred sketches, watercolors, engravings, and oils by these two Virginia artists for the first time since the 1960s. The exhibition consisted of three sections: John Gadsby Chapman's work as a leading illustrator in the 1830s and 1840s; scenes of Italy and France by both Chapmans; and oils and watercolors of Mexico by Conrad Wise Chapman.
This inaugural exhibition at the Library of Virginia's new headquarters on East Broad Street featured a small sampling of the vast collections at the Library. Since its founding in 1823, the Library of Virginia has been dedicated to the collection and preservation of the records of our commonwealth. The Library's collections span nearly 400 years of history and include a diversity of materials unmatched by any other institution in the United States. The Common Wealth: Treasures from the Collections of the Library of Virginia, a companion book complete with a history of the Library and illustrating more examples from the collections, is available from the Virginia Shop.