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    Chinn Park Library is undergoing minor lighting renovations. Beginning October 1, lighting may be affected. We appreciate your patience. DETAILS

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    Montclair Library is currently repairing its HVAC system. DETAILS

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Prince William Public Libraries

RELIC - Programs

2021 PROGRAMS

Program Title Description

TAKE A LOCAL HISTORY "STAYCATION": HISTORY DESTINATIONS IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

August is the last month of summer vacation for most families. With a few more weeks of freedom left, but summer traffic at its worst, some families may want to get one last end-of-summer outing in without spending a lot of time in stop-and-go interstate traffic. RELIC Librarian Kirk Johnson gives a quick virtual tour of various local sites of historical interest that are close to home – even though many would be worth a long drive – in this prerecorded presentation.
Monday, August 2, 2021

RESEARCHING MILITARY RECORDS

Nearly every American has at least one ancestor who served in the military. Military records dating back to the Revolution are available to researchers. RELIC Librarian Don Wilson will demonstrate strategies for successful military records research in this prerecorded presentation.
Thursday, July 1, 2021

RELIC: WELCOME TO THE COLLECTION – MICROFILM

RELIC has a wide variety of physical media in our collection, including hundreds of reels of microfilm. Although these reels contain important local documents and are among the most heavily used items in our collection, many people have little experience using microfilm. In this prerecorded program, RELIC librarian Kirk Johnson will review what records RELIC owns in this format, strategies for researching records in this format, and demonstrates the microfilm readers we have in RELIC. You may find that this “old-fashioned” technology is much easier to use than you thought.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021

RELIC: WELCOME TO THE COLLECTION – DATABASES

RELIC is a repository of thousands of monographs, hundreds of microfilm reels, and a wealth of other physical items – but we also have access to many specialized databases which allow us access to documents and data you might not otherwise be able to access. You might be surprised at the information we can access for you!
Monday, May 3, 2021

ROLLING ROADS AND TURNPIKES: NORTHERN VIRGINIA ROADS TO THE CIVIL WAR

An unavoidable aspect of life in Northern Virginia is commuting, but 21st century drivers may be surprised to learn how much of their current commute follows routes which would have been familiar to residents 200 years ago. In this prerecorded program, RELIC librarian Kirk Johnson will describe how the road network in the region evolved from the early colonial period to the Civil War.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

USING MICROSOFT ONENOTE FOR GENEALOGY

OneNote is a free and easy–to–learn note–gathering and organization tool from Microsoft offering great utility for genealogists and family historians. Instructional Technology Coach Susanne Besecker breaks down the technical capabilities of this robust tool and demonstrates strategies on how to use it to organize your research and records. Registration required.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

DON'T GET "FOOLED" BY THESE COMMON GENEALOGICAL MISTAKES

Doing family research is challenging for many reasons – don’t make it even harder than it needs to be getting tripped up by some common genealogical errors. This short prerecorded video covers a handful of fallacies and missteps which can lead your research astray if you don’t know how to look out for them.
Thursday, April 1, 2021.

NEW ACQUISITIONS AT RELIC

The RELIC department is fortunate to receive donations of original documents related to local history. Recently, we took possession of a 1799 survey of a Loudoun County farm, which had originally been filed at a court in Dumfries. RELIC Librarian Don Wilson will analyze the survey, but also use it as an example of how to use primary documents in research, what new information acquisition of this document brings to light, and how this is relevant to Prince William County.
Monday, March 1, 2021.

MAKING HISTORY "OUR" STORY - AN ONGOING CULTURAL CASE STUDY FROM AN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation owns and operates a 2,350 acre preserve that sits just 35 miles outside of our nation's capital. Before becoming a state-designated Natural Area Preserve and being managed as an open-air museum and living laboratory, this mountainous landholding was home to many marginalized peoples. Summers Cleary and Barinaale Dube will be sharing the work Virginia Outdoors Foundation is embarking upon to present an inclusive and equitable history of the Preserve's diversely peopled past, sharing efforts to cultivate diversity through the Preserve's fellowship program.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“THE PRESERVE”: RECONSTRUCTING AN AFRICAN AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE BULL RUN MOUNTAINS

The Virginia Outdoor Foundation owns several thousand acres in the Bull Run Mountains, many of which encompass land grants dating back to the 18th century. Local historian, researcher, and archeologist Patrick O'Neill will be presenting on some new research findings on land held by many African American families in the Preserve. He will also have news about new land acquisitions, and other updates.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

