The University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will host a panel discussion and reception Monday to commemorate Charlottesville’s 250th anniversary.
The panel will feature community members with an interest in local history sharing stories from Charlottesville’s past. The reception will showcase a Special Collections exhibit, “Charlottesville: 250 Years of History,” which includes numerous artifacts from the city’s history, including the oldest known map of the city and a report by Thomas Jefferson recommending that U.Va. be established near Charlottesville.
The events are free and open to the public, and are co-sponsored by Special Collections and U.Va.’s Office of Community Relations. The panel, featuring Coy Barefoot, Deborah Bell Burks, George Crafts and John Gaines, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Special Collections auditorium. The reception will follow at 6:15 p.m.
Barefoot is an author and radio host, as well as an adjunct faculty member teaching local history in U.Va.’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. His books include “The Corner: A History of Student Life at the University of Virginia.” During the discussion, he’ll talk about the connection between town and gown, as well as about the history of the Corner and Jefferson's vision for the University.
Crafts, a U.Va. librarian responsible for four different subject areas, said Alderman Library has been his “home away from home” since 1974. In addition, he’s a professional storyteller, a career that began in 1985 at Greer Elementary School, where he still tells tales as a volunteer.
Gaines is a local resident interested in the history of Charlottesville’s 10th and Page neighborhood. A former educator, he holds an M.Ed from U.Va.’s Curry School of Education and is a past president of the Albemarle County and Charlottesville branches of the NAACP.
Bell Burks is descended from John Ferris Bell, who established the J.F. Bell Funeral Home & Cemetery in Charlottesville’s former Vinegar Hill neighborhood. The funeral home, located since 1925 on 6th Street NW, is the oldest family-run funeral home in the area.
Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage.