William Francis Smith (1924 – 2015)

Alexandria Library thanks Mr. William F. Smith for his many years of dedicated service as a member of the Alexandria Library Board. A native Alexandrian, Mr. Smith co-authored "A Seaport Saga: Portrait of Old Alexandria, Virginia" with local historian T. Michael Miller.

Lee Letter Donation with Robert Krick, William F. Smith, & George K. Combs.

Mr. Smith was a young man when he began to collect photographs of the city. After more than 50 years, he acquired Civil War photographs and images of landmarks and street scenes throughout Alexandria. He donated his entire collection of more than 1,400 photographs to Special Collections. Learn more about the William F. Smith Photographs Collection by contacting Special Collections, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, Virginia.

Mr. Smith’s interest extended to manuscripts. His donation of the Anthony Charles Cazenove Collection included several hundred original documents, among them, a letter from Robert E. Lee to William J. Cazenove, a land document signed by Governor Patrick Henry, and a letter signed by John Quincy Adams.


City Hall Market

Citizen's Band 1928












 Online Photograph Exhibits

Alexandria Library Special Collections has several collections of photographs that depict life in and around Alexandria from the time of the Civil War to the present. Digital and photographic reproductions of prints are available for a fee.


Historic Alexandria Imaged Database
A sampling from our several collections of materials related to the historic structures in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Researchers are advised that the intellectual content of the material included herein is drawn from historical collections and is therefore dated.


Alexandria Library Photographs Collection Index 
Subject index to selected photographs with links to the images.


"The Senior Class;" Index to Alexandria High School Yearbooks, 1919-1950
Index to senior class photos from Alexandria High School (The "Alecko") and George Washington High School (The "Compass").


Before the Beltway
Streetcar Lines of Northern Virginia Images of the rolling stock of the several streetcar lines which served Northern Virginia from the early 1890s to the early 1940s. From the Ames Williams Collection.


"...the frown of the citizens..."
Notes and Images about the Civil War Occupation of Alexandria.


Virgil Davis Doorways Glass Lantern Slide Collection
Selection of photographs of Alexandria, VA doorways, ca. 1936 - ca. 1950. This exhibit illustrates historic properties on the cusp of the preservation movement.


Photographs from the Charles Sampson Collection 
Photos of early fire engines, former members of the Alexandria Fire Department, and local fire stations are showcased in this collection.