The Virginia Historical Society was founded in 1831. Like most of the nation's older historical societies, it has always been a private organization; one that derives virtually all its support from membership and endowment. Because of the statewide nature of our comprehensive collection, we have the unique ability to exhibit and interpret broad themes in Virginia history. A long-term exhibit entitled "The Story of Virginia, an American Experience," opened in October 1995 and was well received by all in spite of the limited gallery space. The feeling that a larger exhibition was needed coincided with recognition that the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), a state agency, also had a vast collection of archaeological artifacts, as well as resources, previously unavailable to the public. A unique private-public partnership resulted between the VHS and the VDHR.
To collect, preserve, and interpret the commonwealth's past for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.