Jones Memorial Library

Tuesday 12:00 – 8:00pm  |  Wednesday – Friday 1:00 – 5:00pm  |  Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Research

Using the Jones Collections

Jones Memorial Library has one of the largest collections of Virginia history and genealogy in the state.  Collections are open to the public for research use in our Reading Room.

Upon arrival, visitors are asked to sign the guest register.  Patrons then meet with a Reference Assistant at our Information Desk to identify materials of interest and discuss their research question.  

The library operates a closed stacks policy.  Researchers may use the library’s materials from the collection in a centralized Reading Room.  In addition to the library’s physical collection, selected materials are digitized and available in our online collection.  The library also maintains three public computers with free access to Ancestry.com Library Edition and four microfilm readers.  

Ancestry.com
Genealogy & Family History

Jones Memorial Library has extensive resources about individuals and families who have lived in the Lynchburg area.  

Ancestry.com Institution service is free for use while in the library.  The library also has extensive print resources, including materials such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) indexes, published and self-published family histories, crests and charts, census records, and more.  

Our Information Desk staff are happy to help researchers of all levels with guidance on what materials will be useful and tips on how to organize your research materials.  With a small staff, we can provide assistance to patrons in-person at the Library; research advice over the phone or e-mail is limited to a few minutes per day. 

Architectural Archives

Jones Memorial Library holds more than 5,000 sets of drawings and other documents of architects who had practiced or are practicing in the Lynchburg area.  Many plans are for nationally registered sites and structures, including Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Patrick Henry’s Red Hill, Mount Vernon, and Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace.  

          INDEX TO LAA ARCHITECTURAL ARCHIVES.

          HISTORIC BUILDINGS SURVEYS FOR LYNCHBURG AREA

The collection was established to preserve the documents created by Stanhope S. Johnson and now includes representative work of more than 80 architects and firms.

Architectural plans and blueprints may be reproduced for a modest fee.  Some plans are available in our DIGITAL COLLECTION.

Books & Rare Books

The collection includes more than 19,000 books available to the public.  An additional 1,000 rare books are preserved under restricted access. General access books and rare books are listed in the library’s CATALOG.

Censuses

Census records can be searched for free using Ancestry.com Library Edition in the library.  The library holds the following census records on microfilm:

  • U.S. Censuses
  • Virginia (1790-1880, 1900-1920, 1930 and Soundex for 1880, 1900)
  • West Virginia (1870-1920)
  • Kentucky (1850)
  • Maryland (1850)

City Directories

Lynchburg City Directories are an annual publication containing information about businesses, institutions, and individuals.  The listings may include personal information such as places of employment and names of family members or residents in a household.

The Library has a complete set of Lynchburg City Directories available in print format from 1873 to the present.  

Databases & Research Tools

Ancestry.com Institution and Heritage Quest are available free of charge for use while at the library.  

Online search for Jones Memorial Library’s databases is coming in 2024. Stay tuned!

Family Files & Pamphlet Files

Many researchers who visit Jones Memorial Library are interested in information about families who lived and worked in Lynchburg and the region.

Family Files contain materials about specific families and individuals in the form of genealogical charts, cemetery records, bible records, and books or family histories. Family Files can be searched using the library’s CATALOG.  You can also view this LIST OF FAMILIES for whom we have materials.

Our Pamphlet Files include smaller documents and loose papers that would be difficult to house in a larger collection.  Use our PAMPHLET FILE SUBJECT INDEX to locate materials of interest. 

Fine Art & Sculpture

The library holds paintings by nationally known artists from Lynchburg, including works by Georgia Morgan, Scaisbrooke Abbott, and Patricia Harrington.  

Visit our ART & OBJECTS page to see some of the artwork and objects held at the library.

Manuscripts

Manuscripts are mostly unpublished archival materials collected by a person, family, or organization.  The library holds more than 600 manuscript collections.  Manuscript collections may consist of a single document or comprise numerous boxes of materials that include a variety of items such as handwritten documents, news clippings, photographs or slides, and ephemera (postcards, buttons, souvenirs).

A Finding Aid, or guide, describes the subject matter and what is held in each manuscript collection.  Jones Memorial Library Finding Aids are searchable in our DIGITAL COLLECTION and with OCLC ARCHIVE GRID.

Newspapers

Newspapers.com has digitized Lynchburg newspapers for the years 1809-1818, 1849-1860, 1862, and 1866-2024. These papers are keyword searchable behind a paywall directly with the vendor.

Newspapers are available for free in a variety of formats (print, microfilm, digital) at the library.  Our holdings include a full run of the Lynchburg News & Advance and its antecedent publications from 1795 to today.  Library staff have compiled a subject index to newspaper articles in the Lynchburg papers.  This index is proprietary to the library. It may be viewed and searched but may not be reproduced or disseminated without written permission of the Library.

INDEX TO LYNCHBURG NEWSPAPERS BY MAIN SUBJECT

The Library is digitizing photographs and clippings from the News and Advance from the 1940s-1980s; clippings and images are added daily.  Clippings and images can currently be viewed at the library; digital files will be available later in 2024.  

SUBJECT INDEX OF NEWS & ADVANCE PHOTO CLIPPINGS

The library also carries the Piedmont Area Journal, the Lynchburg Area Journal, the New York Times, and newspapers for surrounding counties.

Digitized newspapers from across the state are available free of charge through the VIRGINIA CHRONICLE collection.

Obituaries, Burial Records,
& Funeral Home Records

The library holds an index of obituaries printed in Lynchburg area newspapers from 1837 to the present.  The index is searchable on Ancestry.com

The obituary index includes obituaries, death notices, and funeral notices.  There is also an index to local marriages and deaths for the period 1795 to 1836. 

The library also holds a collection of burial records, sales records, and ‘first call sheets’ from the 1900s for the J.E. Fauber Funeral Home, J.J. Hughes and Company, the Lynchburg Undertaking Company, and the Virginia Funeral Chapel, Inc.  

Newspapers.com has digitized Lynchburg newspapers for the years 1809-1818, 1849-1860, 1862, and 1866-2024. Obituaries in these papers are keyword searchable behind a paywall directly with the vendor. 

Reproductions of microfilmed or printed obituaries are available from the library upon request for $10.53 per listing.  First Call Sheets and Burial Records are also available at $10.53 each.  We accept payment by PayPal / credit card or by check (payable to Jones Memorial Library at 2311 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24501).  Submit each request below, or print and mail a completed form Obituaries and records are mailed after payment has been processed.