Preservation Virginia Blog


Preserving Paper as well as Places

It’s American Archives Month! As a preservation organization, we don’t just save buildings and objects. We save paper too! 

The archives and document collections of Preservation Virginia are an extraordinary record of our historic sites as well as the evolution of the institution over the last 131 years. Over that time, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now called Preservation Virginia) has also documented and advocated for the care of dozens of privately and publically owned buildings across the commonwealth. Photos, archaeological reports and correspondence related to these properties are stored at our headquarters in Richmond.

Given our early involvement with the preservation of Jamestown Island, the archives are rich with information on this site and the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, which commemorated the tercentennial of the settlement. From John Marshall letters to grocery bills from our earliest fundraising efforts, the Preservation Virginia archival collection never ceases to inform and fascinate.

Letter, Chief Justice John Marshall to grandson James Keith Marshall, March 11, 1835, Washington D.C. Preservation Virginia collection, 1991.01.

“1701 Barn,” Bacon’s Castle, drawing of west elevation. Preservation Virginia research files. 

Bill for “Colonial Ball” fundraiser supplies, January 1890, R.L. Christian & Co., Grocers with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Richmond, Virginia. Preservation Virginia archives.