Local History & Genealogy at the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives

  • Extensive collection of materials on the people, places and events of the Lower Shenandoah Valley from 1732 to the present. The focus of the collection is Winchester and Frederick County.
  • Published books include abstracts of county court records, county histories, genealogies, regimental histories, and studies of battles from the French and Indian War to the Civil War. 
  • Journals covering local history and genealogical research. 
  • Newspapers from 1787 to the present (incomplete). Some titles have been digitized and are available through our Advantage Digital Newspaper Archive
  • Manuscripts and ephemera, maps, photographs, and oral history interviews. Manuscript collections and published books appear in the Handley Regional Library's online catalog.

The following tips are offered to assist researchers prepare for their trip to the Archives:

  • The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives is open to all for research Monday to Wednesday from 1 pm to 8 pm and Thursday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.  While an appointment is not necessary to view our collections, a letter, phone call or email may be helpful to check that we have the materials you are interested in consulting and to verify hours. Our mailing address is Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA  22604, our telephone number is 540 662-9041, ext. 17, and our email is archives@handleyregional.org
  • The Archives Reading Room is located in the basement of the Handley Library in Winchester, Virginia. The street address is 100 W. Piccadilly Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601.
  • Handley Regional Library does not have a designated parking lot. There is metered street parking which is enforced between 9am and 6pm every weekday. Most meters cost .75c per hour and have a two hour time limit. Two parking garages are within walking distance of the library.  The Braddock Street Autopark costs $1.00 per hour and the Loudoun Street Autopark costs .50 per hour. Consult the City of Winchester's parking brochure for more information. 
  • The Archives is accessible by elevator as well as stairs. Restrooms are available on the same level as the Archives. 
  • All visitors and researchers should sign the register upon entering the Reading Room.
  • A registration form is required of all researchers on their first visit to the Archives each year. 
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in the Reading Room at any time. A water fountain  is located outside the Reading Room. 
  • Lockers are available to researchers. A quarter is required to use the locker and is refunded at the end of the visit. 
  • The Archives room has one copier. Black and white copies cost .15c per page and color copies cost .25c per page. 
  • Material may be saved to a flash drive from the microfilm reader/printer and the photocopier. Researchers may also save photos to a flash drive for $2.00 per image using the Past Perfect Photo Database.
  • The Archives accepts cash or check as payment. 
  • Digital cameras are permitted on a case by case basis. 
  • Handheld scanners are not permitted. 
  • For information about Winchester City hotels, restaurants, activities and attractions please visit the the City of Winchester's website or the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor's Center website.

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA  22604
540 662-9041, ext. 17

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