Local History & Genealogy

The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives is a local history and genealogy center jointly operated by the Handley Regional Library and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society. Our holdings include a variety of materials documenting the history of the Lower Shenandoah Valley from 1732 to the present, with an emphasis on the City of Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia. 

More Local History & Genealogy

Books and Journals

The Archives holds a wide range of historical and genealogical titles. Please note that items in the Archives are non-circulating.

Archives News

Handley Library

Handley Library Branch to Hold Two Upcoming Behind the Scenes Tours for the Public

The Handley Regional Library System is excited to offer two upcoming tours of the downtown Handley Library Branch on Saturday, September 10, and October 8 at 11 AM. This tour is FREE and open to the public. Meet in the Rotunda to start your tour at 11 AM.

The Handley Library branch tour will take you behind the scenes to all floors of the building. Learn about the unique architecture and amazing history of this beautiful library. Walk on the famous glass floors, and see the well under the stage.  

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Family History Corner

Researching Common Surnames:

May 2022

My last name is Smith.  I have been told that our ancestors changed our surname before immigrating to the United States from Poland.  I have hesitated to attempt any research because I feel like I truly have a generic name.  Would it even be possible to learn anything about this family?

-A Researcher

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Picture of TIna Claflin

Organizing your Family History Research: Special Program with Family History Hunters

April’s Family History Hunters meeting will feature a special presentation on organizing your family history research. Our presenter for this meeting, Tina Claflin, is the owner of Halcyon Reflections, a certified photo manager, and offers independent consulting and organizing services for veterans, families, and non-profits to help others get organized to preserve their stories.

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