Southwest Virginia Heritage Library

The Southwest Virginia Heritage Library was dedicated on Saturday, August 5, 1990.  The Copenhaver family sponsored the room and continues to contribute to the collections shelved there in memory of Frederick and Eve Phillippi Copenhaver.  

The materials housed in the Heritage Library cover the history and culture of Southwest Virginia and include books, manuscripts, maps, newspaper clippings, oral histories, pamphlets, family histories, and photographs.  The room also houses many genealogical resources for researching family history for all parts of the state of Virginia and surrounding regions.  Three online databases are available on a computer located in the room—Family Search, Heritage Quest Online, and

The Smyth County Public Library welcomes gifts which enhance the depth of the collection and meet selection criteria.  Unless otherwise agreed, gifts are accepted with the understanding that they are outright gifts without limiting conditions.  Donors will sign a Deed of Gift form.

The Southwest Virginia Heritage Library is available to all patrons during normal library hours.  Patrons must ask at the circulation desk to have the room unlocked to use and must sign the Patron Register.  By signing the Register patrons agree to abide by library rules (detailed below) regarding use of materials.    

Patrons must place their book bags, totes, purses, etc., in the small file cabinet located outside the Heritage Library.  This cabinet will be locked.  No food or drink is allowed inside the Heritage Library.

Use of Materials: 

  1. Materials on open shelves and in file cabinets may be used at the patron’s discretion.
  2. Patrons may request the use of material in locked file cabinets from a library staff member.  Please notify a staff member when finished with the materials.
  3. Only pencils may be used with material from the locked file cabinets.  
  4. Parents must provide adequate supervision for their children.
  5. All material in the Southwest Virginia Heritage Library is non-circulating and may not be removed from the library building.  

Copyright and Publication Rights:

  1. Patrons must consult staff members before photocopying material.  Permission to photocopy any material will depend upon physical condition and applicable copyright law.  
  2. Cameras may be used to copy materials only with the permission of the Library Director and when the materials in question are free of restrictions.
  3. Use of portable copiers, personal computers, tape recorders, and cell phones will be permitted only with the permission of the Library Director.  
  4. Audiocassettes and videocassettes in the Heritage Library may not be duplicated without prior agreement from the Library Director.
  5. Patrons are responsible for obtaining necessary publication rights and copyright clearances before publishing.  They also must have permission from the Library and acknowledge the Library and material ownership before including information obtained from materials particular to the Southwest Virginia Heritage Library.
  6. In cases where publication of materials held by the Library is restricted by covenant with the donor and stated in the Deed of Gift, Agreement of Permanent Loan, or Agreement of Temporary Loan, the patron must request permission and have acknowledgement from the donor.  Library staff will endeavor to contact the owner on behalf of the patron. 

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