top of page

Public Libraries of Virginia

Divided from Delaware Public Libraries and Maryland Public Libraries in early 2021.


The Library is part of a regional consortium, but the Beaux-Arts building now houses the Albermarle Charlottesville Historical Society

Curt Teich printed this postcard for J.P. Bell in 1921.

Charlottesville, VA library
Courtland (Walter Cecil Rawls Museum and Library)
Walter Cecil Rawls library and museum, in Courtland, VA

At first glance, this could be a motel postcard. 

Apparently, between 1980 and 1999, the museum departed for another home. The library has been modified and serves as its county (Southampton) headquarters.


Built ca. 1963; replaced in 1998. 

The Goad Studio postcard was mailed in 1972.

Culpeper, VA public library
Fincastle (Botetourt County Library)
Botetourt County Library, of Fincastle, VA

Now the Fincastle Library.

This was an 1897 jail converted to a library. The current library building is much smaller, but certainly a better facility for the purpose.

This is an odd Mike Roberts/Asheville Post Card, with a SAMPLE designation and a stamped date, May 8, 1969.

Fredericksburg (Wallace Library)
The Wallace Library of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Built 1911. Replaced, 1969, into a much larger school building. Believed extant.

Curt Teich postcard, mailed in 1924.



Tichnor Bros. linen finish card, likely from the 1940s.

Lawrenceville, VA public library with Civil War memorial statue
Lynchburg (Jones Memorial Library)

The second oldest public library in Virginia (surprisingly, opened in 1908) is in memory of George Morgan Jones, whose work was carried on by his widow. The building now serves as a genealogy and history library.

Entire-back Tuck postcard of Jones Memorial Library, built 1906 in Lynchburg, Virginia.

According to the Tuck postcard, mailed in 1907:

THE JONES MEMORIAL LIBRARY, erected in 1906, is a gift of Mary Frances Jones in memory of her husband, George M. Jones. The structure, which is located on Rivermont Avenue, is built in the Grecian Ionic style, with massive granite columns adorning the front. Cost of construction, $50,000, with an endowment of $60,000.

Newport News

No longer in use (replaced): current use unknown.

Public ibray of Newport News, VA

Another interesting example of how publishers treat the same subject differently.

(L) Tichnor Quality View, mailed in 1948.

(R) 1934 Curt Teich card showing Georgian Revival architecture. That medical arts building in the background looks like it may have been a hotel at one point in time.

Newport News, VA public library, plus medical arts building

The powers that be turned down two Carnegie grants. As a result, there was no public library service in the city until 1924. This building, the Dooley Library, opened in 1930.
Interestingly, service, albeit segregated, was offered to the African-American community in 1925.

This Colourpicture linen-finish card was nearly mailed to the 'Good Morning' program of WREX-TV, channel 13, in Rockford, Illinois. I suspect somebody's postcard collection was raided.

Dooley public library of Richmond, VA
Earlier Roanoke, VA public library

Unbelievably, Roanoke's library appears to lack a dedicated web site, much less a history page. Wikipedia does have a page dedicated to its Gainsboro segregated branch, built in 1941.

This is a linen finish Asheville Post Card, apparently dating to the 1930s.

Norfolk, VA public library, mid-century.

(L) Dexter Press postcard.

(R) Meyer Post Card, with downtown Roanoke in the background.

"Downtown Roanoke, VA, looking north on Jefferson St., with the Main Branch o the Roanoke Public Library in the foreground."

This building is likely from the late 1940s or early 1950s, judging from the newer postcards' styling and the architecture of the building. I believe it has either been replaced or heavily remodeled, as the current building is more Neogeorgian in design.

Suffolk (Morgan Memorial Library)
Morgan Memorial Library of Suffolk, VA. Mid-century Modern architecture.

Built in 1959, replaced in 1986. 
One of Suffolk's branches is named Chuckatuck. We are childishly amused.

The Lusterchrome card dates between 1959 and 1962.

Winchester (Handley Library)

It looks like it belongs on an ancient college campus. It was built in 1913, gained an addition in 1979, and was completely renovated in 2001. This is an example of Beaux-Arts done right.

The Handley (public) Library of Winchester, VA

(L) Linen finish post card printed by Tichnor for the Shenandoah News Agency.

(R) Earlier card scans poorly, but shows some interesting details.

The Handley (public) Library of Winchester, VA

HOME     Carnegie Libraries of DC, VA, & WV     Public libraries, DE     MD

bottom of page