West Virginia History & Genealogy

West Virginia Fish

CLIO is your guide to the history around you. It has 11,367-plus historical entries from all across the country. What will you discover about your city, town or neighborhood?

Digital Virginias houses and supports the subset of Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) records contributed by organizations from Virginia and West Virginia. The DPLA is a portal where users can freely search digital collections from libraries, archives, and museums nationwide. These collections contain photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more that are generally of artistic, cultural, or historical in nature. (See this site for more information about the Digital Virginias partnership and its featured collections.)

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is the comprehensive reference resource for the Mountain State of West Virginia. Based on the best-selling West Virginia Encyclopedia, e-WV offers thousands of articles on West Virginia’s people and places, history, arts, science and culture.

Ohio County Public Library Archives houses a substantial collection of material related to the rich history Wheeling and the surrounding area have accumulated since settlers first arrived in the 1700s. In addition to the collection of local and regional history books located in the Wheeling Room, the library maintains an archive of photographs, ephemera, musical recordings and a vast assortment of other materials preserving our area’s unique and diverse heritage.

Online Exhibits from West Virginia Archives and History showcases specific moments in West Virginia history, including the State’s involvement in World War I, governor pictorial histories, the creation of the State Capitol, and more.  Besides an online exhibit, the Archives and History library contains governor and senator papers, genealogies, photographs, newspapers, video, and a vast assortment of materials that tells the State’s story.

Sanborn Maps (Library of Congress) Contains searchable images of historical Sanborn Map Company fire insurance maps from the collection of the Library of Congress. Maps are arranged by state, county, and city and include building locations, construction materials, and information on exterior features. For more information about this collection including symbol and color keys and legends, see “About this Collection.” Consult the tutorial on our Niche Academy website for a more general introduction.

Selected Library of Congress Resources for West Virginia The extensive collections at the Library of Congress contain historic artifacts and cultural materials from across the U.S.

Virginia Heritage A consolidated database of archival finding aids from libraries, archives, and museums throughout the state of Virginia. This organization works closely with Digital Virginias (see above) and may have collections of interest to West Virginia history and genealogy scholars.

West Virginia & Regional History Center (WVRHC) at West Virginia University Libraries collects, preserves and provides public access to materials showing the history and culture of West Virginia and the central Appalachian region. In addition to records of their print and on-site collections, their website features digital collections, digitized newspapers, digital images, and more of interest to historians and genealogists.

West Virginia, a Digital Primer, West Virginia State Museum Education This resource seeks to bring the West Virginia State Museum into the classroom in a new digital format. When you navigate to the main screen, you will be presented with icons to choose from grades K-5.

West Virginia Archives and History This website for the state archives and history center features primary and secondary source documents, photographs, and databases; lists collections and other materials available in the State Archives; and provides research guides and assistance for genealogists. Also includes teacher resources and document-based question exercises.

West Virginia Newspaper Portal Maintained by Potomac State College of West Virginia University, the Newspaper Portal offers a guide to digitized West Virginia newspapers statewide, and it contains digital versions of local newspapers from Mineral County. These include the Mineral Daily News-Tribune, The Piedmont Herald, and the Potomac State College student newspaper, The Pasquino. Grant County, Hampshire County, and Hardy County public domain newspapers will be available by Dec. 2019.

West Virginia Newspapers on Chronicling America Search, read, and download West Virginia newspapers contributed to the Chronicling America project, which contains digitized U.S. newspapers from 1777 to 1963. Chronicling America is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), which is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC). New issues and titles are periodically added.