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Archives Exhibit Highlights WV Documents, Photographs, Maps

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CHARLESTON, WV — What was the earliest book published in West Virginia? Who was the first African American to become a registered architect? What astronaut did Senator Jennings Randolph invite to the National Youth Science Camp luncheon?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in the Division of Culture and History's sesquicentennial-themed exhibit, now on display in the Archives and History Library.

"For the Division of Culture and History, celebrating the state's sesquicentennial is an opportunity to showcase our people, culture and history in so many ways," said Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith.  "We are able to highlight the key dates and events that helped form our state and, at the same time, share the stories that bring human touches to our statehood.  When visitors come to see the Archives exhibit, I hope they will take the time to read the materials and appreciate the care with which our State Archives staff preserves our past."

The exhibit covers the period from 1749 through 2013. It is divided into four sections: pre-statehood and three 50-year periods of West Virginia's existence. The exhibit contains a handwritten letter from John Brown to his family, an original topography map of the Little Kanawha River, the "Friends of Coal Bowl" contractual agreement and the official Sago mining disaster report.

The exhibit will be on display through June 22 and is free to the public. The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

For information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, at 304-558-0220 or at Caryn.S.Gresham@wv.gov.