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Research Resources – West Virginia Studies



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wv centennial

Research Resources – West Virginia Studies

<< Here are the topics on this page; Click to jump/scroll down >>

“The Constitution of the State of West Virginia”

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West Virginia State Seal Reverse

Explore WV Legislature Office of Reference and Information’s “WV Constitution” Website

“Citizen’s Guide to the Legislature”

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Includes:  State Capitol Information, The Legislative Process, The Committee Process, Floor Action, Common Legislative Terms

Explore WV Legislature Office of Reference and Information’s “Citizen’s Guide to the Legislature” Website

“How a Bill Becomes Law in WV”

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“A bill is an idea for a new law, or an idea to change or do away with an existing law. Hundreds of bills enter the legislative process in West Virginia each time the Legislature meets. Two groups of elected citizens – 34 senators and 100 delegates – study, discuss and vote on bills, and in doing so act for the people of West Virginia. Bills enter the legislative process either through the House of Delegates or the Senate, but to become laws, bills must pass both chambers and avoid a governor’s veto.”

 Explore WV Legislature Office of Reference and Information’s “How a Bill Becomes Law in WV” Website

“West Virginia Code”

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“The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.”

Explore WV Legislature Office of Reference and Information’s “West Virginia Code” Website

“The Blue Book”

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“Published each year, the Blue Book is an extensive guide containing information on current officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government; federal officers, including the president, congressional representatives and judges; and, political leaders, including party committee chairs and members. The books published in odd-numbered years and the 2000 edition, include photographs and biographies of these officials. This publication also contains information on state and federal agencies; postal information; the Constitutions of the United States and West Virginia; and, considerable information on counties, municipalities and various organizations.”  

Explore “Blue Book” 2012 edition — 950+ pages pdf file  (Check your school or public library for other years.)


Explore “Blue Book” 2015-2016 edition — by section:  (pdfs)

Frontice (p. I-XIV)
Section 1: Executive (p. 1-336)
Section 2: Legislative (p. 337-512)
Section 3: Judicial (p. 513-542)
Section 4: Constitutional (p. 543-628)
Section 5: Institutions (p. 629-676)
Section 6: Federal (p. 677-752)
Section 7: Press, Television & Radio, Postal (p. 753-766)
Section 8: Political (p. 767-876)
Section 9: Counties (p. 877-946)
Section 10: Municipalities (p. 947-1042)
Section 11: Departmental, Statistical & General Information (p. 1043-1116)
Section 12: Index (p. 1117-1134)

“WV Legislature’s Office of Reference and Information”

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“Created by the Joint Committee on Government & Finance in 1976, the Office of Reference & Information disseminates information on all facets of the legislative process. The office serves the general public, lawmakers and the media by producing written and electronic educational materials, publications and news releases regarding the actions of the Legislature. In addition, the office designs and maintains the Legislature’s Web site, handles all legislative photography and houses the legislative research library. All work of the office is nonpartisan and covers the actions of both the Senate and the House of Delegates.”

Explore “WV Legislature’s Office of Reference and Information” Website–Also check the drop down boxes: “EDUCATIONAL” and  “WV CODE”

“The Foundation of Justice: West Virginia Court System” – West Virginia Judiciary

“This video, about the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the state court system, gives viewers an understanding of the judicial process. It contains historical footage, archival photos, interviews, and detailed shots of the stunning Courtroom in the East Wing of the West Virginia Capitol. It is narrated by Justice Thomas E. McHugh.”

<<This is a two-part video — this part deals with the WV Judicial Process. The other part, located on the “Capitol Complex” page, includes the Courtroom and History of the WV Supreme Court.>>

(16:03/2016/West Virginia Judiciary)




“The Constitution of the United States of America”

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Explore WV Legislature’s Office of Reference and Information’s “US Constitution” Website


Explore US Department of State’s “Great Seal of the US” brochure, including meaning, history and uses. pdf

“The Library of Congress”


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“The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

“The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

“The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981.

“An agency of the legislative branch of the U.S. government, the Library includes several internal divisions (or service units), including the Office of the Librarian, Congressional Research Service, U.S. Copyright Office, Law Library of Congress, Library Services, the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Office of Support Operations.

