Manuscripts form only one portion of the society's study collection. The library also holds a comprehensive collection of published material documenting Virginia's history and culture. The library has an extensive collection of published state and local histories, printed materials from or about businesses and institutions in the commonwealth, and other studies that may include environmental materials. [Search the VHS online catalog]
The VHS receives more than 300 periodicals, many of them with a local history or special subject emphasis. Specific references in these journals to people, places, subjects, and events in Virginia are indexed by the staff and added to the online catalog. This additional indexing can lead a researcher to diverse topics certainly including environmental research and history. Certain types of collections, such as broadsides, have special finding aids to help to identify pertinent subject matter as well.
The society's museum holdings include materials that may further research in the history of the environment. Our Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art consists of paintings that predate the environmental movement, as do early landscape prints in the society's collection: all record a highly positive view of land and water in the commonwealth. The photographic prints collection includes potentially hundreds of images relating to land use, the extraction of mineral resources, the effects of natural disasters, and related themes. Three-dimensional pieces in the collection also help us trace human interaction with the environment, as well as attempts to recognize the effects of that interaction and promote environmental protection and restoration. Searches of the VHS online catalog focused on our museum holdings may yield another set of remarkable resources as yet relatively untapped by researchers. [Search the VHS online catalog]