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.
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.