Students and Educators

The Library of Virginia is dedicated to providing relevant and useful educational material on Virginia’s history, culture, and people to the commonwealth’s educators, students, and lifelong learners of any age. Our educational outreach programs help cultivate public understanding of the history of the Library, including our mission, collections, programs, and services through events and workshops, web-based content, and tours of our facility.

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Select our At Home Learning tab for more information on what you can access from the comfort of your couch!

Tours and Workshops

The Library of Virginia hosts tours of our public facilities and exhibition gallery and conducts workshops for educators and students. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the Library’s rich history and mission, as well as to explore documents in our collection that can be used for teaching geography, social studies, civics, and government.

Your group can start your tour with an orientation video that gives an overview of our history and collections. We encourage visits by groups of older students who may be interested in using the Library’s collections for research projects. Please note that these options are limited by the availability of staff, by space in the facility, and by the rules and policies governing research and access to materials, which are outlined in our Visitors’ Guide.

Please contact us for more information.

Resources for Students and Educators in our Online Classroom

outline of Virginia with Changemakers imposed over it

Virginia Changemakers

Virginia Changemakers is filled with short biographies of men and women who have changed Virginia’s history. It brings together the remarkable lives of Virginians who have made a difference in their community, state, and nation and have been honored through the Library of Virginia’s signature programs Strong Men and Women in Virginia History (celebrating Black History Month), Virginia Women in History (celebrating Women’s History month), and New Virginians (celebrating the state’s diverse immigration history).

World War One War Savings Stamps poster with Uncle Sam and a girl and a boy

Document Bank of Virginia

Document Bank is filled with images of primary historical sources ready for use in the classroom. These documents can be browsed by specific historic era, by theme, or by using a simple search. Brief historical context is provided along with suggested questions or activities to help students learn and understand state standards. DBVa teaches students to be critical thinkers as they analyze original documents and draw their own conclusions about Virginia’s past.

Shaping the Constitution

Shaping the Constitution features important primary source documents and images from the Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress related to America’s Founding era and the U.S. Constitution. This educational resource for teachers and students explores the beginnings of the U.S. government and Virginia’s connections to those events, as well as amendments to the original document that have continued to change the course of our national history.

Union or Secession: Virginians Decide

Union or Secession: Virginians Decide describes and analyzes the secession crisis as it unfolded between the 1860 presidential campaign and the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861, with a particular emphasis on the state convention called to consider whether Virginia should secede. By using the words of Virginians in approximately 200 documents including correspondence, newspapers, speeches, official documents, and other records, Union or Secession allows Virginians to speak for themselves as they experienced the crisis.

More Library of Virginia Resources

Dictionary of Virginia Biography

The Dictionary of Virginia Biography (DVB) is an ongoing biographical reference project covering all centuries, regions, and categories of Virginia’s history and culture. The DVB highlights many women, African Americans, Indians, and others whose lives have never before been studied in depth.

Search the biographies by name, gender, race, occupation, and locality.

Three volumes have been published (surnames Aaroe–Daniels) and biographies for surnames after Daniels are published online only.

Virginia Chronicle

From the Abingdon Virginian to the Richmond Planet, Virginia Chronicle provides free access to more than four million newspaper pages from the commonwealth and beyond. These full-text searchable and digitized images give glimpses into the lives of Virginians from 1787 to 2022, outlining everything from local politics to community happenings to notable moments in American history.

Virginia Untold

Virginia Untold: the African American Narrative provides digital access to records that document some of the lived experiences of enslaved and free Black and multiracial people who lived in Virginia from the establishment of slavery in the 1600s until late in the 1860s. Sources such as local court records and state records contain the names of millions of enslaved and free Black men, women, and children.