Getting access and what to bring | Virginia Museum of History & Culture Getting access and what to bring
"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Featured Promotion

Immerse yourself in Virginia's history by visiting one of our exhibitions.


The Story of Virginia

Getting access and what to bring

Video surveillance: Activity in the library is monitored by video cameras and is recorded.


Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.


Admission to the research library is included with museum suggested admission.


Wireless internet access is available.


On their first visit, researchers are required to complete a registration form and show a government-issued I.D. that will be photocopied by staff. To save time, you can download our registration form and bring it with you.

Permitted Items

What to bring

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Identification Card
  • Small purse or wallet
  • Note cards
  • Legal pad or notebook
  • One 3-ring binder or one folder
  • Laptop (without case)
  • PDA
  • Cell phone (ringer turned off)
  • Digital camera (permission forms required)

Not Permitted

  • Pens
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • Backpacks
  • Briefcases
  • Laptop bags
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Large purses or tote bags
  • Scanners
  • Coats
  • Umbrellas

We ask patrons to please store all personal items that are not permitted in the reading room in a locker located on the ground floor. If an empty locker is not available, then items may be brought to the reading room and stored at the registration desk. This policy has been implemented to assure the security of your personal belongings as well as the security of our collection. Patrons may bring a bag upstairs to unpack needed items, provided the bag is returned to the lockers. Any personal materials brought to and taken from the reading room may be examined by the staff.


No library materials may be taken from the reading room. Use only pencils when taking notes. Pencils are available at the registration desk. Fill out a separate call slip for each item requested. Deposit call slips (maximum of five at a time) at the registration desk. Call slips will be checked before a researchers leaves to ensure that all materials have been returned.


Only one folder may be examined at a time. Maintaining the exact order of material in a folder and folders within a box is important. Do not remove loose manuscripts from folders or alter the arrangements of items. No personal loose paper is allowed on the table when viewing a manuscript. Handle all manuscripts with care. Return all manuscripts to the registration desk. Photocopies must be made by staff.


Newspapers cannot be photocopied.

Staff must copy:

  • manuscripts
  • rare books
  • maps

Copies cost $0.25 per exposure.

Limited photocopying is available for some materials and is done only by the staff as time permits. For reasons of extreme fragility or rarity, not all materials can be photocopied. Whether or not it is feasible to copy particular documents will be determined by the librarian. If copying is desired, do not remove the item from its folder or box. Consult a library staff member for a photocopy request form. A $20.00 service fee is assessed when the daily total made by the staff exceeds 50 exposures, and each 50 copy lot thereafter.

Patrons may copy:

  • non-rare books ($0.25 per exposure)
  • microfilm ($0.25 per exposure)

Pay for all copies at the registration desk before leaving the library.

Digital Photography

Digital cameras are allowed, but the flash and sound must be turned off. All photography by library users requires prior approval by the library staff and submission of the permission form. You can view and download the policies and permission form online.

Permission applies only for personal use and not for publication. The library reserves the right to deny permission based on the conditions of the materials, donor or copyright restrictions, or failure to comply with library policies. Guidelines for camera use may be found on the permission form.


No materials from the society's collection may be reproduced in any form for public or commercial use without the society's written permission.

Before you leave the reading room

The researcher is responsible for returning all materials to the registration desk before departure. Theft or mutilation of library materials will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Last Call

Requests for materials or photocopies must be made by 4:40 p.m. All materials must be returned to the registration desk by 4:50 p.m. The building closes at 5:00 p.m. Please note that a limited number of materials may be placed on reserve for use the following day.

You might also be interested in


Help Notes:

  1. Only update text copy above line.
  2. Do not use cut or past.
  3. Do not use line breaks or cariage returns.
  4. Do not remove or backspace over line.
  5. Do not insert images or lists.
  6. To add and remove alert change the region settigns below for the VHS-sub (default theme) field below. Set to none to not display alert. Set to Content to display alert.