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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Blog Entries

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balmain

It’s Archives After Hours Time Again!

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Our first Archives After Hours was such a success!  We are looking forward to doing it again on Thursday, June 27 @ 5:30 pm.  Just like last time, we will begin the event with a discussion concerning an item within the Stewart Bell Jr Archives collection that can aid patrons in their genealogical/historical research. 

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Hotchkiss Map

Traveling through Time with John Ross

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Maps are fascinating.  They can provide us with so much information about the people and places in history, all the while in a manner that is easy to understand and just visually beautiful.  We can learn where our ancestors and our community lived and how they lived through maps. 

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Genetic Testing

What’s Genetic Genealogy?

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Technology can aid in the search for ancestors in many ways.  A relatively new option to pursue is genetic genealogy testing.  How does this technology work?  What information can it tell you and what can’t it tell?  For answers, come to the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives upcoming talk, Genetic Genealogy with Shannon Combs-Bennett on Saturday, May 11 @ 2:00 pm.  Ms.

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old photographs

Protecting your Family’s Memories

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Do you have stacks of old family photographs collecting dust?  Do you wish you could share these photographs with all your extended family?  Do you worry about your photographs being destroyed or ruined?  If so, come to our Preservation and Scanning of Photographs workshop on Saturday, April 20 @ 10:30 am in the Benham Gallery of Handley Library.

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Manager Lorna Loring will lead a workshop demonstration explaining the three steps to begin your photography preservation efforts.

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Peyton Street

Your Home may have Stories to Tell

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There are so many historic homes in our community.  These homes can be a delight for their owners as well as their neighbors, offering interesting architectural elements and properties with long stories.  Would you like to learn how to find those stories?

 

Come to our presentation: How to Research your Historic House.  Our speaker, Maral Kalbian, will discuss the various methods and sources you may explore to learn more about the history of these properties. 

 

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sanborn maps

It’s our First “Archives After Hours!”

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The Archives is opening their doors after closing time!  Throughout the year, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives will be holding “Archives After Hours.”  At each event, archival staff will explain aspects of the archives that can be used to help you in your research.  This first Archives After Hours will focus on Sanborn maps. 

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coat of arms

Your Family’s Illustrated History

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Heraldry is the art of using hereditary symbols to distinguish individuals and groups.  We may know them more often as a family’s coat of arms.  Does your family have one?  Interested in the steps you take to find out?

 

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Conrad House

History Through Preservation

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Winchester is a historic town, filled with old buildings and lots of stories.  It is important to preserve these sites for future generations, and historic preservation efforts play a vital role in continuing to tell the stories of the past.  

 

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Brenda Nelson's Book

Robert Orrick: A Life

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Have you seen the name “Orrick” around town and the county?  Who was this man for which multiple local sites were named?   

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Handley Tour

Explore the Timeless Elegance of Handley Library

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Welcome to the Handley Regional Library System, home to the magnificent 110-year-old Handley Library – a true architectural gem nestled in the heart of Winchester, Virginia. Join us on our next exclusive tour, taking place on January 13th at 11 AM, as we unlock the secrets of this historic library, delving into its fascinating architecture and rich history.

Unveiling Hidden Treasures

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Mount Hebron Cemetery

Your Local Genealogy Group is Here to Help

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Family History Hunters is an informal group for genealogists of all levels of experience that meets every month at Handley Library.  The organization is a discussion group examining research strategies and current genealogy topics.  It is a place to come and share your successes and find help with your challenges.  Each month features a different focus.  Here's what's coming up...
 

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Shenandoah Valley Archives Fair

It's time for an Archives Fair!

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October is American Archives Month, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to bring together archives from across the Shenandoah Valley to celebrate and educate the public about what we do.  What does it mean to be an archivist?  How do we preserve a variety of different types of artifacts for future generations?  What do the archives in the Valley have in their collections?  And how can we help you with your research and questions? 

 

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Jonathan Noyalas

Outlived the Odium

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The Handley Regional Library’s Stewart Bell Jr. Archives are proud to invite Jonathan Noyalas, director of Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute, back to the stage!  He has spoken numerous times about the Civil War and its impact on the Valley and its people. 

 

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Rebecca Wright and Thomas Laws

A Civil War Spy Tale

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Do you know the story of Rebecca Wright and Thomas Laws?  They aided Union General Philip Sheridan with information regarding Confederate General Jubal Early’s troop movements in and around the Winchester area.  Rebecca Wright, a Winchester school teacher with loyalty to the union, would collect intelligence about troop movements and pass that information along to Thomas Laws.  He was an enslaved man who would carry that intelligence to Union scouts.  The information provided by Rebecca Wright and transported by Thomas Laws was crucial to Sheridan’s decision to attack Wi

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