Thomas Balch Library Gears Up for Annual Fundraiser
At event for historic library, Leesburg's role in saving the National Archives highlighted
Though the Thomas Balch Library is celebrating its 90th Anniversary, Leesburg first made its mark in national history and archives more than a century earlier, when the town helped save the National Archives from fires that destroyed Washington, D.C.
The Friends of Thomas Balch Library are celebrating that history, and an anniversary of their own, later this month during their fifth annual fundraising event for Leesburg’s historic research library.
In recognition of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, when Leesburg housed the National Archives, author Anthony S. Pitch will discuss the British Invasion of Washington in the summer of 1814 and how the national archives were saved from the fires that destroyed Washington. The materials were sent to Leesburg and Loudoun County and stored until they could safely be returned to Washington.
“Thomas Balch Library provides researchers, students and the purely curious an opportunity to study and understand the history of Leesburg, Loudoun County, and Northern Virginia," Library Director Alexandra Gressitt said.
"Our collections open doors to understanding not only the local arena but also that of the greater Commonwealth and the United States and provide an entrée to the world. Public records and private papers, including oral histories, in our library reveal personal and public experiences and reflect cultural, economic, political, religious, and social values of the community,” Gressitt added.
The fundraiser is scheduled for 4 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Thomas Birkby House, 109 Loudoun St, SW. The cost is $75 per person and tickets will be available for purchase at the event. All proceeds will go toward the endowment for Thomas Balch Library.