“Today’s Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 160 million items includes more than 37.8 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 69.6 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.”

Explore “Library of Congress” Website

“WV Library Commission”



“The West Virginia Library Commission encourages lifelong learning, individual empowerment, civic engagement and an enriched quality of life by enhancing library and information services for all West Virginians.”

Explore “WV Library” Commission Website



“West Virginia: A Digital Primer, Elementary Edition”

“Additional resources for teachers, school librarians, parents, and students to further explore the exciting and fasinating events in West Virgina history.  Click on the tabs to find interesting resources relating to information on the state, fun activities, books and videos about WV, and more.”

Explore WV Library Commission’s “West Virginia: A Digital Primer, Elementary Edition” Website



“Streaming Video”

A wide range of videos, including additional History Alive! presentations, are available from the Library Television Network.

Explore WV Library Commission’s “Streaming Videos” Website  –  (a full page list)

“WV University Libraries” – WVU



“The Rare Book Room in the West Virginia and Regional History Center owns many treasures from across the globe, including a two volume legal dictionary once owned by Thomas Jefferson.”

Explore “WV University Libraries” Website


     “WV History OnView” – WVU Libraries



“Photographs from West Virginia and regional history collection at the WVU Libraries.

“The West Virginia and Regional History Center contains the most comprehensive collection of historic photographs pertaining to West Virginia in existence. Estimated to include more than 225,000 images, these photographs are interspersed throughout the WVRHC’s broad holdings.

“The West Virginia and Regional History Center has created a digital version of this tremendous pictorial resource which documents the history of countless subjects and places in West Virginia. As of Spring 2013, more than 41,000 images are available via “West Virginia History OnView,” and more are added on a regular basis. In addition to offering convenient on-site and remote access to these photographs, the image records offer extensive catalog and subject data which makes this resources highly searchable and user friendly.

“The creators of the photos are diverse and in many cases unknown. The date range is roughly 1850 to the present. The digital resource has been in production by the staff of the WVRHC since fall 2004.  The resource is fully searchable by catalog metadata, character string, and with Boolean capability.”

Explore WVU Libraries’ “WV History OnView” Website

“The West Virginia Encyclopedia (e-WV)” – WV Humanities Council


 “All There is to Know about West Virginia”


“The West Virginia Encyclopedia is the comprehensive reference resource for the Mountain State of West Virginia. Based on the best-selling West Virginia Encyclopedia, e-WV offers thousands of articles on West Virginia’s people and places, history, arts, science and culture.”

Explore “The West Virginia Encyclopedia (e-WV)” Website

     “This Week in WV History” – WV Public Broadcasting & e-WV

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“Explore economic, social, and political events and individuals in West Virginia history with the West Virginia Public Broadcasting series ‘This Week in WV History.’  A guided listening graphic organizer, scripts, and a timeline and extension activity for each month is included in support materials.”  Extensive–and growing–audio series.

Explore WV Public Broadcasting’s “This Week in WV History” Website

“The Clio” – Marshall University

“Named after the ancient muse of history…, Clio is an educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States. Built by scholars for public benefit, each entry includes a concise summary and useful information about a historical site, museum, monument, landmark, or other site of cultural or historical significance. In addition, “time capsule” entries allow users to learn about historical events that occurred around them. Each entry offers turn-by-turn directions as well as links to relevant books, articles, videos, primary sources, and credible websites.

“Clio offers a compelling intellectual challenge as professional historians work with local history experts to create and vet entries in an open digital environment. Ambitious in scope, Clio allows scholars and their students to publish humanities scholarship using an innovative digital format that will instantly reach a broad audience in ways that cannot be replicated by traditional forms of publishing. We believe that there is something powerful that occurs when our sense of the past connects with our sense of place. We hope that you will use Clio to connect with the history and culture that surrounds you.”

Explore Marshall University’s “The Clio” Website

“WV’s Historical Highway Markers” – WV Culture and History


Explore each topic below by clicking on it:


“WV Division of Culture & History”


“The mission of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is to identify, preserve, protect, promote and present the ideas, arts and artifacts of West Virginia’s heritage, building pride in our past accomplishments and confidence in our future.

