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Attention teachers. Click here to read more about educational materials that support a unit of study about the institution of slavery, and African American history in post-bellum Loudoun County.

Traditional Genelogical Resources at Thomas Balch Library
Thursday, 4 August 10- 12 AM

Introduction to Digital Resources at Thomas Balch Library
Thursday, 8 October, 2011 10-12 AM

Using Visual Collections at Thomas Balch Library
Thursday, 3 November 2011, 10-12 AM

Monthly Exhibits at the Library
Margaret Mercer Room: July - August
Loudoun Artifacts from the Civil War Era - John Creamer

Lower Level Meeting Room July - August
Leesburg Now and Then, KD Kidder & Neil Steinberg


Educational Materials for Teachers

A goal of the Education Committee of the Friends of the Balch Library is to acquaint teachers with the rich archival and educational resources available to them through this history and genealogical library. One important unit of American history classes centers on African American history from the ante-bellum period through the Civil Rights era. The Education Committee is developing materials, using Balch documents and secondary sources, that focus on this theme. Following are short descriptions of resources available to teachers as downloadable PDF files through the library’s website, or at the Balch, beginning in September.

A Lesson Plan:

Entitled, “A Glimpse into the History of African Americans in Loudoun County” this lesson provides teachers with a set of eight key concepts that characterized the history of blacks in Loudoun County, along with suggestions for using the representative primary documents that support those concepts. The concepts and questions are linked to the SOLs, and to Loundoun County’s Program of Studies.

Supporting Documents:

The primary documents used in the lesson will be presented in both a scanned and text version. Although they have been selected to support the key concepts of the lesson, teachers or students could print the documents for use with other related assignments

A Fieldtrip Opportunity:

We welcome the opportunity to work with teachers who wish to plan a field trip to the Thomas Balch Library. The goals of the visit are to:

  • Have students use the documents and other resources of the library to learn more about the history of black Americans in the county;
  • Invite students to view the beautiful Balch mural and discover how the artist depicted the theme of slavery and freedom for black Americans in the mural; and
  • Explain to the students how the library’s resources help black families who are conducting genealogical research. Virginia's Standards of Learning requirements are considered in the development of this tour.

For more information about these educational materials, or to schedule a student visit to the Thomas Balch Library, please contact Rachel Thompson at (703) 779-9710.

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September 22,2002
Eastern Loudoun African Americans in Retrospect: A panel discussion with long-time Eastern Loudoun residents at the Eastern Loudoun Regional Library located in Cascade, Sterling, Virginia.
Conducted programs, including one at Balch on the Carver School in Purcellville, and others at Loudoun’s Senior Centers, Oatlands, and South Riding
• Documented, and continue to document, Loudoun’s historically black communities through the Community History and Mapping Project, with oral histories, photography, archival research, and a map, with help from Loudoun County Mapping and Geographic Information and grants from the Loudoun Restoration and Preservation Society

Learn more about Thomas Balch Library. Visit the Balch Library Website

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