Virginia Memory is part of the online presence of the Library of Virginia, the state archives and reference library at the seat of government for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Established in 1823, the Library maintains vast and varied collections of print materials, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, and fine art that tell the history of the commonwealth and its people. Since the mid-1990s, the Library has digitized parts of the collections in an effort to make our materials more widely available to our online users.
The four primary components of Virginia Memory at launch in 2009 are as follows:
- Digital Collections provides access to our traditional digital image collections available through our online catalog; our digital asset management tool, DigiTool; and partnership programs with the Library of Congress (Chronicling America) and the Internet Archive (Archive-It). We will highlight an older collection as a "Featured Collection," as well as newly created digital collections in "What's New?" on a regular basis.
- Reading Room is where we post our newest type of digital content. Currently, we have three offerings, all of which are researched and written by Library staff.
- This Day in Virginia History offers a document, image, or sound file with contextual information for each day of the year.
- Virginia Chronology offers over 650 different events—42 of which have related digital images—that have occurred over the more than 400 years that have shaped the history of the commonwealth.
- Virginiana presents articles written by Library archivists as they discover collections of interest during processing.
- Exhibitions have been offered online for several years as virtual versions of physical installations at the Library of Virginia. All users, including educators and students, will find much of interest in this area. Exhibitions are also organized by topic.
- Online Classroom is directed at students and educators with tips on incorporating primary source materials from our collections into the classroom. Lesson plans are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL).