The Virtual Library of Virginia
Search the VIVA website:

VIVA Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee promotes and publicizes VIVA and its resources and advocates VIVA's funding needs and the benefits that VIVA confers to appropriate agencies, organizations and legislative groups.



VIVA Offers Five Additional Years of Harper's Weekly

The Virtual Library of Virginia
For Immediate Release: Fairfax, Virginia, June 29, 2001

HarpWeek’s Reconstruction Era, Part II (1872-1877), Now Available for All VIVA Institutions

VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, is pleased to announce the addition of the Reconstruction II segment to the HarpWeek holdings of all VIVA institutions. With this acquisition, students and faculty across Virginia will be able to access an additional 5,500 pages of Harper’s Weekly covering the last years of Reconstruction, 1872-1877. VIVA’s efforts to acquire Internet access to this influential news magazine began in 1999 with access to HarpWeek’s Civil War component, and continued last year with the addition of Reconstruction I. Total coverage now spans some twenty years, 1857 to 1877. The ambitious HarpWeek project includes rich indexing to every article, illustration, advertisement, and literary offering included in Harper’s Weekly. A new feature also allows searching of every word of text in Harper’s Weekly. VIVA members can link to the resource directly at:

With biting satirical prose and cartoons, the 1870s found Harper’s Weekly engaged in exposing the corruption and plunder of New York City by Tammany Hall, and playing a major role in finally bringing down Boss Tweed and his minions. From the Western frontier, the magazine reported on the discovery and lure of gold in the Black Hills, information that would precipitate ferocious battles between Native Americans and the U.S. Cavalry for dominance on the Plains. The Battle of the Little Bighorn and demise of Custer’s regiment captured the attention of the American people. In 1876, a cliffhanger election between Hayes and Tilden riveted the nation for several months; Rutherford B. Hayes finally captured the White House three days before the scheduled inauguration, and by one electoral vote. With Hayes’ victory, the last Federal troops were withdrawn from the southern states, bringing an end to Reconstruction.

Using HarpWeek on the Web, students across Virginia share in the excitement of using primary source material to view the world through 19th century eyes. Much more than a chronicle, Harper's Weekly provides a rich record of the culture, the attitudes, and the interests of U.S. citizens at a time of rapid change. For example, HarpWeek contains:

The publisher of the HarpWeek database, recognizing the potential of the resource as a teaching tool, has provided a web site ( to highlight the uses of HarpWeek in the classroom. The web site contains Special Reports (also available in print) that aid in taking full advantage of HarpWeek for Literary Studies and Women’s/ Gender Studies. Links are also provided to web sites that use HarpWeek to guide research on such subjects as:

  VIVA, The Virtual Library of Virginia, is the consortium of the libraries of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (at 52 campuses) within the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, 32 independent (private, non-profit) institutions and The Library of Virginia participate where possible. VIVA’s mission is to provide, in an equitable, cooperative, and cost-effective manner, enhanced access to library and information resources for Virginia’s academic libraries serving the higher education community. VIVA is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).


For additional information contact:
Katherine A. Perry
VIVA Director
B222 Fenwick Library
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444
Tel.: <703> 993-4652






VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).