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Every box of records that arrives at the Library of Virginia (LVA) is full of possibilities. We never know what we are going to find in even the most seemingly mundane record series. A joy of our work is sharing with colleagues and friends the images, documents, and stories that pique our interest as we process the collection. The LVA’s archivists want to share these discoveries with those outside our professional circle.

The LVA wears many hats in its service to the state. As the state archive it houses official records of the commonwealth, its counties, and independent cities along with a significant collection of private papers. The archivists of the LVA work not only to preserve the state’s documentary heritage but are also dedicated to providing access to its unmatched collection of more than 109 million diverse items ranging from official government documents to family letters, from royal land grants on parchment to former Gov. Tim Kaine’s administration websites.

All historical images and documents are a product of the time in which they were created and some may be offensive to modern sensibilities. These items will be included in the blog and placed in their proper historical context in order to provide a well-rounded picture of the collection and Virginia’s history.

A blog is the perfect format for us to share our finds and illuminate the practical side of the archival profession as practiced here. It is a natural outgrowth of the LVA’s use of technology to expand access to the collection outside the reading rooms. Visit often. Make comments. Share your stories. We will update the blog every week with a new entry.


Many of the items identified in the blog are temporarily unavailable to the public since they are being processed. Others are available either physically at the Library of Virginia or have been digitized and are available online. The status of each item mentioned will be noted in the blog post. Questions about any items may be directed to Archives Research Services.


Comments for this blog are encouraged. They are, however, moderated by LVA editors and must conform to the Comments Policy. Comments will be posted during regular Library business hours after approval. Inappropriate or offensive comments will be deleted. Please direct questions about the collection to Archives Research Services.