U.Va. Library Press Releases
FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OF ENVISIONING VIRGINIA:
UNIQUE NEW EXHIBIT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA LIBRARY
In 1607, three ships sailed up the James River after an exhausting journey across the Atlantic. The 144 weary travelers stood on the decks, scanned the tree-lined shore, wondered what the unknown land would hold for them. In the four hundred years since, millions of men, women, and children have shared that sense of expectation and apprehension in meeting the challenges of their own times. Virginia Visions, the newest exhibit at the University of Virginia Library, presents more than seventy-five rare books, maps, photographs, and other materials from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library that show how Virginians throughout the state’s history have envisioned themselves and the Commonwealth.
“Virginia Visions highlights the range of experiences, people, and stories from the past four hundred years of Virginia history that we hold in our collections,” said University Librarian Karin Wittenborg. Through history, literature, art, and children’s fiction, Virginia Visions explores Jamestown, the Eastern Shore, Russell County and southwestern Virginia, Appalachia, Richmond, Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia.
Now open at the U.Va. Library’s Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture, the new exhibit includes such treasures as:
• the first printed account of Jamestown, published in 1608;
• John Smith’s map of Virginia;
• Mark Catesby’s hand-colored engravings of the fauna and flora of North America, from 1731;
• one of four existing copies of Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson’s landmark map of Virginia—the first to show the Appalachian Mountains running in the correct direction;
• a first-hand account of an indentured servant in the struggling Virginia colony;
• the diary of a teacher of freed slaves after the Civil War;
• early twentieth century letters between Virginia authors Ellen Glasgow and Mary Johnston; and
• Wesley Dennis’s original illustrations from Marguerite Henry’s book, Misty of Chincoteague.
The exhibit is on display through December 8. Admission is free, Monday through Saturday.
To download a copy of this release and images to go with your story, please see the Library’s pressroom:
Information on the Harrison Institute:
Information on Special Collections: