Virginia Historical Society

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Virginia Historical Society
NeatStuffBanner.jpg
Established 1831
Location 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia
Type History museum
Website

Virginia Historical Society web site

Battle Abbey
Coordinates 37°33′23″N 77°28′29″W / 37.55639°N 77.47472°W / 37.55639; -77.47472
Architectural style Neoclassical Revival
Governing body Virginia Historical Society
Part of

Boulevard Historic District (#86002887

[1])
Designated CP September 18, 1986

The Virginia Historical Society (VHS), founded in 1811 as the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society and headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is a major repository, research, and teaching center for Virginia history. It is a private non-profit organization, supported almost entirely by private contributions, and is the Official State Historical Society of Virginia.

The Virginia Historical Society features award-winning exhibitions and programming that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. One of the largest historical societies in the country, the VHS has thirteen exhibition galleries occupying more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) and has the largest display of Virginia artifacts on permanent view. The VHS is the only museum with all of Virginia’s history under one roof — all centuries, all regions, and all topics are covered.

History[edit]

In its early years, the VHS gathered an eclectic collection of natural history specimens, historical artifacts, and printed and written material. The Society was reconstituted after the Civil War and was renamed the Virginia Historical Society in 1870 to reflect a primarily historical focus as it became more active in publishing historical material. The Society gained its first permanent headquarters building in Richmond in 1893. The Society's journal, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, has published on a quarterly basis without interruption since 1893.

In the 1950s, increasing resources allowed the addition of a professional staff. Over the next several decades the Society's collections grew. The publications program also increased as the Society gained a significant role in the academic community.

In 1992 the Society opened the Center for Virginia History, increasing its display and archival resources. Shortly thereafter, it entered into a partnership with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources,[2] an agency of the state government, which also had significant historical holdings (both artifacts and archives), forming a unique private-public partnership.

Mission[edit]

Connecting people to America’s past through the unparalleled story of Virginia.

By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth’s history, we link past with present and inspire future generations.

Programs[edit]

The 54,000-square-foot (5,000 m2) Charles F. Bryan, Jr. wing, completed in 2006, houses the Reynolds Business History Center[4] (RBHC) and the long-term exhibition, Virginians at Work.[5] The RBHC seeks to acquire company records from important and representative businesses from around the commonwealth. In addition, the VHS has developed business history programs for scholars, businesspeople, students, and the general public.

The VHS offers a wide array of educational programs, especially for students and teachers. These include outreach programs that take place in school classrooms, guided tours of exhibitions, and workshops and week-long summer institutes for teachers.

The VHS offers three members-only evening lectures and twelve to twenty noontime lectures every year that are open to the public. Audio and videos of past lectures are accessible on the web site.[6]

The society's galleries are currently closed for renovations. This is one part of a $38 million Story of Virginia Campaign of which more than $30 million has been committed to date. Visitors may still use the research library, museum shop, and attend programs.

The Story of Virginia Campaign is designed to help the VHS refresh portions of its existing facility and to maximize the existing footprint of the building. This will allow the society to display more of its collections as well as host more and larger special events and lectures. The Story of Virginia Campaign will open the facility, collections, and the expertise of the staff to an even wider audience. The goal, however, remains the same: to collect, preserve, and interpret Virginia’s past for future generations. Construction has begun and should be completed by fall of 2015.

Virginia House[edit]

Main article: Virginia House
Virginia House
VH Facade.jpg
Established 1928
Location

4301 Sulgrave Road

Richmond, Virginia
Website Virginia House web site

Virginia House, situated on a hillside overlooking the historic James River in Richmond, Virginia, was constructed by Alexander W. Weddell, U.S. ambassador to Spain and Argentina, and his wife, Virginia Weddell, in 1928 from the materials of a sixteenth-century English manor house previously standing in Warwick. It was a blend of three romantic English Tudor designs, and, for its time, was a thoroughly modern home complete with seven full baths, central heat, modern kitchen, and commodious closets.

Now owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society as a museum, the house has been preserved much as it was when the Weddells resided there.

The eight gardens and grounds of Virginia House provide a rich tapestry of texture and color throughout the year. Today, close to 1,000 types of ornamental plants thrive throughout formal and naturalistic gardens.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "dhr.virginia.gov". dhr.virginia.gov. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ "The Story of Virginia, An American Experience - Virginia Historical Society". Vahistorical.org. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  4. ^ "Reynolds Business History Center - Main | Virginia Historical Society". Vahistorical.org. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  5. ^ "Long-term exhibitions at the Virginia Historical Society". Vahistorical.org. 1997-09-17. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Audio and Video - Virginia Historical Society". Vahistorical.org. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 

(Information paraphrased from the Virginia Historical Society web site - see external link below)

External links[edit]