Fourth Annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Starts June 16

Posted on Jun 16, 2014
Robert Rose Monument
Credit: St. John’s Church, Richmond, VA
2013 Honoree

Richmond, VA – The Virginia Association of Museums (www.vamuseums.org) is encouraging museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites across Virginia and Washington, DC to nominate items from their collections for the fourth annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. (www.vatop10artifacts.org). The program showcases the importance of Virginia’s diverse history, heritage, and art and the role these objects play in telling those stories. From the site of the first permanent English colony in America to electing the first African-American governor, Virginia continues to make history and the “Top 10″ program helps bring that history to life.

From manuscripts and trunks, to flags and trains, items held in the care of collecting institutions are significant to telling the stories of our local communities, the Commonwealth, as well as the nation. Participants in VAM’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program have the opportunity to share their significant stories while building awareness of their institutions and the threats and expense they face in serving as stewards of their collections.

Collecting institutions are invited to nominate an artifact between June 16 and July 12. The public will then be invited to cast their votes online for their favorite objects from the nominated list during August 1-23. The 2014 Honorees will be announced on September 9 following selection by an independent panel of professional conservators and collections care experts.

While no monetary award is tied to the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts, the program has already created recognition for over 60 artifacts in need of conservation since the program’s inception in 2011. Organizations have leveraged their participation to gain a variety of benefits, from attracting new audience and press coverage, to receiving grants and raising the much-needed funding to conserve their artifacts. The public has also been overwhelmingly supportive by contributing over 200,000 votes in favor of conservation as well as the funds to save them. VAM’s “Top 10″ program has been so successful in bringing attention to conservation needs, that it has also been replicated in other states, including Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Colorado.

2014 Program Timeline:

June 16, 2014 – July 12, 2014: Collecting institutions such as museums, archives, historic homes, and libraries are invited to nominated items from their diverse and significant collections. Information and nomination forms can be found at www.vatop10artifacts.org
August 1 – 23, 2014: The public can vote for and make a donation for their favorite artifact during the popular online public voting portion.
September 9, 2014: The 2014 Honorees will be announced.

Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program was inspired by Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Sites program and was originally made possible by a Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.