Useful Links

This page contains links to resources that deal with history, genealogy and special collections, with a focus on Virginia. Some more general resources are included as well. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but if you know of a resource that you think should be included here, please let us know.


City of Alexandria

Libraries and Archives


Rare books and Preservation



City of Alexandria

City of Alexandria Home Page For general information about the city. 

Office of Historic Alexandria Contains links to and information about the Black History Resource Center, the Lyceum, Alexandria Archaeology, the Historic Alexandria Foundation, and Fort Ward.

Alexandria Archives and Records Center The repository for the public records of the City of Alexandria. Includes information about holdings, location and hours.

Alexandria Clerk of Court-Court of Record This page of frequently-asked questions includes information on obtaining copies of local land and marriage records.

Department of Real Estate Assessments Provides detail on recent real estate assessments in the City of Alexandria. Searchable by address.

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Libraries and Archives

Arlington Public Library Site includes information about the system's Virginia Room, which houses local history materials, as well as a link to the Arlington Community Archives. 

DAR Library Located in Washington, DC, the DAR library has genealogical information on all eras of American history. The web page contains details about the library's search service and has a link to the library's catalog.

Directory of Virginia Libraries - Library of Virginia Includes public, university, and state agency libraries.

Fairfax County Public Library The library's catalog contains items held by the Virginia Room.

LDS Family History Centers Located at different sites around the country, Family History Centers provide access to LDS microfilm and their web-based service, FamilySearch.

LDS Family History Library The LDS's main genealogical library in Salt Lake City.

Library of Congress Includes the Library's online catalog, the American Memory project and the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room.

Library of Virginia The LVA web site has several online collections and information about the library's genealogy resources.

Prince William County Library (RELIC) Local history and genealogy for Prince William County.

Thomas Balch Library This library, located in Leesburg, is an excellent source of genealogical information for Loudoun County.

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1790-1890 Federal Population Censuses: Microfilm A good overview of the federal census from the National Archives.

American Family Immigration History Center Search for passengers who arrived at the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. The online materials include images of ship manifests and photographs of the ships themselves. Also includes information about visiting Ellis Island. Although you have to pay to access some of Ancestry's databases, there is still a good amount of free information on the site, including the library, which provides links to useful general genealogy sources.

Cyndi's List The largest genealogy meta-site on the web, with links to resources on every topic imaginable.

Directory of Virginia Historical Societies A list of research locations from the Library of Virginia.

National Genealogical Society Information about society events, including conferences and lectures. The site also contains details on the society's online and home study courses in genealogy.

VAGenWeb This site links to information on all Virginia counties, a Virginia surname registry, and historical photos, among other resources. Check out the Census Project to find out if you can search your county's census data online.

VA-NOTES (Virginia Notes) This set of materials from the Library of Virginia offers an excellent overview of some potentially confusing topics, such as Virginia county formation, wills, bounty lands, and Virginia burned record counties.

Virginia Genealogical Society Information about membership and society events. Because of its location in Richmond, home of the Library of Virginia, the society does not maintain a research facility.

Virginia Office of Vital Records This site has details on how to obtain copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Includes copies of request forms to download and fill out.

Virginia Research Locations: Genealogical or Historical Societies Another list of research locations, this one from the Virginia Genealogical Society.

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Rare Books and Preservation

Conservation OnLine (CoOL) Although this site is intended for library and museum professionals, it does have a section aimed at the general public, as well as contact information for institutions and private individuals that work in conservation and preservation.

Preservation FAQ from the Library of Congress Contains information about caring for and restoring materials, including books, photographs, and newspaper.

A Simple Book Repair Manual (Dartmouth University) A do-it-yourself guide to book repair, covering such topics as cleaning, torn pages, and spine repair. Also includes a guide to the parts of a book, with photo examples.

Book Arts Web Contains links to information about printmaking, calligraphy, book binding, papermaking and more. Also contains details about Book_Arts-L, a book arts listserv.

SHARP Web Home page for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing. Contains information about the society's listserv, journal and newsletter.

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The American Civil War Homepage This site contains information about both the Union and the Confederacy, with links on such topics as battles, regiments, the secession crisis, and Civil War reenactors.

Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record 1933 - Present Several Alexandria properties are included in this collection, which can be searched by keyword and is also indexed by subject and location. Part of the American Memory project.

CivilWar@Smithsonian A web resource showcasing materials from the Smithsonian Institution's collections that relate to the Civil War. Includes digital images of photographs, postcards, letters, clothing, weapons and other artifacts.

Civil War Maps Collection This exhibit, part of the Library of Congress's American Memory project, lets you search for maps by keyword or browse by location, subject, creator or title. Once you select a map, you can zoom in to see a high level of detail.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Find out about archaeological discoveries, take a virtual field trip, or plan your visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

Documenting the American South: The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865 This project, created by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, uses primary sources to fill in the details about non-military life in the South during the Civil War.

Early Virginia Religious Petitions A joint project of the Library of Congress and the Library of Virginia, this exhibit lets you view digital reproductions of original documents relating to religious history in Virginia.

Freedmens' Cemetery A site devoted to the post-Civil War African-American burial ground in Alexandria. Useful resources include information about individuals originially buried in the cemetery and a list of free blacks in Alexandria before the Civil War.

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress Includes letters, diaries, account books and military records which cover the years 1741-1799.

George Washington's Mount Vernon Information about visiting Mount Vernon, along with historical details about Washington's life there.

Historical Newspaper Index This searchable index, created by the Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room, includes selected years of the Fairfax Herald, the Alexandria Gazette, and the Washington Star, among other papers.

The History Channel The official web site, including a "Today in History" feature, resources for teachers, and exhibits on historical topics.

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War This project, created by the University of Virginia, provides primary source materials to tell the stories of one Northern and one Southern community.

The Virginia Civil War Home Page Contains information about battles, people, pensions and other information. With links to similar sites for other states.