Top 10 Endangered Artifacts

Results of the Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Announced!


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 is proud to award $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 will each receive $750 - $500 toward conservation/preservation efforts and $250 toward professional development in the field.

  • 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)

An awards ceremony will take place during a special legislative reception at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia on February 21, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. following Virginia Museums Advocacy Day, presented by the Virginia Association of Museums.

This is the first time that VAM has been able to provide direct financial support to its members for conservation efforts, and is made possible through a generous gift of the Blandford-Rees Foundation in recognition of the association's 50th Anniversary.


Over the past six years, the Virginia Association of Museums has successfully promoted awareness of collections care and the efforts of museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia to care for their cultural and historical treasures, which is an expensive and time-consuming effort. In fact, over a 150 organizations have benefited from participating and the spotlight that the program has provided has generated extensive publicity, new supporters and volunteers, and access to funding to conserve and preserve their artifacts.

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.