Virginia Offers Free Civil War Scans to Area Residents

The Library of Virginia is asking for your help in enriching the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s Civil War record. The Library’s Civil War 150 Legacy project provides people from across Virginia with a chance to have Civil War letters, photos, memorabilia and other items digitized so that the information about the items can be shared with researchers and others interested in the US Civil War.

“The Civil War 150 Legacy Project: Document Digitization and Access” is a multi-year initiative to locate, digitize and provide world-wide access to the private documentary heritage of the American Civil War era located throughout Virginia.  Utilizing Local Sesquicentennial Committees established by the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and through a partnership with the Library of Virginia and a network of statewide connections, the Civil War 150 Legacy Project will provide individuals an opportunity to have their historic letters, diaries and other collections scanned to preserve their valuable intellectual content.

On July 29th and 30th Library of Virginia staff will have a mobile scanning center in place at the  Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center. The scanning center will provide area residents with a no-cost opportunity to have their Civil War relics digitized so that others can benefit from the seeing the item. Most importantly, fragile paper documents and photos will be digitally preserved without the object’s owner having to relinquish possession to an academic or government agency.

If you know of someone who owns such historic materials and would be interested in taking part, please them to take part in this valuable opportunity. Participants are asked to call ahead to make a scanning appointment. Appointments will be scheduled between 10 am and 4pm on both July 29 and 30.

The length of the appointments will vary depending upon the material to be scanned:

Type of Item                        Length of Appointment

Diary                                            30-45 minutes per diary

Letter – 5 pages or less         10 minutes

Letter – 6-15 pages                 20 minutes

Photograph                                                             5 minutes per item

In addition, the scanning project requires that materials must be originals and only be from private collections. Only flat materials can be scanned; no three-dimensional objects can be included. Library of Virginia personnel will not be able to give any kind of valuation to the materials nor will appraisals be provided.

“The Civil War 150 Legacy Project: Document Digitization and Access” is an ongoing process and is taking place at venues across Virginia. To see a sample of what’s been scanned so far please visit the  Library of Virginia website at

To schedule a scanning appointment, please call the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center at  540-542-1326.