The books and manuscripts are arranged by modified Dewey Decimal classification. The areas of most common interest are
- 929.1 Immigration Records
- 929.2 Family Histories
- Local Biographies
- 973.3 Revolutionary War
- 973.7 Civil War, 975.5 Virginia
- 975.59 Shenandoah Valley
- Other states and sources are also well represented.
The two volume sets Virginia Historical Index by E. G. Swem and Virginiana by Virginia State Library are both helpful in locating sources to search. A finding aid is available.