Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program

Honorees will be recognized at the 2025 Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference. 


About the Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program

Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a project of the Virginia Association of Museums and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant. Due to its success, the program has been replicated in other states and recognized as one of the most successful outcomes of the Connecting to Collections grant program.


  • Nominations are open from January 22, 2025 to February 5, 2025. 
  • Applications, photographs, support materials, and other media will be used for administration, review, press and promotional purposes, and will be afterward archived at the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM).  Recipients agree to allow VAM to provide updates to the membership via email, website, and social media regarding the status of the object to include any pictures provided.
  • Selected Honorees will be required to complete an Awards Agreement and Progress Report.
  • Failure to follow these guidelines will result in disqualification from future program participation.
  • Questions? Please contact the Virginia Association of Museums at

Review & Award Process

  • Nomination forms will be reviewed by a volunteer independent Selection Committee comprised of representatives from partner organizations, including the Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and private conservators.
  • Through a thorough review process by the independent Selection Committee, ten (10) organizations and their artifacts will be chosen for inclusion in the “Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts” program. 
  • The selected ten artifacts, and their nominating organizations, will be featured in an online public voting competition to take place from February 20, 2025 (starting at noon) to March 3, 2025 (by 11:59 pm).
  • Once public voting is open, the public can vote once per day up until March 3 by 11:59 pm.*
  • The artifact that receives the most votes in the online voting competition will receive the People’s Choice Award of $1,000 for the conservation and/or preservation of the item.
  • Following the public voting competition, the Selection Committee will bestow one conservation/preservation award in the amount of $1,000 to the item deemed most deserving. The remaining eight organizations will receive awards in the amount of $250 for conservation and/or for use of professional development training.
  • All Top 10 Honorees will be recognized at the 2025 VAM Annual Conference in Blacksburg,  March 15 - 18, 2025.


  • Nominating organization must be located in the Commonwealth of Virginia or District of Columbia.
  • Nominating organization must be an institutional member in good standing of the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM). *Participation is a member benefit. 
  • Nominated artifacts must be of historic or cultural significance to the nominating organization. 
  • Objects on loan are not eligible.
  • Structures and land are not eligible. (Learn more about Preservation Virginia's Most Endangered Historic Sites.)
  • Nominees receiving any award must have artifact assessed (if not done so previously) and provide a progress report of the conservation/preservation project to VAM by December 31, 2024.
  • Artifacts selected as a Top 10 Endangered Artifact Honoree cannot be nominated again.
  • Institutions represented on the Selection Committee are not eligible to apply.

*as of 2/22/24, the frequency of public voting is set to once per day

Learn More About the 2024 Top 10 Artifacts:

Read the press release:
Botetourt County Historical Society: Hayth Hotel guest register 
Hayth Hotel guest register 
 Lt. Gary Lee Miller Medal of Honor
 1954 RR Moton High School Composite
 Christ in a Manger by Francis Musangogwantamu 
 1880s African American photo album
The Seth Woodroof Account Book 
 1943 Wedding Gown of Blanche Russell Sabetty
 Elvira Henry's Cookbook
Flag fragment, U.S. Light Dragoons
Christiansburg Institute Marching Band Hat
Christiansburg Institute Marching Band Hat

Contribute and protect endangered artifacts!

The work always continues and so we encourage you to give a donation to show your support. Your gift will support significant, endangered artifacts at museums, libraries and archives throughout the Commonwealth and DC.

Your contribution will help bring attention to the unique artifacts in museum collections across the state and help conserve important pieces of Virginia history.