Virginia Historical Society

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Virginia Historical Society

Founded in 1831, the Virginia Historical Society is a private organization and derives its support from membership and endowment. Chief Justice John Marshall was elected its first president, and former president James Madison was elected its first honorary member. The organization is housed in the Battle Abbey, that began as the Confederate Memorial Association shrine to the Confederate Dead.

Contact Information

E-mail: (Frances Pollard, Chief Librarian)


Virginia Historical Society
428 North Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia 23220

Telephone: 804-358-4901

Hours: Mon. to Sat. 10 a.m. to  5 p.m., closed federal holidays[1]

Public transportation, maps, and directions:

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Virginia Historical Society

Internet sites and databases:

Collection Description

  • A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Virginia Historical Society Papers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

  • [ Genealogy at the Virginia Historical Society] The Virginia Historical Society is pleased to have you use our genealogical resources. It should be noted, however, that the principal center for genealogical research in Virginia is the Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond. County records (including wills, deeds, and marriage bonds), military service records, church records, Land Office records (patents and grants), and tax records are located there. The Library of Virginia also has census records and large collections of genealogical notes and charts. Nevertheless, the VHS does have numerous materials helpful to genealogists, such as genealogical notes and charts, family papers, Bible records, county histories, and census records. It should be noted that most of our collections have not been digitized and thus are not available for viewing online. Please note that we have closed stacks. This means that researchers must fill out call slips in order to request and examine materials from the library collections.

They have; various indexes such as Virginia Historical Index; Census Records; Land Records; Ship Passenger Lists and Immigration Lists; Military Records; wills, Marriages and obituaries; county court records; bible records; genealogical notes; birth and death records; newspapers; maps; and African-American genealogy.


Admission to the research library and museum is free.[1]


Research at the Virginia Historical Society; [ Books and Research Guides at the VHS]; Virginia's Civil War: A Guide to Manuscripts at the Virginia; and VHS, Guide to African American Manuscripts.

Alternate Repositories

If you cannot visit or find a record at the Virginia Historical Society, a similar record may be available at one of the following.

Similar Collections

  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, Mormon records.
  • Allen County Public Library (Indiana) has a premier genealogical periodical collection, genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, passenger lists, American Indians, African Americans, Canadians.

Neighboring Collections

  • Library of Virginia, digital sources, databases, vital, military, newspapers, periodicals, tax, history, land records.
  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Library, Washington DC, Revolutionary War and colonial period, including family and local histories, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, 15,000 genealogical membership applications.
  • Maryland State Archives, census, court, church, vital, military, probate, land, tax, immigration, naturalizations.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Visit the VHS," Virginia Historical Society,, accessed 10 February 2012.

See also A Checklist of Compiled Sources & Where to Find Them