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Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts

Nominate an artifact now through December 9!




In this pivotal year of 2020, VAM's nationally recognized Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program will look to recognize those lesser-known stories held in collections across Virginia. This special theme will highlight Virginia's underrepresented communities and their stories.

Whether documenting the original native population, the enslaved who were brought to these shores against their will, the many who have struggled for equality, or the immigrant groups who have made Virginia their home, Virginia’s museums hold these fascinating stories among their collections.

This year, we seek artifact nominations related to underrepresented communities to highlight the broad diversity of the collections found in Virginia’s museums and to share and celebrate our communities' lesser known stories. Museums, archives, libraries, historical societies, and all collecting institutions in Virginia and Washington, DC are invited to submit artifacts that share the stories, accomplishments, and struggles of the Commonwealth’s diverse population. 

Program Timeline            

November 9 - Application open

December 9 - Applications close

Late December - Top 10 Honorees Selected

January 11-20 - Online Public Voting Competition

February - Recognition of Honorees & Award Winners

Read Guidelines & Apply


This marks the ninth year of the Virginia Association of Museums successful campaign to create awareness of the importance of Virginia’s museums and historic sites and the unique historic, cultural and artistic items in their care. The “Top 10” program has benefited 180 institutions to date, shedding light on the expense museums undertake every day, and connecting them with future donors wishing to help in their stewardship efforts.

Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a program of the Virginia Association of Museums, and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The program has been replicated in three other states, recognized as one of the grants most successful initiatives, and recognized with a Virginia PR Award by the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

For more information, contact Christina Newton, Assistant Director at