More recently, a woman came in to find information on her Revolutionary War ancestor, and it was a success. “We were able to find the pension record from 1814,” Barbuschak said. “We get all kinds of stories like that.”
All this local history is stored in one form or another in Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room, where the county maintains a collection of regional history and genealogy, as well as local and state government information and legal resources. Staff collect the historical records of the people, associations, events and places of Fairfax County, Virginia. There are maps, an extensive photographic archive, manuscript collections, local newspapers, and rare books. Recently they were able to digitize a newspaper called “The Fairfax Herald,” and now have issues on microfilm from 1886-1964.
The Virginia Room is an open, second floor room in the library that looks kind of like a loft due to the fact that it is open to the first floor. There are sections for periodicals, microfilm and historical books. The room is decorated by historical signs hanging on the walls to give a real historic feel for the place, including Thelma’s Ice Cream from Great Falls.
Although there is much that the user can access by themselves, going to the front desk and asking a specialist is usually the first step.
“Each one of us has our own expertise,” Barbuschak said.
Much of the material is on the shelves,but they do have a rare book room, temperature controlled for fragile materials.
On an inquiry about family cemetery records, for instance, reference material had to be retrieved from the back room. “More of our special collection,” Barbuschak said.
The Virginia Room is on the second floor of The City of Fairfax Regional Library.
10360 North Street
Fairfax, VA, 22030-2514
703-293-6227 option 6 | TTY: 711
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