Virginia Archives and Libraries

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United States Gotoarrow.png Virginia Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries


National Archives at Philadelphia sign.jpg
National Archives at Philadelphia
900 Market Street (entrance on Chesnut Street)
Philadelphia, PA 19107-4292
Telephone: 215-606-0100
Fax: 215-606-0111

Has federal agency and court records for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. All U.S. federal censuses 1790-1940, and indexes. Also have passenger arrivals in Philadelphia 1800-1945 and Baltimore, pension and bounty land warrant applications, naturalizations 1790-1990, early federal history, diplomacy, military history, Chinese-Americans, World War II homefront, National Park Service, merchant marine, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, federal tax evasion and smuggling cases.[1]


Library of Virginia (formerly Virginia State Library and Archives)

800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219-8000
Telephone: 804-692-3500
Fax: 804-692-3556
Websites:Library of Virginia
Using the Collection

The research collections of the Library of Virginia are divided between the General Library and the Research and Information Services Division. The General Library contains printed materials, while the Research and Information Services Division consists of government records and other historical documents.

Many collections are available online, such as Confederate Pension Rolls, Veterans and Widows, Index to Wills and Administrations, Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants, and Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants.

State records in the Research and Information Services Division are described in:

Salmon, John. S., comp. A Guide to State Records in the Archives Branch. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library, 1985. FHL book 975.5 A3sj

The Library of Virginia has also published two excellent preliminary guides to the pre-1904 county and municipal records and also publishes annual updates:

Ray, Suzanne Smith. A Preliminary Guide to Pre- 1904 County Records in the Archives Branch, Virginia State Library and Archives. (Richmond, Virginia: Library and Archives, [1988?].) FHL book 975.5 A3r

Hart, Lyndon H. A Preliminary Guide to Pre-1904 Municipal Records in the Archives Branch, Virginia State Library and Archives. (Richmond, Virginia Library and Archives, [1988?].) FHL book 975.5 A3h)

Virginia State Library. Archives and Records Division. Annual Reports of Archival Accessions. (Richmond, Virginia: Library and Archives, 1971–.) FHL book 975.5 A35v

University of Virginia

Alderman Library
PO Box 400113
Charlottesville VA 22904-4113
fax: 434.924.1431 A helpful guide to this library is Virginia Genealogy, A Guide to Resources in the University of Virginia Library (Charlottesville, Virginia: The University Press of Virginia, 1983) FHL book 975.5 D23u).

College of William and Mary

Earl Gregg Swem Library
P.O. Box 8794
Landrum Drive
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8794
Phone: (757) 221-3050
Fax: (757) 221-2635

Handley Library Winchester Virginia.jpg
Handley Regional Library
100 W. Piccadilly Street
PO Box 58
Winchester, VA 22604
Telephone: 540-662-9041
Fax: 540-722-4769

Very large collection about Germans and Scots-Irish who traveled the Great Valley Road from Pennsylvania  to Virginia, including manuscripts, newspapers, biographies, and histories,[2] and people of the Lower Shenandoah Valley since 1732, emphasizing Winchester and Frederick County in 4000 books, county court abstracts, county histories, genealogies, regimental histories, battles, newspapers since 1787, censuses, 600 linear feet of manuscripts, maps, photos, and oral history tapes.[3]

Jones Memorial Library

Jones Memorial Library
2311 Memorial Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Telephone: 434-846-0501
Fax: 434-846-1572

Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown
224 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Telephone: 831-427-7707 ext. 5794
E-mail: E-mail reference service form

Holds the Genealogial Society of Santa Cruz County's library, including the Tina Brayton Collection which is equivalent to the Draper Collection but larger and with a better index, and many compiled genealogies of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia  families.[4] [5]

Virginia Online Records

Hand and keyboard.jpg Virginia
Online Records

has statewide online database links which may  include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records. 

Web Sites

The following sites are important gateways:

A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.

A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly updated research coordination list.

A comprehensive list of websites available for specific areas and subjects. Updated frequently.

The Family History Library and all Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.


Appalachia Archives

  • Archives in Appalachia: A Directory. Boone, North Carolina: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1985. (Family History Library book 975 A3a.) The record covers the states of Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The record is arranged alphabetically by state, then by the name of the repository. Each entry lists the archive, its address, phone number, inclusive dates of the collection, the records of the collection, what subjects are covered by the collection, and the size of the collection. There are two indexes: Record type, and Subject, with reference numbers corresponding to the repository. Also included is a list, under “Coming Attractions,” of agencies that do not currently collect manuscript materials but plan to do so in the future.


  1. William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 126-27. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  2. Dollarhide and Bremer, 97.
  3. Family and Local History in Handley Regional Library (accessed 28 December 2013).
  4. Dollarhide and Bremer, 113.
  5. The Tina Brayton Collection in Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County (accessed 3 January 2014).