Treasures in the Vault
For more treasures
visit our online archive.
Robert E. Lee Letter,
February 19, 1862
Local History/Special Collections
Local History/Special Collections houses many resources for those interested in Alexandria and Virginia history and genealogy and the Civil War. Major activities include generating online exhibits, collection guides and genealogy indexes. Click for a recent white paper on The Importance of Libraries to Family Historians.
A new bibliography is now available of over 3000 titles that were a part of the original collection comprising the Alexandria Library under the Alexandria Library Company. You can view the list online by author (*=represents multiple authors) or by date. Patrons may request to see these titles. Please visit or contact Local History/Special Collections for more information.
Special Services and About us
The books, microfilm, manuscripts, photographs and other items in the Local History/Special Collections division constitute a research collection; none of the materials may be checked out of the library.
A self-service, coin-operated copier and microfilm reader/printers are available. Studio-quality reproductions or digital scans of photographs are also available.
As many of the materials in the collection are fragile and/or valuable, patrons are asked to leave personal belongings such as bags and jackets in a locker and exercise care when handling materials. Food and drink are not permitted in Local History/Special Collections and cell phones ringers should be turned off or set to vibrate.
We welcome donations of materials related to Alexandria and Virginia history, Virginia genealogy, and the Civil War.
The Friends of Local History
The Friends play an important role in strengthening ties between the library and the community. They provide funds for programming as well as equipment and materials that enhance library services through book sales, membership dues and fund raising projects.