Category Archives: Announcements

Virginia Heritage News

Welcome to 2018! Here are few updates about Virginia Heritage.

  • Virginia Heritage currently hosts 13,013 finding aids, 14 of which were added just this month.
  • In 2017 the site had more than 167,000 unique hits.
  • Institutions that contribute to Virginia Heritage were asked to provide a profile which includes contact information and a brief description of the institution and their primary collecting areas. Check out this map to learn more.
    Screenshot of institutional profile map.

    Screenshot of institutional profile map.

  • The ArchivesSpace Working Group completed its final report in the fall of 2017. You can read the full report here.

VMFA Launches Digital Fabergé Archive

The Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is happy to announce the launch of its first digital archive, which documents the formation of the museum’s world-renowned Fabergé and Russian decorative arts collection at In addition, the VMFA Archives has submitted the finding aid for the collection to the Virginia Heritage database, its first submission.



Bequeathed to the museum upon her death in 1947, Lillian Thomas Pratt’s Fabergé collection consistently remains one of the highlights of the museum’s permanent collection. In 1917, Pratt married her second husband, John Lee Pratt, a self-made millionaire engineer and businessman with General Motors. She began purchasing her collection of over 500 items, while accompanying her husband on business trips to New York City in the 1930s and 1940s. She eventually bought five of the 52 Russian Imperial Easter Eggs created by the Fabergé firm. Comprised of correspondence, invoices, price tags, and detailed item descriptions, the archive illuminates Pratt’s mind as a collector, as well as the close relationship she formed with New York based art dealers Alexander and Ray Schaffer, owners of the prominent art and antiques gallery A La Vieille Russie.

In all, over 700 items have been digitized, resulting in 1,500 downloadable image files, all of which are available to the public via a new online portal dedicated to digital resources about Fabergé and Russian decorative arts. The website provides access to the digitized Pratt archive, newly filmed videos of the Imperial Easter Eggs opening, new 360° views of the Imperial Easter Eggs,and downloadable resources for educators. The website also links to the new free Fabergé at VMFA mobile application that allows users to explore the collection through five different historical perspectives and design and share a Fabergé mini egg.


Powered by Piction, the museum’s digital asset management system, the launch of the portal coincides with the highly anticipated return of the Fabergé collection, which will be displayed in a new suite of renovated galleries opening to the public on October 22.

This project was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence.

ArchivesSpace and EAD3 Working Group Members Needed

A Call from the Technology Team Chair:

You may have seen some messages from the Technology Team earlier this summer about the working groups we are in the process of forming. After a slight delay, we are excited to share the official charges for the ArchivesSpace and EAD3 Working Groups!

The ArchivesSpace Working Group (WG) will be collecting data about ArchivesSpace use by the Virginia Heritage membership, suggesting some practical next steps for potential adopters, as well as for the Virginia Heritage Technology, Outreach, and Training teams, and coordinating with the EAD3 WG to identify potential barriers to implementation until ArchivesSpace is in compliance. You can read the detailed charge for the ArchivesSpace Working Group online. Please note: Your institution does NOT need to be using ArchivesSpace to serve on this working group. It may help to have some familiarity with it (there’s a sandbox here:, but this is also a good learning opportunity if you’d like to know more!

The EAD3 WG will be drafting an implementation plan to move Virginia Heritage from EAD 2002 to EAD3 that includes dealing with legacy/existing files, suggesting some training ideas once EAD3 is implemented, and coordinating with the ArchivesSpace WG to identify potential barriers to implementation until ArchivesSpace and other archival management currently in use by VH member institutions is in compliance. You can read the detailed charge for the EAD3 Working Group online. Please note: You do NOT need to be an EAD expert to serve on this working group—if you’re looking for an opportunity to learn about EAD 2002 and EAD3, this is a great chance to do so!

Since we know this blog does not reach everyone, we encourage you share the post with your colleagues in the LAM community in Virginia that you know may have overlapping interests. We would like to have working groups that represent diverse institutions, uses of software and standards, and wide range of back-end and end users.

 At this time, we are especially interested in volunteers for the EAD3 Working Group, which currently only has two members. However, if you missed our previous calls for the ArchivesSpace WG and are especially interested in serving, please let us know, as we may be able to add 1-2 more members. There are sign-up sheets for the ArchivesSpace and EAD3 working groups available online. We are looking to fill out both working groups by the end of August, if not sooner, so they can begin their efforts! You may also contact Kira Dietz (, the Technology Team chair, to volunteer, ask questions, or get more information.

