November 2020 - The Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center for Genealogy and Local History (RELIC)
Start your historical journey here. RELIC's email newsletter highlights upcoming free events and happenings. Genealogy and local Virginia history are our specialty as a service provided by the Prince William Public Libraries. You can always find more about us on RELIC's webpage.
RELIC service is now available by email at [email protected] and at our new phone number: 703-792-8380. While Central Library, at 8601 Mathis Avenue in Manassas, is still under renovation, RELIC has unpacked there in spacious new quarters. Please check our library's website for updates and registration information.
The following virtual programs can be accessed on our website beginning on the dates shown. Previous RELIC programs can be viewed on RELIC's Programs webpage.


The Civil War retains an important part in the American experience over 150 years after its conclusion. But what happened after the war? The Reconstruction Era is mostly forgotten today, or when it is remembered retains misconceptions that became popular 100 years ago. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or Freedmen's Bureau was charged with the monumental task of undertaking the first instance of nation-building in American history. Bill Backus from Prince William Historic Preservation will present a live virtual lecture on the history of this important institution here in Prince William County. Registration required.
Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 p.m.

Since December is a gift-giving season for many people, it's a good time for RELIC to acknowledge some recent additions to the collection which were donated by supportive patrons and members of the community. RELIC librarian Kirk Johnson will highlight new acquisitions, including a letter written from the gold mines of early California, and a detailed eighteenth-century local map.

George Mason University Professor of History, Emeritus, and renowned Washington scholar, Dr. Peter Henriques will be presenting a chapter from his new book, First and Always: A New Portrait of George WashingtonEven long time Presidential history buffs and students of Washington's life will find much of interest in Dr. Henriques' well-researched-and sometimes provocative-new study of our first President.

During the pandemic, our readers may feel a strong urge to escape the confines of home and seek out new experiences.
Prince William County has many sites related to our local history that can be safely explored. An easy way to plan your adventure is to start with the Prince William County Historical Marker GuideThis free handbook, published by the Prince William County Historical Commission, contains maps and text for over 100 important and interesting sites throughout the county, including relevant hiking trails.
An online version of the guide can be downloaded here, then by clicking "Marker Guide" in the upper right corner of the screen. Using it, you can plan a day's outing while the weather is reasonably pleasant. In addition to county-related sites, the guide also includes a summary of markers erected by the City of Manassas, the Town of Occoquan, and the Virginia Civil War Trails markers.
A paper copy of the marker guide can be ordered from the Commission's website. They also offer a good selection of other historical publications, such as George Brown's A History of Prince William County ($7.50) and Yesterday's Schools by Lucy Phinney ($16.00).
Using the marker guide as a starting point, you can learn much more about our recent and distant past. Whether you do it virtually or in-person, there is no time like the present!

[email protected] or 703-792-8150
Questions and comments are always welcome.
Prince William Public Libraries, 13083 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192