​Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive

The Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive (ETBA) is Virginia Beach Public Library’s (VBPL) community archive serving the City of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area. Browse the tabs below for details about our special collections and archival holdings available in digital and physical formats. For a tour of our local history and genealogy reference section, please call 757-385-0150 or email archives@vbgov.com.
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 Digital Archives

Digital Archives

Browse or search the Digital Archives. You'll find thousands of postcards, photographs, local maps, family papers, yearbooks, and other materials.

Please email the archive at archives@vbgov.com for permission to use these materials in digital or written publications.


The ETBA realizes that the world is changing how we use and exchange information. Many of our community records are online now. Archive-it is a web archiving repository that the ETBA uses to help digitally preserve websites that showcase our community and their achievements. Topics that are preserved include fairs, festivals, local businesses, government, and news stations.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a free digital repository that the ETBA uses to host some of our digital book collections. You'll find a wide variety of historical books and texts available in electronic, searchable form. These materials are also available in the archive's digital collections.

 Physical Archives

​​Edgar T. Brown Local History Archives (ETBA)

The Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive is located inside the Meyera E. Oberndorf (MEO) Central Library. Customers can search the archive holdings by going to their online catalog at www.vbgov.com/archives, or they can search through the VBPL's online catalog.

Many archival items are available as digital copies or as microfilm. Please see our Digital Archives for more information about digital materials. 

Customers needing access to original documents may make an appointment to view archival materials by emailing archives@vbgov.com or calling (757) 385-0150 in advance to set up an appointment. Please note the collection number(s) and box(es) you wish to view.

Local History and Genealogical Collection

VBPL hosts a comprehensive local history and genealogical (LHGN) reference collection at the MEO Central Library. This collection is available to the public during regular business hours and is self-service. No appointment is required to view these materials.

The LHGN reference collection comprises books, microform, digital resources, and periodicals. Topics covered include how-to books, local histories, and genealogical resources, emphasizing Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Kentucky.

VBPL also subscribes to Ancestry Library Edition, the Virginian-Pilot Newspaper (Newsbank), and the Norfolk Journal and Guide (Proquest) for our customers' research. Please see our digital library research page for more information.

As a Family Search Library Affiliate, the MEO Central Library provides computer access to Family Search Center Resources. Customers can only access these resources by logging on to FamilySearch.org through MEO Central Library computers.

For additional information about the local history and genealogy reference collection or to search for reference materials, please visit the VBPL's online catalog.

 Local History/Genealogical Research

Research Assistance

Find out how you may use the library and archival materials for research, commercial, or personal use.

Organizations and Resources
Are you looking for local, state, or national, local history and genealogical resources? You'll find them here. 

Research Databases
Use VBPL's research databases for your local history and genealogy research.

An hour with a librarian

Need help getting started or moving past a roadblock in your research? We're available by appointment to assist you with your more in-depth research needs. To make a 1-hour appointment, please contact the Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive at 757-385-0150 or archives@vbgov.com.

 Help Us


Interested in learning more about local history hands-on? Have a knack for working with computers and cameras? Always wondered what archivists do all day? Come and volunteer with the Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive! Opportunities are open to teens and adults. For more information and to sign up, visit VBPL’s Volunteer page.

Photo Identification

The Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive has many photographic collections from the early 1900s to the present day. Unfortunately, not all the information regarding the who, what, and where still exists. We need your help identifying the people, places, and things in these pictures. If you are a long-time city employee, resident, or a retiree with an eye for detail and wish to help, please contact the archives at (757) 385-0150 or email us at archives@vbgov.com.



The Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive is pleased to accept material and monetary donations to preserve the local history and genealogy records of Princess Anne County/City of Virginia Beach and the greater Hampton Roads area. Please see our Local History and Genealogy Collection Policy for additional information.

Material Donations

Do you have photographs, playbills, fliers, posters, postcards, funeral bulletins, matchbooks, business cards, area newsletters, or other items of local interest? Don't toss them away! The Edgar T. Brown Local History Archive staff would be delighted to provide a safe place for your materials to be preserved for future generations. Check out the archive's Digital Collections to see what we have already preserved for the public.

If you have items you would like to donate (they are tax deductible), please contact the archives at (757) 385-0150 or archives@vbgov.com.

Monetary Donations

If you wish to support the archive's mission with a monetary donation, please visit The Virginia Beach Library Foundation's website for information on donating funds.

Contact Information