Ed Roseberry (b. 1925) took this photo of Charlottesville’s Apple Harvest Festival parade on Main Street downtown in October 1953. The annual Festival had been launched in 1950, complete with a parade and fair, to celebrate one of the region’s most historic agricultural industries. Throughout much of the 1800s, Central Virginia’s “Albemarle Pippin” was among the most popular varieties of apple in America and in England. The Saturday, October 3, 1953 Harvest Festival Parade enjoyed spectacular weather in Charlottesville. Taken just before the parade began, this photo looks east down Main Street, today’s Downtown Mall. Sears and Leggett’s Department Stores are on the right, later the site of a Regal Cinema in 1996. In the next block on the right is the 1921 Lafayette Movie Theater, which in 1960 became the site of a Rose’s Department Store and in 1996 the York Place Shops and Apartments. The 1920 National Bank building, Charlottesville’s first “skyscraper” is visible on the left. The annual community celebration was re-organized as the Dogwood Festival and moved to the spring beginning in April 1958.  

 Music in the Park!

Partnering with the Charlottesville Municipal Band and the Charlottesville High School Orchestra, we are bringing live music to our West Front Portico and Market Street Park. Beginning in the summer of 2018, we’ve enjoyed the sounds of local youth talent, and most recently, the exceptional playing of the Socially Distanced Municipal Band, bringing joy to our Covid-19 stressed community! Look for more details about our live music series on the Calendar and Facebook. On the left below, the Brass Quintet of the Charlottesville Municipal Band (7.13.18). And on the right, the Westwood Quartet from the Charlottesville High School Orchestra (5.25.18). Check our Facebook and YouTube videos for recent concerts.


The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Library is among the very best of local history libraries in the country. Created by a committee of Historical Society volunteers, the library opened to the public on October 29, 1974, in the renovated basement of our then headquarters at 220 Court Square. Since that time, the holdings have grown to include over 6,000 individual volumes, 15,000 pamphlets, 300 historic maps, and over 1,000 archived manuscript items. Operated in collaboration with the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library system, the library was officially renamed in 2020 the Margaret Martin O’Bryant Library & Research Collection in honor of her over 35 years of service to the Society.


In addition to our Library holdings of books, manuscripts and historic maps, our Collections contains thousands of artifacts donated to the Society. These items help to tell the story of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville: from papers to portraiture to photographs, clothing, furniture, memorabilia and ephemera, all donated by individuals, families, businesses and organizations throughout Central Virginia over the past 80 years. A sample of artifacts can be found on our Collections webpage. If you would like to donate an historic item to be preserved in our collections or do research in our collections, please contact us.

Copyrights & Reproductions

As curators, librarians and historians, our staff members are responsible for safeguarding the condition of materials in our Collection and for respecting the wishes and interests of authors and donors. We also wish to contribute to scholarship and teaching and want to make the public more aware of the books, manuscripts, and historic items we have. To accomplish these goals, the reproduction of items is often required. If you have a need to reproduce items in our collection or learn what we have, click this link for our policies.

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McIntire Library
Market Street Park

Downtown Charlottesville
200 Second Street, NE
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902


Research Library Open
By Appointment
Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm
Saturday, 10am-2pm