Books & Literature

Virginia Center for the Book

The Virginia Center for the Book’s vision is that every Virginian will have access to books and reading and to the power that books and reading provide to shape and inform personal and civic life. Through year-round programs and partnership initiatives, we work across the Commonwealth to unite communities of readers, writers, and booklovers.

As an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Virginia Center for the Book works within a network of more than 50 affiliates to promote books, reading, literacy, and the literary life of Virginia.

Virginia Center for the Book
Virginia Festival of the Book

The Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together every March for a five-day celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture.

The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past thirteen years. The Festival presents programming for readers of all ages, from international bestselling authors to topic specialists or debut authors, and coordinates author outreach programs for schools and underserved communities.

Virginia Festival of the Book
Virginia Arts of the Book Center
The Virginia Arts of the Book Center is a community of artists exploring books, paper, and printmaking through a hands-on studio of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. We engage in humanities and arts projects with a community-access approach and are a resource for individual artists. We exist to provide the public a direct experience with book arts.
Virginia Arts of the Book Center

Cultures & Communities

African American Programs

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is committed to uncovering and sharing the complexity and richness of Virginia’s African American history and culture while creating opportunities for Virginians to explore this richness and complexity for themselves.

Our guiding belief is that African American history is not separate from the mainstream Virginia story. It is integral to any fruitful understanding of life in the Commonwealth.

In 2000 VFH created the African-American Historic Sites Database to add long-neglected depth and nuance to Virginia’s story and to explore the complexity of African-American history and culture beyond the major themes of slavery and civil rights.

Virginia Indian Program

The Virginia Indian Program at VFH is helping to redress centuries of historical omission, exclusion, and misrepresentation. It creates opportunities for Virginians of all ages, as well as visitors to the state, to learn about the history and cultures of Virginia Indian people and communities, past and present.

The Virginia Indian Program maintains the Virginia Indian Archive, a collection of images, documents, and audiovisual resources representing the history and cultural experiences of Virginia Indians since colonial times.

Virginia Folklife

The Virginia Folklife Program, a public program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is dedicated to the documentation, presentation, and support of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage.

Whether sung or told, hand-crafted or performed, Virginia’s rich Folklife refers to those “arts of everyday life” that reflect a sense of traditional knowledge and connection to community.

Virginia Folklife
Global Virginia

Immigration to Virginia began in 1607, and the Commonwealth has been continuously shaped and reshaped by waves of immigration and migration ever since. Especially over the past forty years, the face of Virginia has been changing rapidly as immigrants and refugees have arrived, and continue arriving, from all parts of the world: from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. “Global Virginia” explores both the experience and the impact of immigration on Virginia’s communities and the state as a whole.

History United
History United uses local history to encourage investment in the future of the Dan River Region and to build a strong collaborative network of organizations and individuals committed to positive change.
History United

Digital Initiatives

Encyclopedia Virginia

Encyclopedia Virginia is an authoritative and user-friendly resource on the history and culture of Virginia.

Published in partnership with the Library of Virginia, Encyclopedia Virginia produces topical and biographical entries written by scholars, edited to be accessible to a general audience, and vigorously fact checked.

Entries are accompanied by primary documents and media objects, including images, audio and visual clips, and links to Google Street View tours of historic sites.

Encyclopedia Virginia

edUi is an annual conference for web professionals working working at institutions of learning—colleges, universities, libraries, and museums.

The conference provides practical professional development in the fields of user interface and user experience design, with a focus on overcoming the challenges unique to higher education and nonprofit organizations.

Discovery Virginia

Discovery Virginia is a new effort to digitize and preserve the thousands of valuable assets VFH has produced in its forty year history, ranging from rare musical recordings to oral histories and grant-funded films. This institutional repository will give users a single web-based point of access to digital content across its programs.

Grants & Fellowships


The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities offers fellowships to scholars and writers in the humanities. We seek applications that are intellectually stimulating, imaginative, and accessible to the public. There are no restrictions on topic, and applications are invited from across the broad spectrum of the humanities.


VFH accepts proposals from nonprofit organizations seeking funding to develop public humanities programs for audiences in Virginia.

Since 1974, VFH has awarded more than 3,000 grants, bringing scholars and citizens together to promote a greater understanding of the humanities.

  • Open Grant Program: Open to proposals on a wide range of subjects, for projects in any format, and for amounts typically up to $10,000. Deadlines are April 15th and October 15th. Draft proposals are strongly encouraged.
  • Discretionary Grant Program: Smaller grants of up to $3,000. There is no deadline for this program; applications are accepted at any time. Applicants should contact VFH staff in advance before submitting a Discretionary Grant proposal.

Radio Programs

With Good Reason

Each week on With Good Reason Sarah McConnell takes you along as she examines a wide range of topics with leading scholars. The show is available as a podcast and broadcast on public radio stations across Virginia, as well as in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

With Good Reason has won five Gabriel Awards for Best Documentary or Public Affairs Programs and is also the recipient of top honors from the Public Radio News Directors, Radio and Television Digital News Association and the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

With Good Reason

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today.

On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and disconnections) between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, BackStoryis fun and essential listening no matter who you are.

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