Teetotalers & Moonshiners

Teetotalers & Moonshiners

Visit the Teetotalers & Moonshiners exhibition on display at Bowman Library December 10 through January 17.


Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled, a traveling exhibition from the Library of Virginia, tells the story of Virginia Prohibition and its legacy through an exciting exhibition and associated programming. The exhibition addresses the important and long-lasting effects of Prohibition on commonwealth and America, including

  • The prohibition movement as part of a social reform movement
  • The economic and social costs of Prohibition, including the closing of businesses and conflict within communities, and the rise of illegal alcohol production and sale as an underground culture and economy
  • The role of government in overseeing public health
  • Prohibition’s legacy—from NASCAR to the creation of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the rise of the modern brewing and distilling industry


Distilled from the Library of Virginia’s 1,200 square foot exhibition (on view through December 5, 2017), Teetotalers & Moonshiners uses the Library’s deep and compelling collections on this era, from humorous sheet music mocking the absurdities of Prohibition to blazing headlines in anti- and pro-liquor newspapers and broadsides. At the core of the story are the records of the state’s Prohibition Commission, which record the daily activities of its agents. A digital interactive component documents statewide prohibition trends and tells the personal stories of commission agents, bootleggers, and moonshiners.


The exhibition is supported in part by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association. The Virginia Distillers Association provided support for the traveling exhibition.