The Chancery Records Index (CRI) is a result of archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia (LVA) and funded, in part, by the Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP). Each of Virginia's circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War.
The original court papers are flat-filed, indexed, and conserved using a set of standards developed by the LVA. Since the tri-folded records are often in poor condition, special attention is paid to preparing them for digital reformatting. This laborious process is undertaken so that the best quality images can be captured in one effort. The valuable original records are then retired to secure storage.
The reformatted images—whether digital scans or microfilm—can be viewed at the Library of Virginia, at the circuit court clerk's office, or, in the case of digital images, from any internet connected computer. The indexed but-not-yet-reformatted original records in the Library's care can be viewed in the Archives Research Room prior to reformatting. During reformatting, some or all of the original records may be unavailable for viewing; however, the full index will remain available for research purposes. Information is added to the CRI in such instances to alert researchers regarding a collection's availability.
There are over 233,000 cases indexed in the database and nearly 8 million images of chancery causes available online.