Virginia Archives and Libraries

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

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printed materials, while the Research and Information Services Division consists of government records and other historical documents.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

A resource for locating archives in Appalachia is:

  • 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.

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.

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.