Many thanks to the volunteers so far and for the future ones!

Call for Archives Month Images

The 2016 Virginia Archives Month Committee is currently accepting images for this year’s poster and for other uses. See the call for images below:

Art in the Archives

This year, Archives Month in Virginia will celebrate the paintings, sculptures, sketches, photographs, models, prints, and doodles contained in the commonwealth’s vast and unique archival collections. This year we hope to engage those outside of our typical user groups not only by highlighting a lesser-known aspect of archives, but also by encouraging the public to participate by creating something new.

2015 Virginia Archives Month poster

2015 Virginia Archives Month poster

The images posted to the Virginia Archives Month Flicker page will be freely available to the public to use in some new, artistic way such as a GIF, collage, coloring page, or whatever they dream up. We’ll just ask that they upload their new creation to social media with the #artinthearchives, #artoberVA and #archivesmonth hashtags and tag the source institution.

The image submission process will work only a bit differently this year. We want users to have lots of options to be creative, so submit as many institutional images as you’d like, but specify which one you’d like to use on the poster (if you have a preference). As usual, there will be just one image per institution used on the poster.

If institutional policy or preference prevents you from making your image available for use on Flickr, you can email a single image for the poster and specify that it is not to be used on Flickr. Those files will sent directly to the poster designer.

Submit all images to Vince Brooks ( by Friday, 8 July 2016. Again, be sure to specify if you do not want images added to the Flickr page.

Image specifications: 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at 100%.


Your 2016 Virginia Archives Month Committee:

Kate Morris, VA Caucus Rep
Sherri Bagley
Vince Brooks
Carl Childs
Sonya Coleman
Ann-Marie Gannon
Cara Griggs
Zachary Hottel
Jessica Johnson
Margaret Kidd
Marianne Martin
Jennifer McDaid
Laura Stoner

UMW Special Collections and University Archives Receives Community Grant

University of Mary Washington Libraries, in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation and UMW Facilities Services, has been awarded a $6,250 grant by the community Duff McDuff Green Jr. Fund.

Monroe Hall Blueprint, June, 1910

Monroe Hall Blueprint, June, 1910






This grant will assist with the preservation and digitization of the University’s architectural blueprints and drawings — particularly those related to noted Virginia architect Charles M. Robinson, whose architectural designs grace campuses and other buildings throughout the commonwealth of Virginia.

UMW has one of the largest collections of historical blueprints and drawings of Robinson’s works. The 150th anniversary of the architect’s birth is approaching in 2017, and scholars are interested in accessing and studying his drawings. Among Robinson’s notable architectural works at UMW are Monroe Hall (1910-11), Frances Willard Hall (1909-11), Virginia Hall (1914-15, 1926), Seacobeck Hall (1930-31) and the bridge to Seacobeck Hall (1930).

This project provides the opportunity to preserve these historical architectural resources and make them available online to researchers while raising awareness of Charles M. Robinson and his impact on Fredericksburg’s architectural landscape. The grant also will give students an opportunity to work directly with historical documents, learning how to correctly digitize large-scale historical records. The project is made possible by a grant from the Duff McDuff Green, Jr. Fund of The Community Foundation.

Virginia Archives Month – call for images

Each year, the Virginia Archives Month committee asks archival institutions around the state to contribute images for a poster to celebrate Archives Month in October. Below is the call for images.

2014 Virginia Archives Month poster

2014 Virginia Archives Month poster

Archival Treasures — Find Your Hidden Gem

Who can resist the idea of a treasure hunt? The anticipation of finding something rare and valuable can make a person giddy with excitement. As archivists, when we take our first peek at a new collection we become just as excited as a treasure hunter at the prospect of what we might discover. This year for Virginia Archives Month let’s share some of the exciting and unusual items from our collections. Every archives has a document or image that is unique, rare, or captures the imagination. It doesn’t have to be the thing or things for which your institution is best known. You may choose something that you find unique and interesting which is not often highlighted.

With this theme we want to capture a bit of the thrill and wonder that comes from finding something you never expected, or perhaps from finding exactly what you wanted! Hopefully we can inspire our patrons to come find their own gem waiting in the archives.

Submit images to:
Deadline: 5:00 pm, July 31
Image specifications: 300 pixel per inch (ppi) at 100%

All submissions will be added to the Virginia Archives Month Flickr account unless you ask us not to share it. You may submit more than one image. If multiple images from one institution are submitted, the committee will select which one will appear on the poster.

