All Branches will be Closed June 19th

Closed for Juneteenth. While our physical location will be closed, you can still access a wide variety of digital resources through the Libby app, available 24/7. With Libby, you can borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from the comfort of your home. Click here for more info.

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on order status

"On Order" titles now in the catalog

Posted on:

What's going on in the catalog? 

We've started showing books and more in our catalog immediately after they've been ordered!  You can tell what's on its way to our shelves by the "on order" status. 

Now you can put a hold on whatever exciting new release you're waiting for!  Just remember it might take a little longer before your "on order" hold is ready for pickup than if it was already on the shelf - but we are behind the scenes hard at work getting it ready to put it into your hands! 

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picture of MLK letter

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

To us at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives, these are words to live by.  We do not seek to manipulate the historical data entrusted to us, but rather to present an accurate picture of the people and events of our community. We members of the community are a multi-faceted bunch, each shaped by the past in ways unique to the individual; this is the legacy preserved in the archives. 

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Becky Ebert and Mike Robinson with land grant document

Donation of Lord Fairfax Land Grant

This morning (January 18), the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives received a wonderful gift – an original Lord Fairfax Land Grant document!  We would like to give a huge thank you to Mike Robinson, Winchester Tales, and everyone involved!  This is an example of a community coming together to preserve a piece of its heritage. 

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Letter from MLK, Comic book cover

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

To us at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives, these are words to live by.  We do not seek to manipulate the historical data entrusted to us, but rather to present an accurate picture of the people and events of our community. We members of the community are a multi-faceted bunch, each shaped by the past in ways unique to the individual; this is the legacy preserved in the archives. 

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cornerstone raised for formal laying

Bowman Library’s Cornerstone set 20 years ago

How many of you have been patrons of the Handley Library long enough to remember a time before the Bowman Library branch existed? What are your memories of its building and its opening?

20 years ago, on November 4, 2000, the Winchester Hiram Lodge conducted a ceremony setting the cornerstone for the Bowman Library. The stone was taken from the Handley Library building during its 1999-2001 renovations, as a way of symbolizing the unity of the regional system.

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constitution week display

Constitution Week: September 17-23

Constitution Week (September 17-23) is an annual celebration of Americans’ liberties, freedoms, and rights as outlined by the Constitution of the United States. 

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787.  This document established our government and laws in such a way as to build a philosophy of human rights and dignity into the structure of the government itself.  

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Admiral Nimitz signing terms of Japanese surrender

75th Anniversary of V-J Day

September 2 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.  On that day in 1945, known as V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day), the Japanese boarded the USS Missouri and signed formal surrender documents, finally bringing peace to a world that had seen far too much suffering.  The American General MacArthur, serving as Master of Ceremonies, spoke these powerful words before the signing:

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Handley Library postcard

107 Years of the Handley Library

The Handley Library first opened its doors in a formal ceremony 107 years ago on August 21, 1913.  The invitation sent out for the event states that “the exercises will be held in the lecture hall of the Library at eight o’clock p.m. and immediately thereafter the reading rooms and books will be open to inspection.”

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August 2020 Suffragette Display

The Strength of Women: New Display on the Suffragette Movement

In August, we remember the Suffragette movement.  Our display this month shows elements of the local fight for women’s right to vote.  In particular, the display highlights Fannie Baker Dunlap, who registered for the vote on October 2, 1920 at 56 years of age, and Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, a member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. 

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Sacred Heart Catholic Church postcard

Sacred Heart Catholic Church's 150th Anniversary

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the dedication of Winchester’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.  Winchester’s original Catholic Church, known as “the old stone church,” was destroyed during the Civil War, leaving Winchester without a Catholic Church building from 1864 until 1870.

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Christ Episcopal Church Postcard

(His)tory: John Bruce

John Bruce (1793-1855) was a man who spent over twenty years of his life finding ways to make an impact on his community. He was born in Scotland, but emigrated to the United States and settled in Winchester. Some people make impacts through teaching and preaching, some through caring for people’s well-being, but others find that they are best suited to improving the community through other means, as John Bruce did by overseeing various constructions.

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Civil War Centennial, 1960-1965

May 25: Memorial Day and the First Battle of Winchester

Memorial Day, a day to honor and mourn those who died serving in the Armed Forces, originated in the years following the Civil War, through it did not become a federal holiday until 1971. The Civil War caused more bloodshed than any other conflict in U.S. history, claiming the lives of about 500,000 soldiers. After the war, Americans began holding tributes to fallen soldiers every Spring. Memorial Day later expanded to honor those who lost their lives in other conflicts and wars.

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Ruth's Tea Room image

(Her)story: Businesswomen of Winchester

Winchester has certainly been home to many remarkable people, including many women over the decades who owned and operated their own businesses. Several in particular stand out for the unique ways they showed strength in their careers as businesswomen.

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Photo of Willow Shade

(Her)story: Willa Cather

Did you know that a famous classic American writer was originally from Frederick County?  When people think about Willa Cather (1873-1946), they often associate her with the Midwest (she spent her teenage and college years there, and many of her novels are set in the Midwest), but actually Cather spent much of her childhood in our neighborhood.  

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Admiral Byrd in polar gear

(His)torytime from the Archives: Admiral Byrd

Many of us are stuck at home right but we can still let our imaginations soar with stories from the past. Winchester native Admiral Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) had an unquenchable thirst for adventure his entire life. At the age of twelve, he made an unsupervised journey around the entire world.  When the United States entered into World War I, Byrd received flight training and by 1918 had earned his wings. 

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