Virginia History

The Story of Virginia, Virginia Historical Society
This attractive website offers a presentation on the history of Virginia from prehistoric times to the present with essays, images, and teaching resources. There are ten chapters: the first Virginians; the settlement of colonial Virginia; Virginia’s society before 1775; Virginians in the American Revolution; Virginians as Southerners, Confederates, and New Southerners; Virginians in the 20th century; the struggles of African-American and female Virginians for equality; and a final chapter on images of Virginia in popular culture. Each chapter has an essay featuring images of relevant items in the collections of the Virginia Historical Society. The “resource bank” collects all 95 featured images. Additionally, the site offers a teacher’s guide for each chapter listing the standards of learning, a summary of key points, classroom activities and lesson plans, links to related websites, and information on tours, outreach programs, and hands-on-history programs.
The American Experience: John Brown’s Holy War, PBS
This companion site to the 1999 PBS documentary on John Brown uses special features, a timeline, an interactive map, short biographies and histories, and a teacher’s guide to explain the story of Brown’s life and times. A teacher’s guide offers discussion questions and four classroom activities. An interactive map follows Brown’s movements across the country from his birth in 1800 to his execution and burial in 1859.
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, University of Virginia
The Valley Project traces the lives of two communities—Staunton, Virginia and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania—from the time of John Brown’s Raid through Reconstruction. This massive, searchable archive offers thousands of pages of maps, images, letters, diaries, newspapers, and church, agricultural, military, and public records—all relating to these two communities during the era of the Civil War.
WPA Life Histories, The Library of Virginia
Provides 1,350 life histories and youth studies created by the Virginia Writers’ Project (VWP)—part of the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers’ Project—between 1938 and 1941. Also offers more than 50 interviews with ex-slaves conducted by the VWP’s all-black Virginia Negro Studies unit in 1936 and 1937 and six VWP folklore studies produced between 1937 and 1942.