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Library of Virginia, Richmond
(4.5/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web)
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
  • We spent an entire day researching genealogy in this massive modern facility, and the resources and staff were fantastic! It is under-advertised; entry is free; and we are glad we found out about it i...  more »
  • Dropped by to do some family research from the Civil War era after a long day of walking around downtown Richmond. They have a very nice little eatery (that closes at 4 PM); my wife and I got sandwich...  more »
  • Nice, quite place to visit, read or just relax. Staff was very helpful in answering my questions. Thumbs up for me! 
Google
  • 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!
  • Nice and quiet. Don't have to worry about the homeless being in there taking up space.
  • 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.
  • Good library.
  • All things Virginian, from Royal Imperial British Commonwealth to present day State. All Virginian's and there works are listed here and more.