Jobs & Internships

Preservation Virginia has staff across the Commonwealth advocating on behalf of historic places, interpreting the sites we own and operate and working with local communities. If you’re interested in joining our team, review our current job openings and follow the instructions to apply.

Request for Proposals: Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown Furnishings Plan

Preservation Virginia is seeking applications for an independent curator to research, develop,
and write a furnishings plan for Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown. The selected contractor will work in
tandem with Preservation Virginia’s curator of collections and Scotchtown site coordinators to
familiarize themselves with the archival resources currently available and to build a work
schedule for the plan. Ideally, the work will take place in early 2024. Requirements for those
applying are as follows:

Preference will be given to candidates who possess a strong knowledge of the material culture
of eighteenth century Virginia and an understanding of furniture of the Chesapeake region from
1760-1780. Ideally, the candidate will have:

● prior experience working with collections in a house museum setting, collections
research, and furnishing plan development
● knowledge of Virginia and colonial material culture, furnishings, and decorative arts
● strong familiarity with 18th century Virginia probate records and other primary sources of
the region
● strong organizational and writing skills
● the ability to work in multiple settings including virtually, in a museum, and in an office
● experience in sourcing period furnishings and reproduction furnishings
● possess a valid driver’s license

These qualifications are preferred, but not required to be considered.

Primarily consisting of remote work, the selected applicant must have the ability to occasionally
work at the Preservation Virginia Richmond office (where the institutional archives are held), and
at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, located in Beaverdam, Hanover County, Virginia. The outcome
of the project will be composed of a formal, written document that outlines recommended
furnishings and decorative arts for six rooms in Scotchtown, and will take into consideration the
current furnishings in the manor house. The report will outline objects to consider for
deaccession, recommendations on period furnishings that need to be sourced for the rooms, as
well as props, decorative arts, etc. A high level of emphasis will be placed on highlighting the
presence of the enslaved individuals that lived and worked at Scotchtown for the Henry family.

Scotchtown is the only original standing home of Patrick Henry, the “orator of the American
Revolution.” The Henry family lived here roughly from 1771 to 1776/8. Mr. Henry conceived his
most influential revolutionary ideas at this home, including his famous “Liberty or Death” speech.
Scotchtown was acquired by Preservation Virginia in 1958 and restored to its appearance
during Patrick Henry’s life. The house is surrounded by reproduction outbuildings and gardens.
Scotchtown Collections Overview

The collection at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown has been acquired over six decades and
consists of period antiques, Henry family furnishing and objects, and reproduction
interpretive items (such as bed rolls). Many pieces in the collection date past the period
of interpretation and special consideration will need to be given to appropriate
replacement items for these pieces.

Some work will include accessing historic museum property that is only accessible via stairs.
Some work may require standing or sitting for long periods of time throughout the day.

The selected contractor will report to the Curator of Collections.

This contract is grant funded and will be paid based on negotiations between the selected
candidate and Preservation Virginia.

The work should take approximately 6 months to complete with an ideal start date in January
2024 and a completion date of July 1, 2024.

Please send a resume, cover letter, two professional references, and one page statement of
interest, including a proposed fee schedule, to the Curator of Collections Elyse Werling at Applications are due by December 1, 2023.

Historic Interpreter at Bacon’s Castle 

Located in Surry County, Bacon’s Castle is the oldest brick home in North America.  Built in 1665, it is owned and operated by Preservation Virginia, the oldest statewide preservation organization in the nation.

Position Title: Historic Interpreter (Part-time, hourly, ineligible for benefits) 

Hourly Rate: $14 ($15 after completing paid training)

Available Hours: As-scheduled; Bacon’s Castle is open to the public Friday-Monday. Potential to work 14 – 80 hours a month. 

Reports To: Bacon’s Castle Interpretation Coordinator and Bacon’s Castle Site Coordinator

Position Description: Preservation Virginia’s Bacon’s Castle seeks an Historic Interpreter who will primarily be responsible for leading 45 minute guided tours of the historic Bacon’s Castle and serving as front-line staff in the museum. Historic Interpreters will engage diverse audiences in topics to include but is not limited to: the 17th-19th century Tidewater, Virginia history, culture, society, economics, politics, and the complexities of gender, race, and slavery; conflict, war, and revolution in colonial Virginia, as well as architectural and plantation history of the property. Historic Interpreters will provide guided tours and educational programs to diverse audiences including adults and students/youth organizations, and will assist with special events. Historic Interpreters will receive all necessary training in subject matter and related histories, best practices in public history, historic interpretation, and tour techniques, among other  information necessary to carry out the duties of this position.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Must be over 18 years old.
  • Obtained or in-progress: Bachelor’s degree in history, education, public history, political science, or related field; or equivalent experience.
  • Ability to lift 30 pounds.
  • Ability to climb up and down stairs repeatedly and to stand on feet for several hours at a time.
  • Must enjoy engaging and speaking with diverse public audiences, both youth and adults. 
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Dedication to providing excellent customer service. 
  • Prior knowledge of American history, including 17th-19th century society, politics and law, war, gender, and race and slavery preferred. 
  • Experience giving public tours and/or public speaking, and experience operating a cash register/point-of-sale system preferred.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Open and close Bacon’s Castle museum through performance of routine duties.  
  • Lead 45 minute guided tours to diverse audiences including student field trips and adult group tours. 
  • Down time between tours used for needed projects and museum related reading.
  • Serve as front-line museum staff. 
  • Greet guests to Bacon’s Castle, sell admissions, facilitate museum shop purchases, promote Preservation Virginia memberships, and provide excellent customer service. 
  • Be an ambassador for Preservation Virginia’s mission, work, and other historic sites. 
  • Answer museum phone and manage online tour reservations. 
  • Perform regular cleaning of public and staff spaces including museum shop floors, counters, bathrooms, staff kitchen, house porches, and emptying trash cans. Some collections cleaning as needed.
  • Assist with student field trips and group tours by (including but not limited to) greeting teachers, parents, and group representatives; providing group instruction; leading tours and programs.
  • Reserve public tours of Bacon’s Castle via phone, email, and online reservation page. 
  • Help monitor physical maintenance of house, property, and historic collection and follow established protocols when issues arise. 
  • Engage with the public by answering questions and pursuing conversations. 
  • Assist with special events on-site and virtually as needed, usually on evenings and weekends, such as focus tours, lectures, etc.
  • Do daily accounting worksheets.
  • Input data into Excel spreadsheets .
  • Assist with research as directed.

Other Opportunities:

  • Assist in content development and research for educational programs and activities. 
  • Contribute written content to Preservation Virginia blog and Bacon’s Castle social media accounts. 
  • Expand Bacon’s Castle research and knowledge of associated histories. 
  • Participate in lectures and webinars. 

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with two references to Bacon’s Castle Interpretation Coordinator, Preservation Virginia is an EOE and this position is open until filled.