If you have any questions please contact Margaret Kidd (

Your 2015 Virginia Archives Month Committee,

Margaret Kidd, Virginia Caucus Representative
Sherri Bagley
Elizabeth E. Beckman
Vince Brooks
Dan Cavanaugh
Carl Childs
Suzanne Gould
Cara Griggs
Jessica E.Johnson
Marianne Martin
Jennifer McDaid
Paige Newman
Laura Stoner
Robert Vejnar

New Online Resource: Court of Appeals of Virginia Judges, 1985-present

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and in celebration of that milestone, we are very pleased to announce the availability of a new resource on the Virginia Judiciary web site, Court of Appeal of Virginia Judges, 1985-present.  This online biographical directory can be accessed on the Internet ( or within three different sections of the judicial branch web site at:

The online biographical directory features biographical information about each of the judges who have served on the Court of Appeals of Virginia since it began operation on January 1, 1985. The site also features portraits of judges who began their service before April 2006, audio recordings and transcripts of oral history interviews of eight judges who have served on the court, and a group interview of  five judges who sat on the inaugural Court of Appeals of Virginia in 1985 . (Photographs of more recent judges are forthcoming!)  Our goal is to make this information available to the public, with the directory serving as an accurate scholarly resource for students, educators, historians and others interested in the history of this court. 

Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1985. Front row, left to right: Hon. James W. Benton, Jr., Hon. Barbara Milano Keenan, Hon. Sam W. Coleman, III, and Chief Judge E. Ballard Baker (seated in chair). Back row, left to right: Hon. Charles H. Duff, Hon. Joseph E. Baker, Hon. William H. Hodges, Hon. Bernard G. Barrow, Hon. Norman K. Moon and Hon. Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr. Photograph courtesy John Koehler and Senior (Ret.) Justice Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr.

Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1985. Front row, left to right: Hon. James W. Benton, Jr., Hon. Barbara Milano Keenan, Hon. Sam W. Coleman, III, and Chief Judge E. Ballard Baker (seated in chair). Back row, left to right: Hon. Charles H. Duff, Hon. Joseph E. Baker, Hon. William H. Hodges, Hon. Bernard G. Barrow, Hon. Norman K. Moon and Hon. Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr. Photograph courtesy John Koehler and Senior (Ret.) Justice Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr.

Virginia Tech hosting THATCamp in April


The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) Virginia will take place on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA on April 10-11, 2015. Registration is now open, through the website,, which also has information about the schedule and lodging.

Please circulate this announcement broadly among faculty, librarians, and students across Virginia who are interested in the intersection of technology and the humanities. You can follow THATCamp Virginia through twitter @THATCampVA and #thatcampVA. Questions about THATCamp Virginia should be directed to Andrew Kulak ( and Kate Good (, Graduate Research Assistants in the Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities.

Support for THATCamp Virginia is provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, University Libraries, Technology–enhanced Learning and Online Strategies, and the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Call for Submissions: 2014 MARAC Finding Aid Award


Call for Submissions: 2014 MARAC Finding Aid Awards

The Finding Aid Award is given yearly to recognize outstanding achievement in the preparation of finding aids by institutions within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) region. Nominated finding aids must have been made available to the public for the first time during 2014.

The top award will receive the designation of the Fredric M. Miller Finding Aids Award, in honor of Dr. Miller’s contributions to the field as archivist and author. Monetary awards will be presented at the Spring 2015 meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Call for Submissions
In the last decade, there have been significant changes in the processes by which archivists arrange, describe and make their collections available to the public: most notably, the widespread adoption of streamlined processing practices and a push to make our work available online. At the same time, the fundamentals of good finding aids have remained the same: they provide content that enables researchers to understand the materials in our collections and are designed to help them find what they need easily and quickly.

The Finding Aids Committee invites MARAC members to nominate exceptional finding aids for the 2014 MARAC Finding Aid Awards. Successful finding aids will have outstanding content, take full advantage of the design capabilities inherent in their medium of publication, and incorporate successful innovations that enable researchers to more effectively access and use archival materials. Please see Characteristics of Successful Finding Aids for more details.  Finding aids may be submitted for collections of any size.

Submissions are due by January 31, 2015 and must include:
– A link to the finding aid’s URL
– A nomination letter that addresses the finding aids’ exceptional qualities and/or discusses elements not readily apparent from examination of the finding aid itself.

Please see our Finding Aid Awards Submission Checklist for further information concerning the nomination letter and optional submission materials. Submissions should be sent to the Chair of the Finding Aid Award Committee: