Virginia Historical Society Blog

exhibitions, education, research, tours, bus trips, lectures, classes, collections, outreach, library, shop, and everything Virginia history!
  1. Months ago when I read that a new movie produced by Mel Gibson was based on the story of Virginian Desmond Doss, a flood of sweet memories of visiting with Desmond and his (second) wife, Frances, came to mind. It was 1994 and the VHS had recently completed its first capital campaign. I was the […]
  2. The Continental Congress assigned to Thomas Jefferson the task of drafting a Declaration of Independence and then cut one-quarter of what he wrote. The original text survives, however, as does a copy made by John Adams of what remained after a first edit. Those copies, plus a 1776 printing of the finished document, are displayed […]
  3. The special exhibition The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society is currently on view at the VHS. The Massachusetts collection was placed there in 1898 by the president’s great-grandson, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge of Boston. We all know at least a little about the public Jefferson. To remind visitors of his service […]
  4. Perceptive patrons who regularly use the library’s online catalog will likely notice a new collection designation appearing in their searches—CMLS. The CMLS, or Confederate Memorial Literary Society, collections encompass manuscripts, rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, and other paper materials relating to the Civil War, its coming and its aftermath, from the Museum of the Confederacy’s Eleanor […]
  5. From answering phone inquiries to photographing new acquisitions, the staff at the VHS have a wide range of talents that help make our collections accessible to the world. Who are the talented men and women of the VHS? In a series of “Meet the Staff” blog posts, we will introduce you to the people who work behind the […]
  6. Thomas Jefferson wrote that Natural Bridge is “the most sublime of nature’s works”: “It is impossible for the emotions arising from the sublime to be felt beyond what they are here.” He purchased the bridge from King George III so that so potent a landmark would remain accessible to the public, and his exclamatory statements […]
  7. From protecting yourself from enemy combatants to finding dinner for your family, weapons have played a significant role in Virginia history. Our newest exhibition, Arming the Commonwealth, made possible by the Cecil R. and Edna S. Hopkins Family Foundation, explores how the state became a hub for weapon manufacturing and how Virginians used them in […]
  8. When it was too hot to play sandlot baseball or football, I’d spend most of those hot summer days heading to the pool or going to the local sports card store. As my wife will tell you, I’m not much of a pool person, so the card shop was my choice. The card shop provoked […]
  9. The following blog was written by Sarah Wells, a senior at St. Catherine’s School, who just completed an internship in the public relations and marketing department at the Virginia Historical Society. Enjoy Lizzie Oglesby I, like many other young people these days, am undeniably obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not only […]
  10. With Fathers Day right around the corner, I thought I’d share with you some great opportunities at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) for those dads who are sports fans like me. Here’s a list of several sports-related items and programs that the VHS has to offer and would make great gifts for dads! The Pro […]

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