Eastern Shore Public Library


October 7, 2019                                                                                     Contact: Rusty Nix – (804) 310-0285

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Ginny Edwards – (804) 698-1888

                                                                                                Cara Burton, ESPL Director – (757) 787-3400

History is on the move as the WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Scanning Project travels to Tangier Island

Photo:  A Parksley resident tells Profiles of Honor team leader, Rusty Nix, about her husband’s historic papers this past April.  Families are invited to bring WWI and WWII archives to be scanned at the Tangier History Museum.

Tangier, VA – The Virginia WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Scanning Project will be at the Tangier History Museum and Interpretive Cultural Center on Thursday, October 31, noon to 5:00 pm and Friday, November 1, 9:00 to 2:00 pm. The project, which documents Virginia’s integral role in world history, is part of a statewide commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II and has toured Virginia since the end of 2016, digitizing documents related to the history of both wars.

The Eastern Shore Public Library invited the Profiles of Honor project to the Eastern Shore.  The team scanned items in Nassawadox and Parksley in April 2019, which are now available to view online.  Tangier is known for its high participation in the armed services throughout history, so the team is anxious to include their family archives in the digital history.

The scanning project, a partnership between the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission and the Library of Virginia, digitizes documents to be archived in an ever-growing collection of original World War I and World War II-related photographs, images, letters, and other documents contributed from around the state. Visitors are invited to bring their own documents to be digitally archived and made publicly accessible online. Items range from single letters, diaries, and photographs to substantial collections of correspondence between soldiers and families at home. These first-hand accounts, some in fragile or deteriorating condition, are carefully guarded treasures that many families are reluctant to relinquish. The Profiles of Honor Scanning Project enables contributors to preserve and share the intellectual and historical content of these valuable documents and still keep their original collections.

Since its beginning, the scanning project has collected over 5,000 scans, a selection of which are available on the Commission’s website, and all of which are being archived and will be permanently accessible online through the Library of Virginia.

This undertaking of the Commission “honors the Virginians who fought for our freedom and helps to ensure that their legacy remains for new generations as World War I and World War II slip further out of public memory,” said Virginia House of Delegates Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, who serves as the Chairman of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. “Both wars were fought not only overseas, but from the shipyards, factories, military bases, and homes of Virginians.” The Profiles of Honor Scanning Project collects and preserves this part of Virginia’s history for generations to come.

For more information on the Profiles of Honor Scanning Project and other initiatives of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, visit www.VirginiaWWIandWWII.org.  For information about the Tangier scanning project, call Cara Burton, ESPL Director, at (757) 787-3400.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400

 “COUNT ME IN!” Basket Drawing Fundraiser Supports ESPL


Photo above:  The Onancock Rotary Club donated this Blue Crab Bay gift basket for the library’s fundraiser.

(ACCOMACK, VIRGINIA)  September 27, 2019 – Win one of twenty-five gift baskets in the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation’s “Count Me In!” basket drawing fundraiser starting October 1.  Funds are still needed for construction, technology, and other valuable materials for the new Regional Library and ESVA Heritage Center to be built in Parksley.

This basket drawing fundraiser has a twist:  the baskets are being displayed in multiple places on the Shore, but you can select which basket(s) you want by entering the basket identification number on the ticket.  Additionally, there is a contest between the organizations donating the baskets:  the basket with the most “votes,” (ticket entries), will win a prize!  Some of the organizations donating baskets include:  Kiwanis Club of Onancock, Onancock Rotary Club, Northampton County Public Schools Alumni Association, YMCA (Onley), Mallard’s Restaurant, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and more.

All baskets have a minimum value of $100.  Ticket packs of five are $10. The baskets will be displayed and tickets can be bought from October 1 to November 21.  The drawings will take place on November 21 at the ESPL Foundation office at Four Corner Plaza.  Basket display locations include all four ESPL libraries, the Book Bin, PNC Bank, and select other venues to be announced.  Tickets will be available at the libraries, the Book Bin, the Foundation Office, from Foundation board members, and other venues to be announced.

Help support the new library, possibly win a wonderful basket in time for the holidays, and vote on the best basket!  “Count Me In!” is a fundraiser everyone can participate in, helping to make the new library truly a community library.

For more information contact the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation at (757) 787-2500.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


(PARKSLEY, VIRGINIA)  September 27, 2019 – The Eastern Shore Public Library will have a groundbreaking ceremony on October 23, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. for the new Regional Library and the Eastern Shore of Virginia (ESVA) Heritage Center at 24313 Bennett Street in Parksley, Virginia.  The public is invited for the one-hour special event that will include an honor guard and remarks by Governor Ralph Northam.  A celebratory cake will be served after the ceremony.

The groundbreaking ceremony has been a highly anticipated event for many Shore volunteers and staff who have worked over ten years for this project to start.  A 2008 study of the Eastern Shore Public Library System highlighted facility needs to improve the capacity and efficiency of the four libraries on the Shore.  Soon after, a nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation was formed to raise money for a larger, central facility.  The ESPL Foundation recruited volunteers and began fundraising.  Architects were hired to more closely review space needs and make recommendations.

Based on these reports, the ESPL Board of Trustees voted to build a new regional library in Parksley, Virginia and close the 1965 facility in Accomac.  Over time, a public-private partnership was developed between the library board, ESPL Foundation, and Accomack County to launch a $5 million project.  In addition to $2 million in funding from Accomack County, $1.5 million in state funding was secured through the Library of Virginia.  The ESPL Foundation was then charged to raise the remaining $1.5 million through donations and grants.  Through a combination of fundraisers, capital campaigns, grant writing, and a loan, the library Foundation volunteers raised the necessary funds to start the project.

A library board Construction Committee worked with Waller, Todd, and Sadler, now a Woolpert Company, of Virginia Beach, to design the 20,837 square foot facility.  The project will renovate a blighted grocery store in Parksley and create an addition for the ESVA Heritage Center.  Construction planning has coincided with Parksley’s downtown revitalization project, which will improve pedestrian access to the library.

Accomack County is overseeing the construction project.  After a public competitive bidding process, locally owned RH Contracting of Atlantic was awarded the construction contract.

The building of a public library that serves all ages and walks of life turned out to be far more complicated and extensive than the dedicated group of volunteers planned in 2009.  The resulting process, however, forged new partnerships that will benefit library support for years to come.  Community feedback during the process crafted the ESVA Heritage Center and identified new educational opportunities for library services.

“Because this is truly a community project,” stated Cara Burton, Library Director, “we hope everyone will come out to the groundbreaking on October 23rd.  From this point, you will watch the new library being built and then join us again at the end of 2020 for the grand opening celebration.”

The library groundbreaking will be an outdoor event, rain or shine.  For more information, call the library at (757) 787-3400.  For information about the building project, go to shorelibrary.com.

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Off the shelf March 2019 ESPL news article

The Missing Jail of Eastville by Jenean Hall

  • Eastern Shore Public Library
    23610 Front Street
    P.O. Box 360
    Accomac, VA. 23301
    Phone: (757) 787-3400;
    (757) 824-5151

    Cape Charles Memorial Library
    201 Mason Avenue
    Cape Charles, VA 23310
    Phone: (757) 331-1300

  • Contact Us

  • Northampton Free Library
    7745 Seaside Rd
    P.O. Box 729 Nassawadox, VA 23413
    Phone: (757) 414-0010

    Chincoteague Island Library
    4077 Main Street
    Chincoteague, VA 23336
    Phone: (757) 336-3460

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