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Engage with Literature, History, Maps, and Genealogy through the Library of Virginia’s Fall Virtual Events

Book club meetings, genealogy workshops, map lectures, volunteer “research sprint” opportunities, author talks, and even the annual Literary Awards Celebration have moved online.




From the Library of Virginia.

Fans of cultural events looking for virtual offerings will find plenty of ways to engage with the Library of Virginia this fall. Our book club meetings, genealogy workshops, map lectures, volunteer “research sprint” opportunities, author talks, and even the annual Literary Awards Celebration have moved online. All events except genealogy workshops are free. For more information, registration details, and instructions on how to join virtually, visit the Library’s Events Calendar:

 Virtual Literary Virginia Book Group 

Read and discuss the best of today’s Virginia literature—books by Library of Virginia Literary Award winners and finalists in fiction and nonfiction—on the second Wednesday evening of the month.

  • Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom | Wednesday, September 9, 2020 | 6:00–7:30 pm
  • The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger | Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | 6:00–7:30 pm
  • Slay Like a Mother by Katherine Wintsch | Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | 6:00–7:30 pm
  • The Substitution Order by Martin Clark | Wednesday, December 9, 2020 | 6:00–7:30 pm

 Virtual Genealogy Workshops

The Library’s genealogy workshop series explores our vast collection of materials documenting the lives of Virginians to help you organize your family history research. Cost: $15 ($10 for members)

  • Virginia Genealogy to ca. 1850 | Friday, September 18, 2020 | 10:00–11:00 am
  • Historic Census Records at the Library of Virginia | Friday, October 16, 2020 | 10:00–11:00 am

Finding Her: Our Female Ancestors | Friday, November 20, 2020 | 10:00–11:00 am

Virginia Humanities Research Fellow Virtual Talk

In the wealthiest country in the world, people still go hungry. The food stamp program was created in the 1960s to ease abundant agricultural surpluses and help feed struggling families who fell through a limited social safety net. Join Virginia Humanities Research Fellow Tracy Roof, PhD, an associate professor of political science at the University of Richmond, as she explores the often contentious politics of the food stamps program.

Addressing Hunger in the Midst of Plenty: 

The Political History of Food Stamps

Tracy Roof, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond | Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 12:00–1:00 pm

Virtual Voorhees Lecture Series on the History of Cartography

Explorations of the Albemarle Sound region and the first English settlements of the Roanoke Islands in the 1580s are the topic of the 17th Annual Alan M. and Nathalie P. Voorhees Lecture on the History of Cartography—this year presented as a series of virtual events. These free online talks are hosted by the Fry-Jefferson Map Society.

Uncharted Territory: How Maps Launched—And Nearly Sank—English Colonization of the New World

Andrew Lawler, Author & Journalist | Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | 7:00–8:30 pm

 17th-Century Maps of Virginia, Maryland & the Southeast, 1590–1720

Cassandra Britt Farrell, Library of Virginia Senior Map Archivist | Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 7:00–8:30 pm

Virtual Volunteer “Research Sprints”

Volunteer to help uncover history with us! What did Virginia newspapers report about Nazi persecution during the 1930s and 1940s? In partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the Library offers virtual “research sprints” into our newspaper collection. Identify Holocaust-related articles in Virginia newspapers to help us understand what the average Virginian could have known during WWII.

History Unfolded: U.S. Newspapers & the Holocaust

Saturday, September 26, 2020 | 10:00–11:30 am

History Unfolded: U.S. Newspapers & the Holocaust

Saturday, November 21, 2020 | 10:00–11:30 am

Virtual Panel Discussion

Moderated by Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan, this virtual panel discussion with historians Lauranett Lee (a visiting lecturer in the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies) and Megan Taylor-Shockley (an author and former professor of history at Clemson University) explores the struggle for the vote that remained for many citizens after the passage of the 19th Amendment. This event complements the Library’s exhibitions We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia and Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business: What the 19th Amendment Didn’t Do

Thursday, October 8, 2020 | 5:00–6:00 pm

23rd Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Virtual Celebration

Celebrate the Library of Virginia Literary Awards virtually this year with a week of author conversations and special events, which will be accessible to the public. This annual event, sponsored by Dominion Energy, attracts library supporters, authors, publishers, and those who enjoy the written word. Award-winning Virginia author Adriana Trigiani will again serve as host on Saturday, October 17 for the awards celebration. Details on how to support and participate in the events are coming soon. The 2020 virtual Literary Awards are sponsored by Dominion Energy. For more information, visit

  • Author Talks & Special Events | Tues–Thurs, October 13–15, 2020
  • Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award | Friday, October 16, 2020
  • Library of Virginia Literary Awards | Saturday, October 17, 2020

Please visit our website at and follow us on social media to find online resources, virtual events, and other ways to engage with the Library.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.