"A COMPLICATED LEGACY: THE ENSLAVED CHILDREN OF GEORGE MASON

The Center for Mason Legacies is a new interdisciplinary research group established by the George Mason University Libraries, and the GMU College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Their mission is to preserve and examine the legacy of George Mason IV (1725-1792), his ancestors and heirs, and the people he enslaved. Student researchers join faculty members in studying the past and present influences of our university's namesake though a combination of scholarly research, public history, teaching innovation, and community outreach. Center director Dr. George Oberle will talk about the initial Enslaved Children of George Mason project, as well as new digital research projects which document the Mason family and their connection to local history.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

"AT A MINUTE'S NOTICE": VIRGINIA RESERVE MILITIA IN WORLD WAR II

The Virginia Reserve Militia was the first line of defense for Prince William County in World War II. Old men and boys, "veteran sportsmen," were ready to respond in case of invasion. For the first time, their names have been compiled to recognize their service. Join us as historian J. Nathan McDonald discusses these men and their service.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

GENEALOGY 101

If you made a New Year’s Resolution to finally get started on researching your family history, but aren’t sure how to go about doing so, this video is for you! RELIC staff have put together a prerecorded video summary of our popular “Genealogy 101” presentation, with advice on how to go about beginning building your family tree, and specific tools and strategies to do so.
Friday, January 1, 2021

FIRST AND ALWAYS: A NEW PORTRAIT OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

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 Washington. Even 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.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

NEW ACQUISITIONS AT RELIC

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.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

ADVANCED GOOGLE SEARCHING FOR GENEALOGISTS

Google is a powerful search tool, but many users never learn how to use it to the full potential. Instructional Technology Coach, Susanne Besecker will lead this live demonstration of how to utilize the Advanced Search functionality of Google to assist your online genealogical research.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

USING INTERLIBRARY LOAN FOR YOUR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

Although RELIC has a robust collection of materials, neither RELIC nor Prince William Public Libraries can own every record of interest to patrons. Fortunately, it’s possible for us to borrow materials from other library systems for patron use. The Library of Virginia, in particular, has a wealth of materials of interest to genealogists and local history researchers. RELIC’s Kirk Johnson will guide you through the process of finding materials on the Library of Virginia website and other institutions, and placing an Interlibrary Loan request.
Thursday, October 1, 2020

WELCOME TO RELIC AT CENTRAL LIBRARY!

After 25 years at the Bull Run Regional Library, the RELIC department has moved to a new home at the renovated and reopened Central Library. RELIC's Kirk Johnson leads this brief "virtual tour" along with an overview of the resources and materials available for patrons researching their family history or the history of our community.
Thursday, October 1, 2020

RESEARCHING YOUR IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR

All U.S. residents descend from immigrants. Those who arrived within the past 500 years may have a paper trail. RELIC's Don Wilson will describe passenger lists and naturalization records and how to find them.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

UNDERSTANDING AND USING COLONIAL COURT RECORDS

Courts and their records were here from the beginnings of local government, recording the daily lives of our ancestors, including land ownership, lawsuits, and probate of estates. An understanding of the format, language, and content of these records is essential for successful research in early American genealogy.
Monday, August 2, 2020

MAKING SENSE OF THE CENSUS

RELIC's Don Wilson will detail the use of U.S. census records for family history. Explore the peculiarities of these records and learn about population, mortality, agricultural, industrial, social schedules, and more.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

WHO'S YOUR CIVIL WAR ANCESTOR?

Manassas is a focus for the study of the American Civil War (1861-1865). If your family lived in the United States during that time, you can find a personal link to those exciting events. RELIC's Don Wilson will show how to find your ancestor's experiences in the war.
Monday, June 1, 2020

USING THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA WEBSITE

The Library of Virginia has a wealth of resources available online. This short tutorial will highlight some of those resources, as well as explain how to use a Virginia driver's license to gain access to databases and online resources.
Monday, June 1, 2020

AFRICAN-AMERICAN GENEALOGY: TRACKING FAMILIES BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR

Discovering African American family history prior to 1865 can be difficult. There are special challenges to finding documentation during the age of slavery. RELIC's Don Wilson will identify sources that can be used to trace lives and relationships while demonstrating the process using a case study approach.
This program was at Chinn Park Regional Library on Monday, February 3, 2020.

U.S. COLORED TROOPS AND BLACK CONFEDERATES

The 180,000 men of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) played a decisive role in winning the Civil War. Slaves were forced to toil behind Confederate lines or accompany their masters to war. Dr. Eugene Betit, author of Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid, speaks on the roles of African Americans on both side of the battlefield.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

COMPLICATED, VERY COMPLICATED: GEORGE WASHINGTON'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOTHER

Dr. Peter Henriques, George Mason University Professor of History Emeritus and George Washington Scholar illuminates the early influence the very complex Mary Ball Washington exerted on her famous son and further examines their later, quite controversial relationship and the friction between them.
Thursday, December 5, 2019.

To register for RELIC's programs, contact RELIC: 703-792-8380 or email.