About

History of the Library

The Library of Virginia was created by the General Assembly in 1823 to organize, care for, and manage the state’s growing collection of books and official records — many of which date back to the early colonial period. The Library occupied rooms on the third floor of the Capitol in Richmond until 1895, when Virginia erected a new Library and office building on the eastern side of Capitol Square. Outgrowing this location, the Library in 1940 moved to a handsome, new art-deco building on Capitol Street, adjacent to City Hall and the Executive Mansion. In 1997, the Library opened to the public at 800 East Broad Street, its fourth home since its founding.

The Library houses the most comprehensive collection of materials on Virginia government, history, and culture available anywhere. The collections illustrate the rich and varied past of the commonwealth, documenting the lives of Virginians whose deeds are known to all, as well as those of ordinary citizens whose accomplishments are the foundation of our heritage.The Library’s printed, manuscript, map, and photographic collections attract researchers from across the country and the world, while the Library’s Web sites provide collection-based content and access to our digital collections to those at great distances who are not able to travel to Richmond. In addition to managing and preserving its collections, the Library supplies research and reference assistance to state officials, provides consulting services to state and local government agencies and to Virginia’s public libraries, administers numerous federal, state, and local grant programs, publishes award-winning books on Virginia history, provides educational programs and resources on Virginia history and culture for students and teachers, and offers the public a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, book-signings, and other programs at burniva.com.

In addition to the main Library building, the Library manages the State Records Center in Henrico County where inactive, non-permanent records of state agencies and local governments are housed.

About the Library

VISION
The Library of Virginia will inspire learning, ignite imagination, create possibilities, encourage understanding, and engage Virginia’s past to empower its future.

MISSION
As the Commonwealth’s library and archives, the Library of Virginia is a trusted educational institution. We acquire, preserve, and promote access to unique collections of Virginia’s history and culture and advance the development of library and records management services statewide.

2 days ago

Education at LVA
🐿 🐿 🐿!!!!!Hug a squirrel today! Wait, on second thought, don't do that. Perhaps admire a squirrel from afar or maybe toss a few peanuts on the lawn today. uncommonwealth.virginiamemory.com/blog/2022/01/21/squirrel-appreciation-day/ ... See MoreSee Less
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5 days ago

Education at LVA
Have you seen this opportunity educators?This is a call for proposals! The Virginia Council for Social Studies (VCSS) is looking for educators and historians to be guests on the VCSS podcast, Content to Classroom. On Content to Classroom, we learn about historical topics and current events from experts in the field of history and discuss strategies for how to teach those topics in the classroom. We’ve interviewed leading historians, such as Dr. Hasan Jeffries, incredible organizations, such as C-SPAN in the Classroom, and talented educators from around the state.Previously, our episodes have spanned anywhere from 1-2 hours in length. In 2022, we’re changing our format-- episodes will be shorter, around 30 minutes, making them perfect for the average commute. Now, episodes will focus on either pedagogy or content, allowing listeners to pick and choose episodes based on what will most serve them and their classes. Listeners will love our more concentrated interviews, and guests will enjoy shorter episode recording times as well as the specificity of topics we can now cover!So, do you have an area of content expertise that you would like to discuss? A pedagogical life hack that needs to be heard? A new book or publications that you would like to share with social studies educators? Or something else entirely that might pique our interest? Then, we encourage you to apply* to be a guest on our show!Apply here: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf4TNXGo94GqAMzTimROdMfMeCxRHRPP8ZsbRFlUJNB0u1pYQ/viewform?usp=s...*If you have more than one idea for a show topic, please fill out an application for each topic that you wish to suggest. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and applicants can expect a response via email within a few days of their submission. ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Education at LVA
The Library of Virginia will be closed Saturday, January 15 through Monday, January 17 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.To see our regular hours and get more information, view our Visitors Guide: www.lva.virginia.gov/about/visit.asp ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Education at LVA
One of Livi the Library Fox’s teammates has a birthday today, and, of course, she brought in cupcakes to celebrate! Thanks so much Livi—you sure are sweet!!! 🧁 🦊 🎉 ... See MoreSee Less
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