The Historic Alexandria Imaged Database
The Alexandria Library, Special Collections Branch has among its collections books, clippings files, photographs, insurance policies, blueprints, building permits and original manuscript material about the historic structures in Old Town Alexandria. This material is scattered among the collections and retrieving all of the material about anyone particular structure is a time consuming activity with the risk that something just might be inadvertently overlooked and thus omitted from a researcher’s study.
Two events came together in near simultaneity, which allowed the staff of the Special Collections Division to address this matter. First, the advent of affordable scanning and imaging technology allowed dreams of "virtual libraries" to be realized. Second, the opportunity presented by the Historic Alexandria Foundation in 1996 to apply for a grant for a project to advance knowledge of Old Town allowed for the development of a project, limited in scope, which would "get our feet wet" by marrying a new technology with a multifaceted collection.
The result is the Historic Alexandria Imaged Database, a sampling from our several collections of materials related to the historic structures in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The attempt was made to be inclusive of materials for which we have few items, i.e., blueprints, building permits, and insurance policies, and selective of materials for which we have many items, i.e., photographs. Researchers are advised that the intellectual content of the material included herein is drawn from historical collections and is therefore dated. For the most recent scholarship and information on any one of these or the many other historic structures in Old Town, a visit to the Alexandria Library, Special Collections is advised.
Enter Historic Alexandria, Virginia
- Buildings associated with George Washington
- Buildings associated with the Slave Trade
- Flounders; an 18th Century structure type unique to the Chesapeake Region
- Selected extant 18th Century buildings
- Selected 19th Century public buildings
Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Blueprints Collection.
Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Building and Repair Permits Collection.
Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Ethelyn Cox Collection.
Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Lyceum Collection.
Alexandria Library, Special Collections Division, Alexandria, Virginia. Photographs Collections.
City of Alexandria, Virginia. Department of Planning and Community Development. Design Guidelines for the Old and Historic Alexandria District and the Parker-Gray District. Alexandria, 1993.
Cox, Ethelyn. Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street; A Survey of Existing Early Buildings. Alexandria, Virginia: Historic Alexandria Foundation, 1976.
Crotty, Anne R. "House Types in Old Alexandria." Master's thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1971.
Mutual Assurance Society. Mutual Assurance Society against Fire on Buildings in the State of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia: s.l., 1853?
Ring, Constance K. and Wesley E. Pippenger. Alexandria, Virginia Town Lots, 1749-1801 Together with Proceedings of the Board of Trustees, 1749-1780. Westminster, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995.
Smith, Peter H. "The Beginnings of Historic Preservation in Alexandria-Moving Toward the Creation of the Old and Historic District." The Alexandria Chronicle IV, no. 4, (1996): 1-36.
The Project Manager is indebted to the Historic Alexandria Foundation for the faith and financial support it lent this project, which we anticipate, will be but the first of many to utilize our collections. And equally, the Project Manager is grateful to the former Director of Libraries, Mr. Patrick O’Brien, and his Administrative Team for fostering the environment in which experimentation and creativity are encouraged and supported. Finally, the participation of the Special Collections Staff in developing the structure of this project and "covering the floor" while the Manager developed the database is thankfully acknowledged and appreciated.
A project of the Alexandria Library, Special Collections Branch
with the support of a 1996 grant from the Historic Alexandria Foundation.
This project is the Library's celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Alexandria, 1749-1999.