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The Richmond Public Library Receives Inaugural Commonwealth History Fund Grant

It is with great excitement that we announce Richmond Public Library (with partner Richmond Public Library Foundation) is one of 12 inaugural recipients to receive a grant from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture’s Commonwealth History Fund. Richmond Public Library has been generously awarded $30,000.00.

The Commonwealth History Fund is made possible by generous funding from Dominion Energy and is administered in partnership with Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources. It was established to provide grants annually to history organizations and projects across the state of Virginia. Key selection criteria include: the significance of the project or resource as well as its impact on its community and the Commonwealth; the emphasis of the project on historically underrepresented topics and communities; as well as the need for funding and the urgency of the project. This year $402,500 was awarded to 12 organizations, and the VMHC plans to give nearly $2,000,000 over the first five years.

We are incredibly honored to be one of the 12 compelling projects chosen by the Commonwealth History Fund for its inaugural year. Through this amazing opportunity, we will be able to give back to our communities by implementing a project that will help us to continue telling the story of Virginia and have a lasting impact on future generations.

Richmond Public Library will establish a Community Memory Fellow position within the library. The position will be posted in fall of 2022 and is envisioned as a collector, interpreter, historian, and preservationist who will work closely with other cultural institutions across the City of Richmond. The Fellow’s work will include collecting oral histories across neighborhoods, faith communities, school communities, sports, and grassroots civic organizations.  The goal is to create one publicly accessible location where one can readily access a diverse, wide interpretation of public history. One will be able to learn, engage, and participate in Richmond history through traveling exhibits, outreach programs, and self-guided research.

Library Director Scott Firestine shared, “With a mission to Inform, Enrich, Empower all of Richmond, we see this position as an investment to broaden the notion of what public history is in Richmond and make that history accessible to everyone from students to scholars.”

More information on The Commonwealth History Fund can be found at