Virginia Historical Society
428 North Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220
Mission Statement

The mission of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is to connect people to America’s past through the unparalleled story of Virginia.

By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth’s history, the VHS links past with present and inspires future generations.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Jamie O. Bosket
Board Chair Mr. John R. Nelson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Contact Information
Address 428 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone 804 340-1800
Fax 804 342-9647
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1831
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $6,550,000.00
Projected Expenses $6,550,000.00
Additional Documents
Annual Report2013View
Annual Report2011View
Annual Report2010View
Annual Report2009View
Annual Report2008View
Annual Report2007View

The mission of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is to connect people to America’s past through the unparalleled story of Virginia.

By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth’s history, the VHS links past with present and inspires future generations.

We aspire to represent all Virginians as we meaningfully share the ever-evolving story of Virginia with a broader audience.
Taking inspiration from our 187-year history, we are embarking on a new and exciting journey to do more and be more for the people of Virginia and beyond.
Over the next few years, we will work tirelessly to engage more people at our Virginia Museum of History & Culture (a fitting new name for our Richmond headquarters) through expanded public programming and more exhibitions to showcase our ever-evolving story and unparalleled collection. We similarly have new plans to engage more students and teachers statewide and to build meaningful new relationships with likeminded organizations across Virginia. Last, but certainly not least, we will reinforce our academic activities, particularly through our research library and publication program, and we will proactively grow our collection to further solidify our nearly nine-million-item collection as the very best resource of its kind.
  1. Additional Endowment: $20,000,000
  2. Exhibitions: $100,000
  3. Conservation of Collections: $250,000
  4. Youth Education Fund: $30,000 annually
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society—a private, non-profit organization. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.
The society was founded in 1831. Like most of the nation’s older historical societies, it has always been a private organization and derives virtually all its support from membership and endowment. The Virginia Historical Society elected Chief Justice John Marshall as its first president and former president James Madison its first honorary member.
During the early years, between 1831 and 1861, the society acquired valuable books, manuscripts, museum objects, and natural history specimens. From time to time, it published the texts of historic documents and the addresses delivered at its annual meetings. This was hampered, however, by having virtually no endowment and no permanent home.
In 2018, after nearly a year of research, community conversations, and strategic planning, the Virginia Historical Society announced a new vision and a new name for its headquarters facility—The Virginia Museum of History & Culture. This historic change marks a new era of expanded public programming, new exhibitions, and greater activity across the Commonwealth, as the historical society works to tell a more inclusive story to a more inclusive audience.
CEO Statement

Board Chair Statement

I have been a VHS member and supporter for more than a decade. Were I a native Virginian, it surely would have been longer. That’s one thing you can expect—an effort from the VHS to make the Commonwealth’s history more accessible and more relevant to everyone, not only those fortunate enough to have been born in Virginia.

You also can expect some changes in how we communicate with you. Soon, we will offer you a choice of receiving certain publications in digital format instead of print. And, we are working on an easier way for you to search our collection of digital images and an easier way for you to navigate our website when you want to renew your membership, purchase tickets, or check on an event date.

After having completed a nearly two-year construction project, you can expect to see more exhibitions and more VHS collections on display. If you depend on our HistoryConnects programming, you can expect more topic offerings. If you are a teacher, you can expect more professional development opportunities online and onsite.

If you are a researcher, you can expect progress in our daunting project to absorb the immense Civil War collections of the Museum of the Confederacy into our research collection, thereby creating the largest single collection of Civil War research material in a private institution.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights, City
Dinwiddie County
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell, City
Petersburg, City
Powhatan County
Prince George County
Sussex County
Charles City County
Gloucester County
King and Queen County
Lancaster County
Louisa County
Mathews County
Middlesex County
New Kent County
Northumberland County
Hampton Roads
Northern Neck
Northern Virginia
Shenandoah Valley
Southside Virginia
Southwest Virginia

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society — a private, non-profit organization established in 1831. The historical society has a membership of more than 7,000 households from across the nation and several foreign countries. The museum serves local, state, national, and international audiences through its exhibitions, publications, and educational programming,

