The Tax Assessor's Handiwork: Alexandria's Historic Structures Online
The Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections has long been the starting point for both students of architectural and urban history and homeowners researching the history, via the available documentation, of properties in Old Town. One of the specialties of the Library is to collect materials that focus on the history of structures in Alexandria.
A special assessment of properties in the Old and Historic District of Alexandria, Virginia was conducted in the late 1960's. The assessment included 6000 properties and garnered highly detailed information about each property and included a photograph and schematic footprint. Other information included the number of rooms on each floor, the characteristics of kitchens and bathrooms, and the composition of the building materials used throughout. The original documents are located in the City of Alexandria Archives and Records Center. Few in city government are aware that these records exist and even fewer have ever seen them.
In 2002, the Library, in cooperation with the Archives and Records Center, obtained a grant to digitize 2000 records and provide online access to the digital files. The Library's commitment to the project extends beyond the project year and we plan to digitize all 6000 records. The completion of this project would not have been possible without the participation of Library staff members and volunteers including: Barbara Bassett, Van Burgess, Lawrence Marshall, Andrew Mills, Andrew Nicholson, and Barb Winters who spent hundreds of hours scanning tax records and editing the images to a usable format. There are special thanks to Kathy Chappell and Heather Muller who devised the imaging, editing, and web page development protocols that satisfied the redundancies necessary to insure thoroughness and accuracy, while making forward progress rapid and the overall project satisfying.
This is a work in progress and new material will be added as it becomes available in digital format. To begin searching, please select a street name of interest. The next screen identifies the properties for which tax assessment records are digitized and available for viewing online.
These files are made available in the .pdf format. Due to the size of the files, it may be necessary to print one page at a time rather than the entire record. Print quality may to vary from printer to printer.
Photocopies of the tax assessment records are also available.