“I predict you will wonder from this day forward how you ever got along without the services we are starting here today.”
—Randolph Church, Virginia State Librarian, speaking at the opening of Central Rappahannock Regional Library (Reported in The Free Lance-Star, July 19, 1969)
From 1969 through 2000, Jean Jett carefully clipped this and other newspaper articles about the regional library where her daughter, Vikki Dembowski, was employed. Those yellowed articles have been copied by library volunteers and compiled in seven big loose-leaf notebooks entitled CRRL in the News. They can be perused in the Virginiana Room, located at Fredericksburg Branch.
Since 1940, the U.S. Postal Service has been issuing stamps honoring African Americans. Booker T. Washington was the first. A new exhibit in the Virginiana Room displays stamps from the collection of Bob Fields, a member of the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections. The collection showcases African American heroes of arts, politics, and sports. The exhibit will be on display through the end of March.
The Virginiana Room, also known as VR, is located on the lower level of the Fredericksburg Branch on Caroline Street. It is a bright and comfortable space where researchers, local and regional history buffs, genealogists, and plain old curious browsers can access books, maps, local government documents & publications, family records, and a few hundred years of newspapers on microfilm. The people who use the collection are often compiling a family history, writing a book, or completing an assignment for school. But the VR has proven useful in many other ways for people who find creative uses for the collection.
The recent placement of Fredericksburg on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of “The Fifty Best Cities for Entrepreneurs” would have come as no surprise to businessman and longtime resident of 1201 Prince Edward St. Robert A. Kishpaugh, who owned and operated a thriving local printing and stationery shop throughout the first half of the twentieth century.
Welcome from Library Director Martha Hutzel:
“The CRRL is very happy to offer to the community a more spacious and attractive local genealogy room, complete with historical records, beautiful, museum-quality historical wall panels, an attractive work space and free computers and databases for research. Please stop by any time we are open!"
Nancy Moore, the library's Virginiana Room Manager, has been awarded Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.'s President's Exceptional Service Award.
The award is in recognition of Nancy's multi-faceted work to support Fredericksburg's historic preservation efforts. This includes her career reporting for The Free Lance-Star newspaper documenting and publicizing preservation issues, working on the city's Memorials Advisory Commission, preserving the Mary Washington Monument, and her work in CRRL's Virginiana Room.