Virginia Archives and Libraries

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The following archives and libraries have collections or services helpful to Virginia genealogical researchers:

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

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printed materials, while the Research and Information Services Division consists of government records and other historical documents.

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. (Family History Library 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?]. (Family History Library 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?]. (Family History Library book 975.5 A3h)

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

National Archives—Mid-Atlantic Region (Downtown Philadelphia)

900 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-4292
Telephone: 215-606-0100
Fax: 215-606-0116

National Archives—Mid-Atlantic Region (Northeast Philadelphia)

14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-1025
Telephone: 215-305-2000
Fax: 215-305-2038

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; Family History Library 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

100 W. Piccadilly St.
Winchester, VA 22601
Phone: (540) 662-9041
Fax:    (540) 722-4769

Jones Memorial Library

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

Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards

Computers with modems are important tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In a way, computer networks themselves serve as a library. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial on-line services help family history researchers:

  • Locate other researchers
  • Post queries
  • Send and receive E-mail
  • Search large databases
  • Search computer libraries
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Virginia in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. As of April 2007, the following sites are important gateways linking you to many more network and bulletin board sites:


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.

Cyndi's List---

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

FamilySearch™ ---

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.