“The Division’s main offices are in the Culture Center at the State Capitol in Charleston. The building is home to the State Museum and Theater, the State Archives and Collections, and a library for genealogical research. The Division includes the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office. The Division also administers five other historical sites in other areas of the state.”

Explore “WV Division of Culture & History” Website

    “WV State Archives”

West Virginia State Archives



“The West Virginia Archives and History web site offers detailed information on the state’s history, outlines the documents available in the State Archives, and provides assistance in conducting genealogical research.”

Explore “WV State Archives” Website

        “History Center” – WV Archives & History


Features, Guides, Programs, and Publications:

  • Audio/Video
  • Databases
  • Online Exhibits
  • Highway Historical Marker Program
  • History Heroes
  • Notable Events in WV History

  • Notable Individuals in WV History
  • On This Day in WV History
  • “Time Trail, West Virginia”
  • Trivia
  • Veterans Memorial Database

  • Wayne County News Articles
  • WV Historical Bibliography
  • West Virginia Historical Society Journal
  • West Virginia History Journal


  • African Americans
  • Antebellum (1800 to 1860)
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • John Brown
  • Business and Industry
  • Civil War
  • Communities
  • Counties
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Disasters
  • Education
  • Exploration

  • Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)
  • Government and Politics
  • Great Depression
  • Hatfield McCoy Feud
  • Health and Medicine
  • Labor
  • Military and Wartime Miscellaneous Documents and Articles
  • Monuments and Memorials

  • Native Americans
  • Organizations
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Reconstruction
  • Religion
  • Science and Technology
  • Sports
  • Statehood
  • Transportation
  • Women

Explore WV Archives & History’s “History Center” Website for more on each of the above topics

        “U.S.S. West Virginia (BB48)” (Online Exhibit)


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Explore WV Archive’s and History’s “U.S.S. West Virginia (BB48)” Online Exhibit

        “His Soul Goes Marching On – The Life and Legacy of John Brown” (Online Exhibit)


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Explore WV Archive and History’ “His Soul Goes Marching On – The Life and Legacy of John Brown” Online Exhibit Introduction – (Table of contents at bottom of the page)

<<Information about African-Americans in West Virginia is on a separate page – see menu above>>

“WV Association of Museums”

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‘Preserving the Story and Soul of the Mountain State”

“The mission of the West Virginia Association of Museums is to serve, educate, advocate for, and enhance communications within the museum community. WVAM carries out this mission by listening to its members and serving their interests and by keeping the members abreast of current standards and activities on a national scale.”

“The Mountain State has many treasures that we invite you to explore. We encourage you to use this resource to visit the places and experience the activities that represent the history, arts, technology, industry, and cultural diversity that West Virginia offers through its more than 300 museums.”

Explore “WV Association of Museums” Website — includes individual museums under the “Museums” tab — or use the “Find a Museum” link

“WV Geological & Economic Survey”


“West Virginia’s center for geology, energy resources, industrial minerals, geologic hazards, ground water, topographic and geologic maps, earth science, and much more.

“The Survey is here to serve you–to answer your WV geology-related and earth science questions, whether you are a landowner or engineer, professional or student, private citizen or company representative.”

Explore “WV Geological & Economic Survey” Website


    “Maps and Map Files Related to WV Geology” – WVGES


Explore WVGES’ “Maps” Website

    “MapWV” – WV GIS Technical Center

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“MapWV is a public gateway to online mapping resources in the Mountain State. It allows user access to a wealth of high-quality maps and geographic data via the Internet. All of our maps are free for use by the public. Feel free to use them as you need.”

Explore “MapWV” Website

    “Printable Maps”

“Here is a great collection of free printable West Virginia maps. These are .pdf files that download and work nicely with almost any printer. You can print them for use at home, work or school.”  (These three maps are from a commercial website and have the company information in lower left corner.)

