RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In 1823, Virginia’s General Assembly adopted legislation to create an institution devoted to organizing, managing and caring for the state’s official records and collections, some of which date back to the colonial era. Now, as the Library of Virginia turns 200 years old, with more than 130 million records on hand, they’ve sifted through them to create “200 Years, 200 Stories.”
The exhibit celebrates the library’s bicentennial by honoring 200 Virginians whose life narratives are documented in some way among the records, images and artifacts held there.
“It was difficult to winnow down and that’s what we emphasize,” said Gregg Kimball, the LVA Director of Public Services and Outreach. “We’re going to tell you these 200 stories, but come in and you’ll learn another thousand stories.”
Kimball hopes seeing the narratives of those displayed will prompt others to look into their own family’s narratives utilizing the many records available at the library. And the multimedia displays showcase different types of records to transport those attending the exhibit back through the lives of those to who they belonged.
The stories represent Virginians from all walks of life.
“We also have things from people who were only in Virginia for a couple of years and were passing through, like we have these wonderful passports of people,” Kimball said.
The exhibit is open from Tuesday, Jan. 24 until Oct. 28th.
The Library of Virginia is set to celebrate its bicentennial throughout the year with a variety of events.