Here’s a list of what we’re doing….
- Histories of cities,towns and neighborhoods (Roanoke, Fincastle, Bedford, Radford, Blacksburg, Riner, Shawsville, Lynchburg, Marion, etc.)
- Institutional histories (Kiwanis Club of Roanoke & other civic organizations, churches, businesses, schools, hospitals, etc.) history-of-roanoke-kiwanis-club
- Family histories – publishing family scrap books & narratives, letters, and journals. We hope to help people learn how to use Ancestry.com and other genealogical data bases, and to learn more about the historical context in which their ancestors lived.
- Book reviews… featuring recent publications that could be useful to a study of Virginia history. For example, a well-respected historian, James Loewen, has written two provocative books aimed at a general audience : Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995) and Lies Across America (1999), both of which might provide fodder for lively discussion.
- Student papers…We plan to issue a call for papers at colleges and universities (history departments) throughout Virginia to invite students to submit papers (just as they might do at a conference), in expectation that we could publish the best scholarly entries here, and thus initiate a sort of online journal..
- Special ….Kids’ Pages…Giving children a place to publish research about their own families, including interviews with grandparents and photographs and charts collected from relatives…
- Frontier and Revolutionary History…especially concerning portraits of many of the men who are claimed as Revolutionary Heroes by local chapters of the DAR and SAR…It would be fun (and worthwhile) to find out where these ancestors served during the Revolution. We might learn something more about Tories, slaves, pacifists (Quakers?), and Native Americans, too.
- Roanoke Architecture…starting with the Mostly Sofas Building (207 Bullitt Avenue – c. 1910) and then expanding to the old S&W Cafeteria Building (16 West Church Avenue c. 1950)…these two projects are in response to a request for research from Breakell, Inc. The initial projects are prompting research into the histories of other properties in downtown Roanoke, and raising many new questions…Where did the Grayhound Terminal (Union Station) move in the early 1950s? How did the construction of shopping malls affect the businesses downtown? Can learning about the history of downtown help us make better informed decisions about what to build there in the future?