"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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The reading room

The Joseph Bryan and John Stewart Bryan Reading Room houses the research library of the Virginia Historical Society. Constructed in 1993, our library holds an extensive collection of published books and journals, manuscripts, rare books and Confederate imprints, maps, broadsides, and sheet music related to the history and culture of Virginia.

The reading room is free and open to all VHS patrons, from the curious visitor to the professional researcher. If you have ever been to the society's reading room to look at any of the more than eight million processed manuscripts in the collection, then you know how it feels to hold a piece of history in your hands. Scholars, students, amateur historians, and genealogists all experience that feeling on a daily basis here at the VHS.

Circulation
Our reading room has a non-circulating collection. Library materials may be examined in the Joseph Bryan and John Stewart Bryan Reading Room. Library staff will deliver requested materials to patrons in the reading room. Photographs are served by appointment only. Please use our online form to make an appointment.

Learn more about our rules and policies.

Frances Pollard

Frances Pollard, chief librarian

Do you have a reference question? Fill out our online form, and a VHS librarian will assist you.

Contact Information

Phone: 804.342.9677
Genealogy line: 804.342.9649
Fax: 804.355.2399

Hours
Monday through Saturday: 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.*
*Last call for materials and photocopies must be made by 4:40 p.m.

Mailing Address
Library, Virginia Historical Society, P.O. Box 7311, Richmond, Va. 23221

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