Central Library Wants Your Local Memories

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Has your spring cleaning uncovered personal mementos from Virginia Beach’s “good old days”? Not sure what to do with old prom pictures, yearbooks, playbills from school productions, class pictures and other local memorabilia? Whatever you do, don’t toss it! Instead, send it to Virginia Beach’s Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library.


The library is seeking materials from Virginia Beach residents to illustrate slices of life in Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County through the years. You can donate materials to the local history collection or lend them to be digitized and returned to you.


“We’ll take almost anything,” said Pat Cook, central librarian, who oversees the local history archives and the digitization project. “You never know that an old playbill ad, photo or out-of date-map may be a community heirloom, or what will help someone reconnect with a friend or family member.” 


In 2010, the library received permission from the family of the late Edgar T. Brown, the “unofficial historian of Virginia Beach,” to digitize his collection of Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County materials. Treasures include hundreds of postcards, pictures, telephone directories, oral history tapes, books and more. Subjects include hotels, cottages, the boardwalk, Cape Henry, Pungo, the Life Saving Station, city leaders and all the areas that make up Virginia Beach. Digital copies of his local history presentation have been offered to schools and are available at all Virginia Beach public libraries.


Thanks to donations from the Edgar T. Brown family, as well as Shirley Wolf Jones, Mary Ellen Brinkley, Bob Gilson and other longtime residents, Virginia Beach Public Library’s local history collection is fun to view, educational and it helps provide leads for family history research, as seen on the popular NBC show Who Do You Think You Are?


The library is continually seeking local history donations. So…what’s in your attic?


For more information, please contact Central Librarian Pat Cook at 385-0101 or  pcook@vbgov.com.