"Public Documents are the materials for the historian. Without such a collection he, however much inclined, can never do justice to a State. Nor without them, can its people ever have an accurate knowledge of the founding and growth of their institutions; nor of their own development in governmental affairs, educational and other interests. Not only this, but posterity can not have the means of judging, as it might, of the deeds, and principles of action, and of the legislation of ancestors. Thus the State that neglects to preserve its Public Documents, loses much to future generations -- to the whole world indeed."
Virgil A. Lewis, West Virginia State Historian and Archivist, 1908
June 8-19, 2009
Library InformationLibrary Services and Fee Guidelines
Important Notice: Beginning Monday, November 4, 2013, an upgrade is being made to the elevator that provides access to Archives and History closed collections. This upgrade may take up to ten weeks to complete. The library is implementing the following procedures for retrieving materials for patron use during this period:
1. Library patrons who plan to use specialized collections, such as manuscripts and land books, that are housed on other floors must submit requests for these materials at least two days in advance of the day they intend to visit the library. On Saturdays, staff may not be able to provide materials that have not been requested in advance.
Guides to Collections
NOTE: FOR ACCESS TO THE MANUSCRIPT, PHOTOGRAPH, AUDIOVISUAL, AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, PATRONS ARE REQUIRED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE ARCHIVIST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE.
Last Updated 29 April 2005
Comments and suggestions about this web site may be addressed to Mary Johnson at the West Virginia State Archives. The Archives will not answer e-mail research requests. All research requests must be submitted in writing to the Archives and History Library; The Culture Center; 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, E.; Charleston, WV 25305-0300. Requests from outside West Virginia must be accompanied by a $15 research fee; a $5 research fee must accompany in-state requests (checks made payable to Division of Culture and History). Please read the Archives' listing of services available for more details on research correspondence. Important information regarding checks received for payments
"A tremendous lot of valuable data was stored away in this department [Archives & History] but on account of it not being properly indexed, it only represented so much 'junk.' . . . Considering the small force and limited funds that have been available for this work in our state, admirable progress has been achieved, but liberal provisions must be made for the work if it is to be carried forward on a scale in any way commensurate with our needs."
Second Biennial Message of Governor Hatfield to the Legislature of 1917
West Virginia Archives and History