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Virginia Historical Society

For four centuries African Americans have shaped the state’s history, and their lives and stories are preserved in the Virginia Historical Society. The VHS is the largest repository of non-official manuscripts in the commonwealth, and the collection of personal, family, and corporate papers ranges from the colonial period to the present. These unique materials are supplemented by an extensive collection of books, journals, newspapers, maps, sheet music, broadsides, and museum artifacts. Since 1831, the VHS has acquired materials that relate to various aspects of African American life in Virginia. Researchers have used these plantation records and family papers for evidence of fugitive slaves, slave rebellions, and other forms of resistance. Historians have produced numerous books and articles that include material from the VHS collections, and the long-term exhibit, The Story of Virginia, has extensive sections on the introduction and development of slavery. As a museum and research library, the VHS is a source for educational outreach and information on the reinterpretation of the African American experience from Jamestown in 1619 to the colonization movement, and from Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement. In the absence of extensive first-hand accounts by slaves, the Virginia Historical Society is an important center where a range of evidence can be studied to place the Underground Railroad in historical context

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, 23220

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Paul Levengood

Location Type: Facility