Library of Virginia - Tips for my first time

+3 votes
I'll be in Richmond in about two weeks and will have some free time to explore the Library of Virginia and do some research.  Has anyone been recently that could provide some tips about the facility.  I'll be staying nearby by and won't have to worry about parking.  Thanks in advance for any advice!
in Genealogy Help by Ronald Prentice G2G6 (8.0k points)

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer


It is great that you are planning your research before you arrive.  You will have a much better experience for doing this.  

The Library has a Using the Collection page, which should help you navigate what they have.  Check out the Guides and Indexes to find unique items.  Search their Online Catalog for items and note their locations.  All this should help with a more effective use of your research time.


by Michelle Enke G2G6 Pilot (267k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
Thanks Michelle!  I'll check their website.
+4 votes

One tip that probably wouldn't apply to you is to be polite when you talk to the librarians. I've seen so many people walk up and start demanding things of them which will just get you no where. If you are nice when asking them questions and explaining what your problem is, they can be extremely helpful.

by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (419k points)
Great advice!  Thank Doug.
Always a good thing to remember.
+5 votes
I don't know what or whom you'll be researching, but about my favorite collection there is the legislative petitions, arranged by counties, which of course includes all West Virginia counties that were in Virginia before the Civil War. It's located in the Archives and Manuscript section.

by Patricia Hickin G2G6 Mach 8 (85.4k points)
Thank you!  That could be a great resource for my search and I'll be sure to spend some time in that collection.
I LOVE the originals in Archives at LVA, but most original family Bible records are not housed there, but are in a separate Archive not accessible to public, they have copies of those in Archives at LVA.  Also you can't just browse there, other than what is on the walls, you have to need a specific document you want pulled. You are not allowed a pen in that room, and must check your bags at front desk. They will do copy at a per page charge if you find something. Happy hunting!
Sherri, that is one of area I'm interested to visit.  I didn't know the archive for those materials was not in the same building.  Awesome tip!  

When you find an item and make a request are they able to retrieve the material the same day or is an appointment in advance required?

Thank you!
Hi Ronald, My understanding is that the original family Bibles are not in the Archives at the LVA main building, but are housed in a separate Archive building. They have a lot of Bibles!

They do have some stuff in archives. I was able to get a copy of the original Strawberry Baptist Association's minutes when I provided the index number. If you don't know that I would expect it might take extra time.

Another thing that was particularly helpful for me was the Microfilms they have for various counties of surveys and plats, especially for some of the Burn counties like Buckingham.

Related questions

+4 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
3 answers
+10 votes
4 answers
+8 votes
2 answers
+10 votes
2 answers
+11 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright