Virginia

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Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
Virginia

Every state has a long and illustrious history, but Virginia, with all those founding fathers and such, just seems to have more of it. Sure enough, Virginia offers up several government and university archives with a lot of online content. 

Virginia Memory is an apt title for the state Library of Virginia's long list of digital collections:

  • 1939 World’s Fair Photograph Collection
  • Adolph B. Rice Photograph Collection, Richmond 1949-1961
  • Alan M. Voorhees Map CollectionBoard of Public Works
  • Born in the Wake of Freedom: John Mitchell, Jr., and the Richmond Planet
  • Broadside Collection
  • Callahan Photograph Collection, Eastern Shore Public Library, 1895-1900 photos from the counties of Accomack and Northampton
  • Capital Square Renovation Collection
  • Carneal & Johnston Negative Collection, glass plates
  • Chancery Records Index
  • Charles F. Gillette Virginia Photograph Collection
  • Civil War Map Project
  • Cohabitation Registers, Register of Colored Persons…cohabiting together as Husband and Wife on 27th February 1866
  • Confederate Disability Applications and Receipts
  • Confederate Pension Rolls, Veterans and Widows, name searchable
  • Civil War 150 Legacy Project
  • Dunmore’s War (Virginia Payrolls/Public Service Claims, 1775)
  • Early Virginia Religious Petitions, 1774-1802
  • Executive Orders Digital Collection
  • Fairfax County Public Library Historical Photographs
  • Fairfax County Public Library Photograph Collection
  • Fry–Jefferson Maps, Surveys and Derivatives, mostly 18th century
  • Government Reform Commission Reports
  • Governor Mark R. Warner Administration Web Archive
  • Governor Timothy Kaine Administration Collection
  • Governor’s Letters Received, June 1776 - November 1784
  • Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection, Suffolk Public Library, 1910-1975
  • Hampton Public Library/City of Hampton Historical Collection Photographs
  • Harry C. Mann Photograph Collection, glass plates, searchable
  • Hopewell Virginia Locals of United Mine Workers of America Photograph Collection
  • Jamestown 2007 Commemoration Collection
  • Legislative Petitions Digital Collection
  • Lewis and Clark : "We send from this place with dispatches."
  • Lost Records Localities Digital Collection (index of records lost due to fires, etc).
  • Mutual Assurance Society (Richmond/Henrico County, Virginia, Policies), insurance policies, 1796-1867
  • Newport News Public Library Photograph Collection
  • Portsmouth Public Library Photograph Collection
  • Public Buildings and Grounds Collection
  • R. M. S. Titanic: 100 Years Later
  • Radford Public Library Photograph Collection
  • Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants
  • Revolutionary War Rejected Claims
  • Revolutionary War Virginia State Pensions
  • Richmond Esthetic Survey/Historic Building Survey
  • Roanoke County Public Library Local History Photographs
  • Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers’ Home Applications for Admission
  • S. Bassett French Biographical Sketches, 1890-1897
  • School Buildings Service Photographs
  • State Artwork Collection
  • State Government Publications
  • Stereograph Collection
  • Tantilla Gardens Poster Collection
  • Tazewell County Public Library Photographs
  • The Engraver’s Art: Newspaper Mastheads
  • Tragedy at Virginia Tech
  • U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph Collection, 1942-1946
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce Photograph Collection
  • Virginia Colonial Records Project
  • Virginia Historical Inventory
  • Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys, 1623-1922 (wow!)
  • Virginia Legislature Photograph Collection
  • Virginia Organization Web Archive
  • Virginia State Government Web Sites Collection
  • Virginia Statewide Election Campaign Web Sites
  • Virginia’s Political Landscape, 2005
  • Virginia’s Political Landscape, 2007
  • Virginia’s Political Landscape, 2008
  • Virginia’s Political Landscape, 2009
  • Virginia’s Political Landscape, 2010
  • War of 1812 Bicentennial Collection
  • Waynesboro Public Library Photographs
  • World War I History Commission Questionnaires
  • World War I Poster Collection
  • WPA Life Histories Collection


The Digital Exhibits at the Virginia Military Institute are pretty impressive as well:
  • Civil War and New Market 
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Genealogy & Alumni 
  • Photos & Portraits
  • Letters, Diaries, Manuscripts
  • Digital Publications
  • Military Oral History
  • VMI Records
  • VMI Archives historical rosters database, all enrolled students, 1839-1935

And not to be outdone, Virginia Commonwealth University has its own lengthy list of Digital Collections, about half of which have to do with Virginia history:

  • Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection
  • Commonwealth Times
  • Confederate Military Hospitals in Richmond 
  • Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) Public Schools 
  • Fan Free Funnies (underground comix from the 1970s)
  • First 125 Years of the Medical College of Virginia 
  • History of the Richmond Professional Institute 
  • Jackson Ward Historic District 
  • Low Art Tile Book Collection 
  • Medical Artifacts Collection 
  • Newlyweds and Their Baby (anyone remember Baby Snookums?)
  • Oral Pathology Review Images 
  • A Proud Heritage--100 Years of Nursing Education 
  • PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly 
  • Rarely Seen Richmond 
  • Resources on Slavery in Richmond, Virginia 
  • Richmond Architectural Survey Collection 
  • Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection 
  • Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection 
  • Robertson Hospital Register (Over 1,000 entries from this Civil War hospital)
  • RPI Student Newspapers 
  • Sanger Historical Files (1859-1865), Excerpts 
  • Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection 
  • Through the Lens of Time 
  • VCU Alumni Publications 
  • VCU Board of Visitors Minutes 
  • VCU News Publications 
  • VCU Oral History Archive 
  • VCU Yearbooks 
  • Voices of Freedom 
  • Wayne Commission Report (original recommendation to create VCU)
And lastly, Virginia Tech's ImageBase is part of a nascent but growing digital collection. It covers a wide variety of topics:
  • Agriculture
  • Appalachia
  • Art & Art History    
  • Art and Architecture 
  • Christiansburg Institute
  • Civil War
  • Culinary History
  • International Archive of Women in Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Maps
  • Palmer, Earl. Appalachian Photographs
  • Railroad
  • Science and Technology
  • Science fiction
  • Southwest Virginia 
  • Temple, Col. Harry
  • Theater and Music 
  • Turner, Henry Flippen Collection
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Virginia Tech Athletics
  • Virginia Tech Campus Views and Maps
  • Virginia Tech Faculty, Staff, Students, and Organizations
  • Virginia Tech Historical Photograph Collection
  • Virginia Tech Museum of Natural History
  • Virginia Tech Publications
  • Virginia Tech University Relations Slide Collection

More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

 Historical Newspaper Archives          Ancestry.com       

 Genealogy Tools                                US Historical Newspapers        

 European Historical Newspapers        International Historical Newspapers

Court Record Searches                        Public Records Searches