A View from the Inside: A Behind the Scenes Tour of the Virginia Historical Society

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A View from the Inside: A Behind the Scenes Tour of the Virginia Historical Society

This behind the scenes tour features areas of the Virginia Historical Society not normally open to the public, including the paper conservation lab, museum collections storage, rare book rooms, and manuscripts storage. Tour participants will also get the chance to see unique and interesting items in the VHS collection that are not routinely on display in the museum. The behind the scenes tours will be offered monthly and each tour will be led by a collections curator who will focus on a different theme.

Tours take place on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) and cost $10 for VHS members and $17 for nonmembers. Each tour is limited to 20 participants. Reservations are required and may be made on the VHS website or in the VHS Museums Shop. No refunds will be given after reservations are made.

To register for tours online, click here. For more information, call 804.342.9676, or email events@vahistorical.org.

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
Saturday, March 23, 2013    |   Time: 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Today, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quotation appears on T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, and all sorts of web sites and blogs. Tens of thousands of letters, diaries, official records, reminiscences, commonplace books, and numerous other documents written by women are in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society. We’ll look back at women who intentionally challenged the status quo as well as those who didn’t try to make history but did. Tour is led by L. Paige Newman, Assistant Archivist.


Oddities: Peculiar, Perplexing, and Grotesque Discoveries from the Collection
Saturday, April 27, 2013    |   Time: 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Disassembled skull bones. A hair wreath. An infant’s smallpox scab. These are not the ingredients of an April Fool’s joke, nor are they items that most visitors would expect to see when visiting the Virginia Historical Society. But one way or another all of these strange and bizarre pieces, and many more, have crept into the society’s collections since its founding in 1831, and the only way to see them is to go behind the scenes. Tour is led by Andrew Talkov, Head of Program Development and Coordinator for Virginia’s Civil War.


Salt, Eggs, Tin, and Glass: Photographs in Virginia Historical Society Collection
Saturday, May 25, 2013    |   Time: 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

There are tens-of-thousands of photographs behind the scenes at the Virginia Historical Society. To coincide with The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office exhibition, VHS staff will take guests into the archives to see dancing bears, Babe Ruth on glass, a “living” Uncle Sam, and some of the earliest color photography in the history of the world. Tour is led by Meg Eastman, Digital Collections Manager and Lizzie Oglesby, Member and Visitor Services Officer.