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Previous Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Honorees

The Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program identifies significant, endangered artifacts at libraries, archives, and museums throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and Washington DC on an annual basis.

Top 10 Endangered Artifacts are kept on the "endangered" list until which time the threat to the artifact has been resolved. Please visit to learn more about past participating organizations and artifacts.

Interactive Endangered Artifacts Map

The Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Honorees for 2019

Download the list of honorees with complete details and list of museum contacts

Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation (Lynchburg, VA) 
“Cocktail Party”; 1944
Oil on canvas painting by African American artist, Dolly Allen Mason, created for Anne Spencer
depicting the Harlem Renaissance era of which the poet was a notable literary figure.

Gunston Hall (Fairfax County, VA)
“Truro Parish Register”; 1818
Manuscript from Fairfax County Anglican church noting enslaved workers of the Mason, Washington,
and Custis families.

Historical Society of Western Virginia (Roanoke, VA)
“Eliza Breckinridge Watts Receipt Book”; 1818-1857
Cookbook and record of life in rural Virginia in the 1800s by Eliza Breckinridge Watts, daughter of Col. James Breckinridge of Fincastle and wife of Roanoke County’s first commonwealth attorney.

Pamplin Historical Park & National Museum of the Civil War Soldier (Petersburg, VA)
Zachary Taylor Presidential Inaugural Ball Banner”; 1849
Banner created by notable Mexican-American War and Civil War veterans, such as William T. Sherman and George B. McClellan, for 12th president of the U.S. and native son of Virginia, Zachary Taylor.

Patrick Henry’s Red Hill (Campbell County, VA)
rick Henry Letter Advocating for Native Americans”; 1792
Rare handwritten letter by Patrick Henry advocating for the rights of Cherokee Indians in the fledgling United States.
Poe Museum (Richmond, VA)
"Lucy Dorothea Henry’s Autograph Album”; 1840-50s
Scrapbook of Patrick Henry’s granddaughter filled with over 250 items and autographs from 18th & 19th century celebrities like Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, and Lord Byron.

Stratford Hall (Westmoreland County, VA)
“Hannah Ludwell Lee’s Sewing Purse”; 1700s
Sewing kit or “housewife” made and used by original owners of historic Stratford Hall, Hannah Ludwell Lee and Thomas Lee, founders of a Virginia family dynasty.

The Valentine (Richmond, VA) 
“Sophie Meredith’s Congressional Union Banner”; 1918
Political banner used by Virginia leader during protests for women's equal suffrage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Virginia Beach History Museums (Virginia Beach, VA)
“Folk Art Jugs”; 1700s
Set of leather folk art jugs in the shape of barmaids from 1700s England, and part of Virginia Beach History Museum’s Thoroughgood House collection gathered by esteemed Hampton Roads philanthropist and historic preservationist, Henry Clay Hofheimer II.

Wilderness Road Regional Museum (Pulaski, VA)
“Registry of Free Blacks 1855-1864 and Witness Book 1871-1876”
Journal of life in Pulaski County, Virginia including registry of free blacks leading up and during the Civil War, and legal proceedings and information on life in the post war era.


Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 2017

2017 marked the first time that VAM has been able to provide direct financial support to its members for conservation efforts, which was made possible through a generous gift of the Blandford-Rees Foundation in recognition of the association's 50th Anniversary. Following a week-long online voting competition that generated over 19,000 votes from the public, and the selection of an independent, professional panel of conservators and preservationists, VAM awarded $18,500 in conservation grants to ten historic and cultural organizations from across the Commonwealth to help in the care of Virginia's historic and cultural treasures.

  • Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol, VA) $5,000. Receiving nearly 6,000 public votes in the program's online voting competition, Birthplace of Country Music will receive the top award for conservation of its WCYB-Bristol Farm & Fun Time Audio Disc Rare Radio Performance by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys (date: circa early 1950s).

