The documentation in the DHR Archives about the state's historic resources can be described as "belowground," covering archaeological sites, or "aboveground," referring to any building or structure. Many historic resources in Virginia are a combination of both—for example, a plantation home built near or on an archaeological site of prior Native American occupation.
Organized by city and county, our collection of survey records and other documentation is contained in files and reports and on maps. Most of the files hold resource evaluations, photographs, and maps. Drawings, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and published and unpublished materials are also available in many files.
For properties listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register or the National Register of Historic Places, those files contain copies of their respective nomination forms, photographs, and other items. (Most of these nominations and select photos are available online: see County and City Listings--Nomination Forms for Properties).
DHR is also the principal repository for Virginia historic survey and archaeological reports. Databases and mapping for the files and reports are only available onsite at the DHR Archives. The department, however, offers online information about Virginia's historic resources through DHR's VCRIS, which has limited public access and for full access requires a license.
Much of the documenation in the Archives may be photocopied for a small fee. The Archives also features an excellent collection of photographic negatives and slides, and can reproduce pictures for a nominal fee. A search service is available for organizations seeking information on the presence of previously identified cultural resources within a project area.
The department's research library contains a specialized selection of books, and theses and dissertations associated with Virginia history, county histories, historic preservation, architecture, and archaeology. Professional periodicals on history, archaeology, and architecture are also housed here, as are copies of historic maps.
DHR Archives materials do not circulate. All of these resources are available for the public to view free of charge in the Archives reading room. For more information, please contact Quatro Hubbard, Archivist, Phone: (804) 482-6102; Fax: (804) 367-2391.
Hours: The Archives hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; it is closed Friday through Monday and on state holidays. No appointment is necessary to visit.Updated 5.3.2018