Eastern Shore Room Now Open to Researchers by Appointment

Monday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tuesday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Wednesday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Thursday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Eastern Shore Public Library is pleased to announce that the Eastern Shore Room is now open to the public by advance appointment. During this initial reopening phase, researchers will be able to use the reading room collections by appointment during the days and hours posted above. Our archives remain closed.


  • To make an appointment, please contact local history staff at heritage@espl.org or 757-787-3400. Please make appointments at least one week in advance.
  • Because there is only one appointment scheduled per day, you may use the room for the whole day. We do ask that you provide an estimated time of arrival.
  • If you cannot keep your appointment or need to change it, please contact us as soon as possible so that the room will be free for someone else to use.
  • In order to provide equitable access, limitations on frequency of use may be imposed if necessary.
  • The Eastern Shore Room is open for local history research only. In order to reserve a meeting room for other purposes, you may contact Northampton Free Library at 757-414-0010.

Expectations of Everyone in the Library

Library visitors must wear masks while in the building and follow the library’s health prevention measures below. The health of all library patrons, staff, and volunteers is the library’s priority. To that end, we follow Virginia state standards and CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

  • If you feel ill, have a fever, have a non-allergy cough, or feel dizzy, you may not enter the library.
  • Hands are to be sanitized before entering the library and Eastern Shore Room. Sanitizer will be available as you enter the library. If you have an allergy to sanitizer, please wash your hands in the public bathroom.
  • A mask is required to enter the library, and must be worn at all times. Staff in public service areas will wear masks.
  • Everyone will stay 6 feet away from everyone else.

Use of the Eastern Shore Room

  • Hands are to be sanitized before entering the Eastern Shore Room. Sanitizer will be available as you enter the library. If you have an allergy to sanitizer, please wash your hands in the public bathroom.
  • A mask must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times, even if you are alone in the room.
  • Upon arrival, please check in at the circulation desk and they will open the door for you. The door should remain locked and closed for the duration of your visit. Please do not open it to anyone else.
  • Archival materials are not available at this time.
  • NO food or drink in the Eastern Shore Room.
  • There will be no staff available on-site for research assistance. Prior to your visit, search the Library’s catalog at https://esplva.booksys.net/opac/espl/#menuHome to identify materials you would like to see when you visit. For questions that arise during your appointment, you may use your cell phone to contact us at 757-787-3400.
  • We strongly encourage the use of cell phone cameras in lieu of paper copies. If you do need to make a paper copy, the printer in the Eastern Shore Room can make letter size copies. Should you need a larger format, there is a copier available at the circulation desk.
  • Please limit your time in the library to the Eastern Shore Room only. If you leave to go to the restroom or copier, please close the door and alert staff to open it for you again when needed as the door needs to remain locked so others do not enter the room.
  • Do not reshelve materials as they must be quarantined. After handling any library materials, please place them on the table in the Eastern Shore Room so that they may be quarantined by staff.
  • At the end of your appointment, please close the door behind you and notify staff at the circulation desk that you are leaving.

If researching from home, staff is still available to respond to your questions and research inquiries by email or phone. For assistance, please email local history staff at heritage@espl.org or call 757-787-3400. Follow us on Facebook to learn about our online genealogical resources.