The Resource Office of the State Archivist, Public Records Act Files

Office of the State Archivist, Public Records Act Files

Office of the State Archivist, Public Records Act Files, 1939-2006
Office of the State Archivist, Public Records Act Files
Inclusive dates
Contains files related to the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) including journal articles, printed electronic mail and listserv posts, legislative information, reports, surveys, meeting and committee material, and memoranda. The state-by-state survey of records management programs was conducted by records analyst Grace Lessner for use in a master's thesis. Her results were used as research material by her superiors to demonstrate the similarities and differences in records management practices throughout the United States. Also documented in this collection are the legislative processes involved in making changes to the Virginia Public Records Act. The records were originally created and collected by Preston Huff, State Records Administrator and his successor, Robert Nawrocki. The records were eventually passed on and added to by Conley Edwards, State Archivist, when his position absorbed the duties of the State Records Administrator in 2005
Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Library of Virginia. (Search Library of Virginia as author).
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • For many years, The Library of Virginia had no definitive home. Valuable early records were kept at Jamestown as early as 1676 and were then moved to the College of William and Mary for a brief period at the century's end. By 1780, extant records were moved to the Capitol in Richmond. Coincidentally, in 1779, the Virginia General Assembly was presented among its legislation, "A Bill for Establishing a Public Library" drawn up by Thomas Jefferson. The bill provided for 2000 pounds yearly to be expended to maintain a State Library in Richmond. The facility was to be a reference library only without books being lent for home use. Perhaps ahead of its time, the bill failed to pass.
  • The Virginia State Library was created by an act passed by the General Assembly on January 23, 1823, to establish a public library with funds derived from the sale of William W. Hening's "The Statutes at Large." From 1823 to 1828, the Library was under the control of the governor and council. In 1828, the General Assembly created a joint committee on the library (located in a room in the southeastern corner of the Capitol) to oversee its administration. Use of the State Library was restricted to members of the state government in a policy that continued until at least 1856. The Secretary of the Commonwealth served ex officio as state librarian from 1832 to 1903.
  • On May 15, 1903, the General Assembly passed an act that created a library board to administer the library, authorized the deposit of public records in the library, provided for the publication of historical records by the library, and established a library fund for the purchase of books and private papers. The Library Board, which was responsible for naming the State Librarian, was itself appointed by the Board of Education. The General Assembly passed an act on March 29, 1944, transferring the power to appoint the Library Board to the governor.
  • The new facility was quickly found to be inadequate and efforts were made both in 1910 and 1920 to construct a proper building for the State Library and its collections. Ground was broken for the current facility on December 7, 1938. At last, on December 23, 1940, the newly completed Virginia State Library was opened to the public. In early 1987 the Virginia State Library was renamed the Virginia State Library and Archives, in an attempt to more adequately reflect its mission and purpose. On July 1, 1994 the name was changed to The Library of Virginia, and in 1996 the current facility opened to the public. The Library of Virginia serves as a general reference and research library, as the official repository of state archives and publications, and as a repository of state and federal documents. It provides assistance and advice to libraries around the state, and it administers state and federal library funds.
  • The Archival and Records Management Services division of the library, headed by the State Archivist, administers the state records management program, arranges and describes records deposited in the library, and provides assistance and advice to state and local government agencies concerning the management of their records. The division also publishes an annual accession report showing the Library of Virginia's most recent records and manuscript acquisitions.
  • The Virginia Public Records Act can be found in the Code of Virginia (42.1-76). With this legislation the General Assembly intends to "establish a single body of law applicable to all public officers and employees on the subject of public records management and preservation and to ensure that the procedures used to manage and preserve public records will be uniform throughout the Commonwealth." As stated previously, the Archival and Records Management Services division of the Library of Virginia plays an integral role in the development of these policies and procedures.
Cataloging source
Citation source
Office of the State Archivist, Public Records Act Files
  • Part of the Record Group 35 (Library of Virginia)
  • Dates of record creation: 1939-2006 (earliest dates are due to photocopied journal articles included in the files)
  • Dates of record-keeping activity: 1996-2006
  • This collection has been processed using minimal processing standards: the original arrangement has been maintained, and the container list is brief and simple. While the records were refoldered, the fasteners were not removed
The original order has been maintained. There is no alphabetical or chronological order to these files.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Edwards, Conley, State Archivist - Library of Virginia,
Terms governing use
There are no use restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (6 boxes).

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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