Printable State Outline Map pdf

Printable Blank County Map pdf

Printable County Map with County Names pdf

    “Maps” – WV Dept of Transportation


The Official State Highway Map 2010” pdf  is one of the best. Railroads, roads, highways and important locations are clearly shown while waterways are bright blue and easily seen.  Though dated 2010, it is missing only some of the most recent highway construction–such as Corridor H, Rt 9, Rt 10, King Coal Highway, and the Coalfields Expressway–projects shown as under construction but at least partially completed now. <<MH3WV will work to keep this map available for WV Studies>>

Additional maps from the DOT:  Official State Highway Map (the 2015 map from the DOT website is not as detailed — nor as accurate — as the 2010 map above), State General Highway Map, State Functional Classification Map, State Highway Base Map, General Highway County Maps (55 Counties – 132 sheets), Alphabetical Listing of County Maps, City Maps (205), Urban Area Maps (26)

Explore WV DOT’s “Maps” Website

    “Topographic Maps” – My Topo

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“Browse and view FREE US Geological Survey, US Forest Service, and NRCan topo maps for the US and Canada.”

This website displays topographic maps which can be zoomed, dragged, and printed.  No charge, no ads (although they will be glad to sell a map to you.)

Explore My Topo’s “Interactive Topographic Maps” Website  – (This link should bring up a map of Spruce Knob.  You can go anywhere from there!)

“WV Traditions” – WV Tourism

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Brief descriptions of these topics:

  • WV Music Heritage
  • Railroad History
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Civil War History
  • Historic Trails
  • Glass Tours
  • WV Festivals
  • Coal, Oil, Gas, and Timber in WV

Explore Information from WV Tourism’s “WV Traditions” Website (pdf)

“WV Historical Society Quarterly”

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Magazine published four times a year covers a very wide range of topics.

Explore “WV Historical Society Quarterly” Website for listings since 1996

“Goldenseal” – WV Culture and History



“Goldenseal, the magazine of West Virginia traditional life, is produced by the Division of Culture and History and takes its stories from the recollections of West Virginians living throughout the state. Oral history fieldwork and documentary photography result in four issues per year with articles on subjects such as labor history, folklore, music, farming, religion, traditional crafts, food, and politics.”

Explore WV Culture and History’s “Goldenseal” Website

“Wonderful West Virginia” – WV Dept of Natural Resources




“Welcome to Wonderful West Virginia, the state’s premier showpiece magazine published monthly by the Division of Natural Resources.  Wonderful West Virginia showcases “the best of West Virginia” with breath-taking photographs and intriguing articles about nature, state history, recreation, art, and interesting people.  Readers that enjoy our publication include: nature lovers, outdoor recreationists, hunters and anglers, West Virginia history and natural history buffs, travel enthusiasts and art & craft lovers as well as many more.”    (If a popup box appears saying “Authentication Required” just cancel it.)

Explore WVDNR’s “Wonderful West Virginia” Website

Explore “Story Archives”

Explore “Magazine Archives”

Explore “Wonderful West Virginia Magazine Archives

“History Alive!” – WV Humanities Council

history-alive“History Alive! provides a unique passport to the past. The program brings historical characters to life through portrayals by presenters who have conducted scholarly research on their character.

“History Alive! allows audiences to explore history through interaction with historical figures. These presentations are not one-person plays. They are intended to engage audiences in a dialogue with the character.

“History Alive! presenters have conducted thorough research into the characters they portray. They have gained insight into their character after studying primary sources such as autobiographies, journals, letters, speeches and other personal papers. Their presentation is based on scholarship and analysis rather than a script.”

Explore WV Humanities’ “History Alive!” Website

“WV Quick Facts” – US Census Bureau

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“Our Mission
– To serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy.

“Our Goal
– To provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality, and cost for the data we collect and services we provide.”

Explore US Census’ “WV Quick Facts” Website


“WV State Facts for Students”

“The U.S. Census Bureau takes a census of the population every 10 years, and censuses of economic activity and governments every five years. And every year, the Census Bureau conducts more than 100 other surveys. Data on this page come from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, Population Estimates, County Business Patterns.”

Explore US Census’ “WV State Facts for Students” Website   —   see tabs at top of page for Activities, Resources, Standards and About



“An overview and topical guide to WV.”

Explore Wikipedia’s “Overview and Topical Guide to WV” Website

Research Resources – West Virginia Studies