The express purpose of the creation of the Braille Circulating Library was to provide Christian literature to the visually impaired. We are available to both the visually impaired and anyone else who is interested in our services. If you are unable to find what you need on this website please give us a call or e-mail us, and we will be glad to address your concerns. Among the 1,6oo braille books and 1,550 audio titles we have multiple categories to choose from.
All ministry materials are sent free of charge to our visually handicapped readers. There is no postage necessary for mailing materials to and from the Braille Circulating Library and patrons are allowed eight weeks to use the materials before returning them. Here’s how it works:
When resources are sent, a card with the recipient’s name and address is on the front. The Library’s return address is on the back, ready to be used for the return mailing. Place the resources in the same container and put them in the mail. When the materials are returned, the patron is eligible to receive additional materials.
Our resources cover a wide range of subjects, including recorded Scriptures, Bible commentaries, sermons, Bible stories, fiction, devotional reading, and music. Materials are available in Braille format, large print, talking book records, and cassette tapes. Our Daily Bread, a daily devotional, is offered in large print and cassette tape.
Our resources are categorized and include works by the following authors and teachers, plus an array of others:
- BIBLE STUDY – Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Donald Barnhouse,
Dwight Pentecost, Francis Schaeffer
- COUNSEL – Clyde Narramore, Francis Schaeffer, David Jeremiah, Tim LaHaye,
John MacArthur, Dwight Pentecost, Warren Wiersbe
- DEVOTIONAL – C.S. Lewis, J. Oswald Sanders, Oswald Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom,
- DOCTRINAL – J. Vernon McGee, Dwight Pentecost, W.A. Criswell, J. Oswald Sanders,
- PROPHECY – John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Donald Barnhouse, Tim LaHaye,
Charles Ryrie, Stanley Toussaint
- FICTION – Grace L. Hill, Louise McCraw, Janette Oke, C.S. Lewis, Eugenia Price,
Sara Lee Bell
- SERMONS – H.A. Ironside, James McConkey, Donald Barnhouse, Billy Graham
Additionally, thirty-seven booklet messages and six book messages written by Library co-founder James McConkey are available to the public. They are available in braille and text, and are distributed by the Silver Publishing Society, a division of the Braille Circulating Library. These inspirational materials are sent free of charge to anyone interested in receiving them. A list of the publications will soon be available via the Braille and Large Print Catalog menu item, Silver Publishing Society.
Significance in Virginia History
On March 30, 2017, Braille Circulating Library co-founder Louise Harrison McCraw was honored as one of eight outstanding woman in Virginia history. Women awarded this honor are deemed to have “developed new approaches to old problems, service their communities, striven for excellence based on the courage of their convictions, and initiated changes that continue to affect our lives today.”*
Supported by an endowment from the Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, the Library of Virginia created an exhibition featuring the 2017 Virginia Women in History. The exhibit was on display during the month of March before travelling around the state over the next year.
Braille Circulating Library representatives present at the awards ceremony were Interim Director Bill Jeffries, former administrative assistant Frances Gordon, several board members and the pastor of a supporting church.
The eight women honored in 2017 are now included in the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Changemakers files. Louise McCraw’s biography can be accessed by clicking the Library of Virginia Changemakers link below.
*Quotation source: Library of Virginia (2017). Outstanding Women Honored. Broadside, vol. 1, 10. The complete article may be accessed by clicking the Broadside link below and navigating to page 10.
Historical Perspective of Braille Library
Library beginnings – In her own words
Miss Louise Harrison McCraw (1893-1975), an author of numerous books about the Civil War, became concerned after meeting with a group of visually impaired individuals in Richmond, Virginia, that there was a great need for Christian literature for the blind to access. There was at the time almost nothing of spiritual content available in Braille.
Miss McCraw was a friend of Dr. James H. McConkey (1858-1937), himself a prolific author. Dr. McConkey graduated from Princeton College in 1880 as class president, studied law and was admitted to the bar. He played an influential role in the work of YMCA and in founding the Africa Inland Mission.
As Miss McCraw wrote: “it occurred to me that the best service I could render the visually impaired would be to have the McConkey books, from the Silver Publishing Society in Pittsburg, transcribed into Braille for them.” Given the enormity of the need for spiritual Braille material, the idea of a library began to take shape. She then contacted Dr. McConkey, suggesting he have some of his books and pamphlets transcribed into Braille. The idea intrigued him and soon made plans to travel to Richmond to discuss the matter. Meeting with Miss McCraw he said, ”You know, if the Lord should see fit to initiate a work of this kind for the visually impaired, He might have a very definite part in it for you and it might have its base right here in Richmond.”