Eastern Shore Public Library



CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400



WITH $500,000 GRANT

Frances Bibbins Latimer CollectionNEH logo

Photos attached:  (1) “IMG 9107” – Materials in the Frances Bibbins Latimer Collection that need preservation and digitization.

(2) “NEH-Preferred-Seal” – ESPL Foundation is now authorized to use the official NEH logo in its publications.

(Accomac, Virginia) January 14, 2020 – The Eastern Shore of Virginia’s heritage is now being recognized on the national level with a grant award of $500,000 to help in its preservation and accessibility. The Eastern Shore Public Library (ESPL) Foundation is included in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announcement of $30.9 million in grants to support 188 humanities projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia.  The Foundation’s grant team was notified by Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s office.  The $500,000 supports the building project to fund equipment, furnishings, and technology not included in the construction contract for the new ESVA Heritage Center and regional library.

“Not only does this put the Eastern Shore’s history in the national limelight,” remarked Dr. Art Fournier, Chair of the Foundation’s Grant Committee, “but this also brings the ESVA Heritage Center into the NEH network of humanities institutions, opening doors to new collaborations, support, and opportunities.”  Fournier led a team of volunteers, staff, historians, and archivists that worked on the grant application.

This NEH federal grant further expands the public-private partnership in funding the new regional library and Heritage Center. The building project, now under construction in Parksley, Virginia, is being funded by a combination of private and community donations, county and state funding, and now a federal grant.  The construction will be completed in November 2020.  Fundraising, however, is still underway and naming opportunities are still available.

The ESVA Heritage Center will provide multimedia opportunities for teaching and learning humanities, particularly in the fields of history, archaeology and literature. Thus, The Heritage Center will serve as an invaluable resource for students and scholars of history, archaeology and literature locally, regionally and nationally.  It will provide the infrastructure for the archiving, cataloging, digitalization and dissemination of this superb collection of books, pamphlets, documents and photographs.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

For more information about the ESVA Heritage Center and regional library building project and to watch a live web-cam of the construction, visit www.shorelibrary.com.


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ESPL Raising the Green Fundraiser


CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


New library construction

Photo above:  The progress on the construction of the new regional library being built in Parksley can be followed by live webcam.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) December 17, 2019 – The construction of the new regional library and Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center is now viewable on live webcam at shorelibrary.com.  The installation and equipment for the webcam was donated by Bullfeathers and Netwavz.  TGD Communications of Alexandria, Virginia contributed the web design for this project.

In November 1977, Barney and Charlie Russell opened Bullfeathers Sound Shop in Parksley Va. We sold 45 records, 8 track tapes and consumer electronics. Over the years, Bullfeathers has evolved with the changes in technology. We now sell and install satellite TV, Smart Home devices, video surveillance and offer several internet services including their own “BULLFEATHERS CONNECT.”  Bullfeathers recognizes the new technology public libraries provide and which has prompted new needs for library facilities.

Construction is expected to be completed in one year.  Viewers will be able to view the building of the addition to the former grocery store, located at 24313 Bennett Street in Parksley, Virginia.  Construction is being done by R.H. Contracting of Atlantic, Virginia.  While the bricks and mortar are laid, volunteers with the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation continue to raise funds to pay for the construction and the equipment for the 22,000 square foot facility.

Individuals wishing to contribute to the new library project can do so online at shorelibrary.com or using donation envelopes at the libraries.  Orders for donated bricks are currently being taken as well through the website or by using forms available at the libraries.  For more information, call the library Foundation’s fundraising office at (757) 787-3400.

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CONTACT:  CARA BURTON, 757-787-3400


basket drawing

Photo:  J.T. Holland (right), Co-Chairman of the Campaign for Construction for the new regional library and Heritage Center, draws the sorted winning tickets while staff member Summer Dahlmanns assists.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA)  December 17, 2019 – The most popular basket in the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation “Count Me In” basket drawing fundraiser was donated by Chincoteague Island Library.  Called “Living On Beach Time,” the lucky winner received over $500 of gift certificates to Chincoteague businesses.  The donor, Chincoteague Island Library, will receive a $100 prize for donating the basket that received the most ticket entries.  The fundraiser supports the new regional library and Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center under construction now in Parksley.  3,277 tickets were sold!  29 baskets were donated by area businesses, individuals, and civic groups.

The next most popular baskets were donated by:  Rotary Club of Cape Charles, Exmore Rotary Club, and Mallard’s Restaurant. The fifth most popular basket had combined donors:  Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Walmart, and Lighthouse Ministries.  The other top ten baskets were donated by Bev and Charlie Misuna and Classic Graphics; Jerusalem and Tabernacle Baptist Churches; Friends of ESPL; and the Rotary Club of Onancock.  The winner of the tenth top basket received gift cards to Shore bakeries:  Anointed Hands, Corner Bakery, Kate’s Kupboard, and Miss Pebbles.

The library’s Foundation continues to raise funds for the construction and the equipment for the new regional library.  Information about the project is available at www.shorelibrary.com.

The next Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation fundraiser will be “Raising the Green” on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Island House Restaurant.  Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring this event should call (757) 787-2500 or email esplibraryfundraiser16@gmail.com.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


 Profiles of Honor team

Photo:  The Profiles of Honor team, led by Rusty Nix, traveled from Richmond to Tangier to digitize historic documents and to educate children about WWI and WWII history.  The trip was organized by Eastern Shore Public Library.

(Accomac, Virginia) November 26, 2019 – Tangier residents’ World War I and II service history will now be represented in Virginia’s state archives.  The state’s Profiles of Honor scanning team recently spent two days scanning photos, letters, and other documents belonging to Tangier residents and the Tangier History Museum.  In addition to scanning, the team brought a traveling war exhibit for public view at the Museum for two days.  The project was organized by the Eastern Shore Public Library.

Every student at Tangier Combined School toured the exhibit, walking in class groups to the Museum from the nearby school.  All listened attentively while Rusty Nix, Profiles of Honor Communications Manager, reviewed the reason for scanning old documents.  Digitizing documents saves an image so that generations from now, the document is viewable, even if it is destroyed or deteriorates beyond readability.  Scanning images also prevents further damage as documents will be handled less if they are viewable online or copies are made.  Nix also described the artifacts in the exhibit and answered student questions.  A popular question was “Why is there netting on the helmet?”

While in Tangier, which happened to be on Halloween, library staff handed out books to trick-or-treaters.  Coincidently, the town residents were also hosting a touring group of Wounded Warriors.  They were able to enjoy the World Wars traveling exhibit as well as a fishing trip and a grant banquet given by the Town.  The trip highlighted the rich history of Tangier residents and their hospitality.

Over 300 Tangier items were scanned and will be publically viewable online by the end of the year.  Items scanned in the spring while the team was in Nassawadox and Parksley are available now to view at:  https://www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/scanning.

This project and other public history programs are part of the Eastern Shore Public Library’s “History Hub” initiative.  The future Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center at the new regional library in Parksley, opening in early 2021, will provide space for storing archives and the equipment for scanning.  The public will also enjoy learning about preserving their own family archives.

For more information about the library’s digital history collections, visit www.espl.org.  Eastern Shore Public Library is located in Accomac, Virginia and its Eastern Shore Room with local history resources is open to the public.  Call (757) 787-3400 for more information

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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

This site is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the The Library of Virginia Library Development and Networking Division.