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Take a Tour

ABOUT THIS PHOTO
The Albemarle County Courthouse in downtown Charlottesville. Albemarle was carved from Goochland County in 1744. The original county seat was located at Scott’s Landing (now Scottsville) on the James River to the south. After the town of Charlottesville was founded in 1762 — named for King George III’s new bride, Queen Charlotte— a modest wood-framed courthouse was built on this site. It was later replaced in 1803 by a two-story brick structure that still forms the northernmost (or back) portion of the Courthouse. The statue honoring deceased Confederate soldiers was installed in front of the Courthouse in 1909. A decorative fountain for horses is visible on the right. Photo by Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930), November 4, 1912. (courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia).

 Explore the Historic Heart of Virginia!

The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society offers a diverse variety of experiences that explore the history of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. For more than fifty years, we have been the leader in personally guided walking tours of the historic Central Virginia region. You are invited to join us. We can accommodate big groups or small ones, eight-year-olds or eighty-year-olds. All tours can be catered to your schedule based on the availability of tour guides. Check out the Calendar for all the latest schedule updates. For health and safety, we require that you wear a mask and observe social distancing. We look forward to showing you around one of the most fascinating little cities in America! Contact Sterling Howell at [email protected] or (434)296-1492 to learn more and schedule a tour.

Guided Tour Offerings – NEW – All Tours All Year Round!

Court Square & Environs: Our trained volunteers and staff will escort you on a guided walking tour around the Historic Court Square and its environs, the original 1762 core of Charlottesville. Tours start on the sidewalk in front of the Albemarle County Courthouse and end at the McIntire Building, covering local history from pre-Revolution up to recent events. $7 per person.

Maplewood Cemetery: A new tour of Charlottesville’s oldest public cemetery. This experience will invite you to visit the last resting places of some of Charlottesville’s most interesting deceased characters while contemplating what cemeteries and burial practices reveal about society and culture and how they have changed over time.

Virtual Tours: Check out our Calendar for latest updates!

Downtown Mall: Coming Soon!

Library

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.

Collections

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.

Call us

(434) 296-1492

Visit us

200 Second Street NE

Charlottesville, VA 22902

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At the Historic Public Library
On Market Street Park in Downtown Charlottesville
200 Second Street, NE
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Monday-Friday (8am-Noon) By Appointment
Phone: 434-296-1492
Email: [email protected]