Nearly a quarter of a million historic court documents from Petersburg dating back to the 1700s are now available online.
The Library of Virginia recently completed Petersburg's chancery records digitization project. Nearly 240,000 documents from the 1700s through the 20th century are available online free through the Virginia Memory Web portal at www.virginiamemory.com.
The Progress-Index reports that the project took more than 10 years to compete. It was partially funded by a $155,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The documents include lawsuits involving the rail and mining industries in their infancy and a wealth of documents revealing the lives of African-Americans during that time. Prior to 1860, Petersburg had the largest population of free people of color in the Mid-Atlantic states.