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Library of Virginia, Richmond

4.5
#42 of 73 in Things to do in Richmond
Library Traveler Resource
The Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, is the library agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, its archival agency, and the reference library at the seat of government. The Library moved into a new building in 1997 and is located at 800 East Broad Street, 2 blocks from the Virginia State Capitol building. It was formerly known as the Virginia State Library and as the Virginia State Library and Archives.Formally founded by the Virginia General Assembly in 1823, the Library of Virginia organizes, cares for, and manages the state's collection of books and official records, many of which date back to the early colonial period. It houses what is believed to be the most comprehensive collection of materials on Virginia government, history, and culture available anywhere. Its research collections contain more than 808,500 bound volumes; 678,790 public documents; 410,330 microforms, including 45,684 reels of microfilmed newspapers; 308,900 photographs and other pictorial materials; 101.8 million manuscript items and records; and several hundred thousand prints, broadsides, and newspapers.History of the institutionAlthough the Library of Virginia was officially established in 1823, its history goes back to the collection of materials acquired for official use by the colonial Council and subsequent colonial and state authorities. The first permanent home of the Library was a small room on the top floor of the State Capitol. The state’s books and records eventually outgrew this space, and overflow books and documents were then stored in several rented locations across Richmond.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
68 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Toured library while participating in conference in August 2016. Wish every Virginian would visit to see the exhibits, if only for a little while. Advice for Library - be more visible and advertise yo...  more »
  • If I had only known how extensive their records were and how helpful their staff was, we would have skipped the courthouses in our recent Virginia trip and just spent our time here doing genealogy. Th...  more »
  • A diamond not to be missed! Much to read, learn and explore. Many levels of print. Cafe to eat a full lunch. Gift shop to take home a souvenir!  more »
Google
  • Great internet great food excellent selection of books in the computers were exceptionally well everything is very convenient quiet Pleasant and a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Don't get me wrong, i love this library, and it is nice, but the STAFF that works here, are the STUPIDEST LIBRARY STAFF, i have ever encountered in my LIFE! Almost EVERY SINGLE QUESTION i asked about computers, they said; THEY DON'T know! I was told by country club members; that is why they are 50 to 67 years OLD, and WORKING FOR MINUMUM WAGE 9 hours a day! I actually heard homeless people, that sit in there, teaching the librarians a few pointers about computers! Now they are closed on saturdays, AND, mondays! Why are they even there for? Then they have more security in there, than they have at the bus station, where they really need them! is everything a joke? Now i see why half of america is standing in THE FOOD LINES!!
  • This is a very nice library with tons and tons of historical documents. It's great if you want to research some old family history or genealogy. It's not so great if you want to bring your kids and look at some picture books. This is not like a community library, but rather service a very specialized niche.
  • Nice and quiet. Don't have to worry about the homeless being in there taking up space.
  • We drive from Northern Arlington, Virginia rather than put up with the irritation of getting to the Library of Congress by Metro (no parking anywhere near the LOC), going through security, and not being allowed to take even a folder into the reading rooms!

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Where to stay in Richmond

Richmond boasts a wide array of accommodations, including inns and national chain hotels. Those who want to take full advantage of the city's rich historical heritage should consider staying in the Northside area, home to a number of historic districts, or near the Boulevard, where you can find most of the city's museums. There are a number of apartment vacation rentals available in residential areas of the city; neighborhoods close to Virginia Commonwealth University are generally a safe bet for those wanting to take advantage of lively eateries, quirky stores, and bars.
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