“Histories Along the Blue Ridge” Project Expands to Include Augusta County, Virginia

Posted on: October 17, 2022

Still shot of interview between WHSV Studio and Augusta County, with text saying, "Now on 3, WHSV.COM, Preserving History with JMU"
TV interview with Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk Steve Landes on October 18, 2022.

A partnership formed by the Rockingham County Circuit Court, JMU Department of History, and JMU Libraries to digitize fragile courthouse records has grown since 2017 to include several surrounding counties. Most recently, Augusta County announced their partnership with JMU to make records from their Circuit Court Clerk’s Office available to the public through an online digital collection managed by JMU Libraries: Histories along the Blue Ridge.

One notable Augusta County historic record that was digitized as part of this process was the 1749 land deed for the 150,000 acres of land that includes Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, signed by 6 Native American nations who were traded gunpowder and blankets for the land. Since the deed was written before the American Revolution, it’s signed by a representative from the King of England, as well as James Madison’s uncle, John Madison, a long-serving Clerk of Court for Augusta County. Documents like these help us to understand and learn from our nation’s history. Making them accessible through the digital collection gives researchers and historians across the globe the ability to access primary sources for their research that were previously difficult or impossible to access.

This story was covered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WHSV news and WHSV-TV3 10/18/22. The most recent additions to the Rockingham County records were also featured in news coverage by the Daily News Record, WHSV-TV3 2/13/2022, NBC29, and The Harrisonburg Citizen in Spring 2022.

Related stories: Honoring National Native American Heritage Month, From Deteriorating to Digital – A Graduate Student Success Story

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