JMRL Welcomes Community to Tell Their Stories from Unite the Right Rally

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JMRL welcomed people to reflect on Aug. 12 JMRL welcomed people to reflect on Aug. 12
The library hopes to preserve people's memories of the weekend The library hopes to preserve people's memories of the weekend

The University of Virginia library is collecting stories of people's experiences from the weekend of the Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville.

Librarians hope that by sharing these stories, it will help the community heal from that violent weekend in August.

On Saturday, November 11, the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library welcomed community members and gave them a safe space to tell their stories of what happened on August 11 and 12 and the days that followed.

People brought in newspapers, photos, and their personal memories from that weekend.

The library had computers set up for people to write down their thoughts and explain what they saw and how they felt on those days.

The regional library partnered with the UVA libraries to host this event in an effort to help people heal and cope, but also preserve the events that happened back in August.

“You go places and tell people you're from Charlottesville, and you get a really different response than you did several months ago,” says Ellen Ramsey, director of scholarly repository services for UVA’s library. “You say, 'I’m from Charlottesville,’ and people immediately have a thought in their mind of what that means. And we wanna make sure that that story is being told in an accurate way."

The UVA library plans to make this material accessible so researchers can better understand the event in context of local and national history.

The University of Virginia is also taking submissions online.

Alternatively, if you have physical photos or artifacts, you can drop them off at any library location.

All submissions have the option to be anonymous.