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Books, Documents, and Family Files

The various physical documents, file folders, and books that we have in our research library in Abingdon, Virginia are cataloged and indexed in three main databases; the online card catalog, the family surname files, and an index of the content within the library holdings.

1. Online Card Catalog

The first database is simply an online card catalog that references the documents and books in the library. This database is an index of the title, author, publication date, and reference number of the library's holdings. You can search the index by clicking on the following link:

Digital Card Catalog Search PageOnline Card Catalog Search

Or if, instead of searching, you would like to browse our library holdings, you can view the entire card catalog formatted as a PDF document by clicking below:

PDF IconEntire Library Card Catalog



2. Family Surname Files

The second database is an index of the Family Surname Files. This database contains a listing of surnames for which we have documentation from our own and others' research. Items relating to each surname listed are held in separate, hard copy folders. In general, the folders contain documents which are too brief to be listed in our card catalog, such as newspaper clippings. The database itself is simply an alphabetized list of surnames with no other descriptors. If a name is listed in the index, then it means that we are maintaining a file folder which holds some physical documents relating to that name. Since the surname listing is alphabetized and only six pages long, we have not implemented a search function for the database. If you would like to browse the surname index, you can view the entire listing, which is formatted as a PDF document, by clicking below:

PDF IconEntire Family Surname Folder Listing



3. Content Index of All Library Holdings

The third database is an ambitious project being undertaken by Society members to develop an index for all the books and documents in the library. It contains a single listing of significant items that occur in the content of all the library holdings such as names, places, buildings, events, etc. As you can surmise, this is a really big database development for our small Society. Society members often refer to it as the "million name" database since it currently has over 1 million records. This is probably the best research tool that we have if you want to do a broad search across all the books and documents in our library. You can search the "million name" database by clicking on the following link:

Library Index Search PageSearch the Content Index of All Library Holdings


4. Visit Our Library

We can copy limited sections of the library materials for $1 per page, but we cannot copy entire books. If you would like to have copies made, please call us to make arrangements. Our phone number is 276-623-8337

Of course, the best way to utilize the library resources is to visit us in Abingdon! Our hours are 10-4 pm Tuesday-Saturday. We are closed on Sunday and Monday. Also remember the society is closed on all Federal holidays and closes during inclement winter weather. The library is staffed by volunteers and there are times when we do not have enough staff available to keep the library open five days a week. If you are planning a trip to visit us, please call ahead to be sure we will be open



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Digitized Image Collection

In addition to the our library holdings, the Historical Society has been developing a collection of digitized images. The image database is rapidly expanding and we currently have over 160,000 digitally scanned images of photographs and documents. The database records include: digitized photographs of people in various scenes both posed and candid; images of churches, houses, schools, bridges, mills, railroads, tombstones, historical scenes, etc.; and images of documents covering a wide range of historical interest, such as marriage certificates, obituaries, military documents, letters, newspaper articles, business receipts, etc. You can search our digital image collection by clicking on the following link:

Digitized Image Index SearchSearch the Index of the Digitized Images Collection

The actual images are only available for viewing at the Historical Society Library in Abingdon, Virginia. However, digital copies of the images can be purchased using the order form shown below. Note that each image has a Picture ID Number. This number can be used on the order form to identify the specific image you wish to purchase. Just follow the ordering instructions below. If you have further questions regarding the digitized image collection, please contact us at: office@hswcv.org .


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How to Order Photographs and Digitized Documents

Copies of photographs and images of documents for personal use can be ordered in person at the Historical Society Library, or ordered by mail.

PRICES FOR PHOTOGRAPHS:
$5 each Emailed in .jpg format
$10 each Printed and mailed via USPS, or picked up

PRICES FOR DOCUMENTS:
$4/page Emailed in .jpg format
$7/page Printed and mailed via USPS or picked up

To order, download and complete one of the following request forms. Then mail the completed form and payment to:

Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia
P.O. Box 484
Abingdon, VA 24212-0484

PDF IconPersonal Use Order Form

Please contact the Society for information on commercial rates.

PDF IconCOMMERCIAL Order Form


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How to Submit a Research Request

For those researchers unable to visit our Society, we are happy to answer one or two specific questions for a $20 research fee.

1. To Submit Your Request Online

First, download and complete one of the following request forms. The Genealogy Research Request Form is for research related to your family history, while the General Research Request Form is for non-genealogical research questions.

PDF Icon Genealogy Research Request Form

PDF Icon General (Non-Genealogy) Research Request Form

Then click the "Order Now" button below, which will take you to the payment page. The online order is $20, which may be paid by credit card or PayPal.

Item: 202 Research Request Price: $20.00


Finally, e-mail the completed research request form to: research@hswcv.org . Please allow up to 10 weeks for your request to be answered. We have a limited number of volunteer researchers.


2. To Submit Your Request By Mail

Please print, complete, and mail the appropriate research request form along with a $20 check, to:

Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia
P.O. Box 484
Abingdon, VA 24212-0484

Since we have a limited number of volunteer researchers, please allow up to 10 weeks for your request to be answered.