And So It Begins: The First Post and Preliminary Research

Today I found myself at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library. Even now, I sit at a worktable among the books, staring past the potted plants on the sill of the massive library windows and out into the city. It is a good library for my research; the unique Richmond History Collection is worth the 10 minute bike ride through the trademark, swampy Virginian summer day.

I traipsed into the library without a plan for this first day, intent on simply scoping things out and optimistic as to the outcome. And I was not disappointed. My current list of resources includes two coffee-table sized books on the history of Richmond’s Fan District, one detailing the specific histories of certain important houses, and a contact at the Virginia Center for Architecture.

Of course, there is a fine line between being spontaneous and being unprepared, which is something I found out when I learned that you cannot acquire a library card without some form of ID. Go figure.

No matter though, we shall save the “Adventure of the Library Card” for next time.

For now though, I will spend the next few days just collecting information, accumulating sources and following leads down whatever alleys they take me. And I mean that last one both metaphorically and literally. I’ll probably wander down at least a few back alleys before this project is done. On June 1st my research will begin in earnest, and the two-(ish) weeks following will be devoted to both hitting the books and walking the streets; learning about Richmond’s architectural history and searching for pieces of the past still standing in the present.

Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time,