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Small Collections Library at UVA Archiving August 12 Relics

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Image included in the collection, Jason Kessler following a press conference the day after the "Unite the Right" rally Image included in the collection, Jason Kessler following a press conference the day after the "Unite the Right" rally
Molly Schwartzburg Molly Schwartzburg
Image from Jason Kessler's Facebook page, flyer advertising "Unite the Right" Image from Jason Kessler's Facebook page, flyer advertising "Unite the Right"
Jason Kessler with members of a motorcycle club in front of Charlottesville Police Department (FILE IMAGE) Jason Kessler with members of a motorcycle club in front of Charlottesville Police Department (FILE IMAGE)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A University of Virginia library is preserving the events of August 12 and the Charlottesville community's response to the “Unite the Right” rally.

The Small Special Collections Library at UVA houses hundreds of years of history of the university and the city of Charlottesville.

The library is collecting relics from the "alt-right" rally and the community's response as a part of its August 12 archive. 

The "Unite the Right" rally was organized by blogger and self-proclaimed 'white activist,' Jason Kessler.

Kessler explained that the intent of the rally was "to show support for the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Lee Park," (now Emancipation Park).

In the months leading up to the rally, some community members vowed they would attend in protest of the organizer's and attendees' message.

Some counterprotesters organized alternate events for community members to participate in on August 12. 

The collection will include donated posters and signs that counterprotesters carried in the streets of downtown Charlottesville. 

Pieces of Tiki torch wrappers from the white nationalist torch march to the UVA's Rotunda, which occurred the night prior to the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, are also included in the collection.

Items that document the Charlottesville community's response to the deadly violence that took the life of protester Heather Heyer can also be found.

Heyer died after being struck by a car in the area of 4th Street on August 12. Authorities say 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. hit the crowd that Heyer was in. He is currently facing one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run.

“At first, it seemed important to document as a moment in Charlottesville history that would be very important to Charlottesville. And, it was only the course of the week after it happened that I think it dawned on everyone that this was transforming into an event of national and international importance,” said Molly Schwartzburg, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections library curator. 

Library officials say it is important that this collection is as objective and complete as possible, so they looking for items from people involved in both sides of the August 12 events.

They have included a digital archive of photos and videos and ask that people from the community submit their photos that can be added to the online collection.

Schwartzburg hopes the collection will provide historians and students with hands-on history.