  • Alexandria Archaeology-Office of Historic Alexandria (Alexandria, VA) $4,000. Following close in the voting competition with over 5,500 votes, Alexandria Archaeology will receive funds toward the ongoing conservation efforts of their impressive 18th Century Merchant Ship (dated: circa 1750s-1800).

  • African American Historical Society of Portsmouth (Portsmouth, VA) $3,000. Receiving special recognition from the independent Selection Committee, the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth will be awarded $3,000 to conserve its Segregated Era "Colored" Sink that exemplifies an era of separate but equal life in the South under "Jim Crow" laws.

  • Prince William County Historic Preservation Division (Dumfries, VA) $2,000. Recognized for its research potential and historical documentation of voter disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth, Prince William County Historic Preservation's Poll Books will receive $2,000 toward its paper conservation efforts.

The six remaining 2017 Honorees of the Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program each received $750 award for conservation efforts and professional development training.

  • Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation (Blacksburg, VA) Odd Fellows Ceremonial Collar (dated: circa early 1900s)
  • Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Foundation and Museum (Wytheville, VA) Electric Car Drivers Permit for First Woman in
  • Washington, DC (dated: September 7, 1904)
  • Historic Sandusky/Lynchburg College (Lynchburg, VA) Young Woman's 1864 Diary (dated: June 1864)
  • Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, VA) James C. Foltz Distillery Still (dated: circa mid 1800s)
  • National D-Day Memorial (Bedford, VA) D-Day Order of the Day (dated: June 6, 1944)
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library (Staunton, VA) Paris Peace Conference Parade Flag (dated: June 1919)

View Past Nominees

2016 Nominees

2015 Nominees

2014 Nominees

2013 Nominees

2011 Nominees

View Past Honorees

2016 Honorees

2015 Honorees

2014 Honorees

2013 Honorees

2012 Honorees

2011 Honorees

Top 10 Status Report

(updated as we learn of new information about our previous honorees)*


Top 10 Year

Booker T. Washington National Monument


Photographs with cellulose nitrate negatives, 1957-1984

Film is currently being conserved in a freezer.

Hermitage Museum & Gardens


Korean 18thcentury Sakyamuni Triad silk tapestry

Repatriated back to Korea and is currently being conserved. Future plans include public display.

Klug-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia


Yolngu Bark Painting by Narritjin Maymuru, depicting Djarrakpi Story (Indonesian Trader Ship)

Currently being conserved and will be on display at UVA soon.

The Mariners’ Museum


USS Monitor’s Revolving Gun Turret

Currently in conservation. An estimated 18 years of work needs to be completed. Fundraising is needed.

Virginia Museum of Transportation


Norfolk & Western SD45 Diesel Locomotive #1776

Received $10,000 grant fromTrains Magazinetoward improvements to Locomotive #1776 thanks to its People’s Choice recognition.

Warren Rifles Confederate Memorial Museum


Confederate Battle Flag of Co. B, 6thVA Cavalry

Artifact has been conserved and is on display.

The Fairfield Foundation


Ware Neck Store Sales Receipts; c. 1870s-1930s

Documents cleaned and placed in proper storage. Artifacts scanned by VCU’s Virtual Curation Laboratory. Experts are assisting with the project.

Salem Museum


Records of African-American Midwife, Georgianna Saunders; c. 1916-1940

Records being transcribed and put in a database. People delivered by Georgianna Saunders have contacted the museum.

Tudor Place Historic House & Garden


George Washington’s Revolutionary War Camp Stool; c. 1776

Conserved by the Historic Trades Department of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, through a collaborative research project with the Museum of the American Revolution in association with Tudor Place.

Wilton House Museum


Waistcoat of Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood; c. 18thcentury

Artifact is currently being conserved.

MacArthur Memorial


World War II Filipino and U.S. Guerilla Unit Flag, c. 1940s

Thanks to the support of a generous donor, the flag has been conserved and is on view!

St. John’s Church Foundation


Reverend Robert Rose Monument, 1751

St. John's oldest visible grave marker has been conserved! and will be dedicated on the anniversary of Rose's death on June 30, 2017.