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African American Research at the Library of Virginia to 1870

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Library of Virginia
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Richmond, VA 23219


Many records of African Americans in Virginia prior to 1870 have been indexed and digitized through the Library's Virginia Untold collection, but many more may be found by searching the original and microfilmed records themselves. This guide provides an overview of types of records that are available.

Revised October 2021

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Content Warning: Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation.