Archives basic information

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room is a specialized local history and genealogy collection located on the lower level of the Handley Library, 100 W. Piccadilly St., Winchester, Virginia.  It is jointly operated by Handley Regonal Library and  Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.  Our experienced staff and volunteers are available to assist researchers.

Hours.  Please note Archives Room hours are different from the rest of the library.

Mon.- Wed. 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thurs.-Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Collections summary:

  • Extensive collection of materials on the people, places and events of the Lower Shenandoah Valley from 1732 to the present. The focus of the collection is Winchester and Frederick County.
  • Over 4000 published books: abstracts of county court records, county histories, genealogies, regimental histories, and studies of battles from the French and Indian War to the Civil War.
  • Newspapers from 1787 to the present, (incomplete). Some titles have been microfilmed; however none are indexed.
  • Over 600 linear feet of manuscripts and ephemera, maps, photographs, and oral history tapes. Manuscript collections and published books appear in the library’s online catalog.

Tips when visiting:

  • Food and drinks are not permitted in the archives reading room at any time. A water fountain and rest rooms are on the lower level with the archives.
  • Hours in Archives are different from the rest of the library. See Contact Us for schedule.
  • Researchers are asked to sign in when entering archives area
  • Researchers need to complete a registration form on their first visit to the archives each year.
  • Copies cost $.15 per page.
  • Material can be saved to a flash drive from the microfilm reader/ printer, photocopier and photos from in-house Past Perfect computer.
  • The archives accepts cash or checks.
  • Digital cameras are permitted on a case by case basis. 
  • Hand held scanners are not permitted.
  • No parking lot is available for Handley Regional Library users.  City parking garages are nearby.  Visit the Winchester website for information  There is limited parking metered spaces in front and side of the building.  Parking rules are enforced from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The cost of parking meters as of 2014 is $.75 cents per hour. Bring quarters.
  • Lockers are available to the researcher. 
  • For information regarding Winchester City hotels, restaurants, activities, etc. Please visit their website at or


P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA  22604
540 662-9041, ext. 17