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. John R. Nelson
Company Affiliation Retired
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Charles L. Cabell III
Company Affiliation Williams Mullen
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. H. Furlong Baldwin Former Chairman, Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Company
Mr. Austin Brockenbrough IIILowe, Brockenbrough and Company
Mr. Harry F. Byrd IIISenseny South Corporation
Mr. Charles L. Cabell Partner, Williams Mullen
Ms. Jeanette R. Cadwallender Community Volunteer
Mr. Herbert A. Claiborne IIICarpenter Company
Mr. Richard Cullen McGuireWoods, LLP
Mr. William H. Fralin Jr.President/CEO, Medical Facilities of America, Inc.
Mr. George C. Freeman IIIChairman, President & CEO, Universal Corporation
Ms. Susan Goode Active civic volunteer
Ms. Nancy H. Gottwald Community Volunteer
Mr. Conrad M. Hall Dominion Enterprises
Mr. Brenton S. Halsey Community Volunteer
Mr. Russell Harper Managing Partner, Harper and Associates
Mr. Landon Hilliard Brown Brothers Harriman & Company
General John P. Jumper Retired, US Air Force General who served as the 17th Chief of Staff
Mr. Linwood Allen Lacy Jr.Retired
The Honorable Elizabeth A. McClanahan Supreme Court Justice, Supreme Court of Virginia
Mr. G. Gilmer Minor IIIRetired
Dr. John R. Nelson Executive Vice President $ Chief Technology Officer, Altria Group, Inc.
Ms. Pamela Kiecker Royall Royall & Company
Mr. Thomas G. Slater Jr.Hunton & Williams
Mr. Robert C. Sledd Retired
Mr. Gerald F. Smith Jr.Valley Proteins
Mr. Thomas G. Snead Retired President/CEO-WellPoint, Inc., Southeast Region
Mr. Robert D. Taylor Retired
Ms. Allison P. Weinstein Co-President and CEO, Weinstein Properties
The Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson IIIJudge-US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Mr. William C. Woolridge Retired Vice President, Norfolk Southern Corporation
Ms. Anne R. Worrell Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 30
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 25
Female 5
Board Term Lengths 6
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 75
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Jamie O. Bosket
Former CEOs
Dr. Charles F. Bryan Jr.Jan 1988 -
Dr. Paul A. Levengood 2008 - 2016
Senior Staff
Richard S. V. Heiman Senior Vice President for Operations
Michael Plumb Vice President for Guest Engagement
Tracy Schneider Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Andrew H. Talkov Vice President for Programs
Full Time Staff 63
Part Time Staff 12
Volunteers 46
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2007
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
The Virginia Historical Society was a founding member of Museums on the Boulevard (MOB), a collaboration of museums in Richmond that are geographically connected in the heart of the city. We are also a member of CultureWorks, a group of non-profits with arts and cultural missions in the City of Richmond.Additionally, we collaborate often with IRLA (Independent Research Libraries Association) and the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH). An example of a specific collaboration is our Created Equal Film Series, in honor of Grady W. Powell. We collaborate with the Richmond Peace Education Center and Diversity Richmond to bring this program to the public free of charge. 
Museums on the Boulevard2002
Virginia Association of Museums1985
External Assessments and Accreditations
American Association of Museums - 10 Year Accreditation2007
We the People for "Lee and Grant" exhibitionNational Endowment for the Humanities2006
We the People for "Rehousing Women's History Collections"National Endowment for the Humanities2006
Merit Award for "George Washington, the Man Behind the Myth" traveling exhibitionAmerican Association for State and Local History2001
Save America's Treasures for the "Custis Family Papers" projectNational Trust for Historic Preservation1999
Award of Merit for "An American Turning Point, The Civil War in Virginia"American Association of State and Local History2011
Tourism Award for promoting increased knowledge & awareness of the city's heritage, cultural assets, & entertainment with "Unknown No Longer" slave name database & "An American Turning Point" exhibitRichmond Department of Economic and Community Development2012
Gold Medal Award in Short Films. Special achievements in directing and editingCinema in Industry (CINDY) Awards2015
Silver Award for Videography/Cinematography and Bronze Award for DocumentaryTelly Awards2016

Our signature exhibition is The Story of Virginia, and features objects that will help guide the visitor through more than 16,000 years of Virginia history from prehistoric times to the present.

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions:

WW1 America, February 17, 2018 - July 29, 2018
The Commonwealth and the Great War, February 17, 2018 - November 18, 2018
Inside Looking Out:The Art of Queena Stovall, May 12, 2018 - October 14, 2018
400 Years of African American History (working title), June 2019 - December 2019
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $60,000.00

HistoryConnects is an outreach education initiative by the Virginia Historical Society utilizing Interactive Videoconferencing equipment, Skype, and Zoom Meetings to reach students across the state of Virginia, the nation, and the world.

HistoryConnects programs:

  • are interactive,
  • are primary source based historical explorations, and
  • reinforce both national and state standards of learning.


Programming is offered to Virginia schools at a reduced rate, and a limited number of free programs will be made available through the Skype in the Classroom (SITC) partnership.
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget $30,000.00

According to the US Census, the oldest of the Baby Boomer generation turned 60 in 2006. Since then, this group of 78.2 million has been turning 60 at a rate of 7,918 per day. Our “We’ll See You in Class” series is specifically designed to target this demographic and their need for educational programming.

The addition of our new, state-of the art classroom serves an audience of teachers and students as well as a new audience we have dubbed “life-long learners.” We developed a program entitled “See You in Class” to specifically target this audience. This wildly successful series, established in 2005, invites students of all ages to after-hours classes hosted by staff and visiting historians. Topics have ranged from World War II to Civil War and Southern History film classes.  Additionally, we serve this audience with bus trips to various attractions and destinations throughout the Commonwealth. This is a part of a new program which did not exist ten years ago.

Budget $10,000.00

In 2008, the popular Banner Lecture Series was endowed in honor of Charles F. Bryan, Jr., to celebrate his twenty years (1988–2008) of service to the VHS as president and to commemorate his retirement after two decades of remarkable leadership. The series, established in 1988 by Dr. Bryan, was the first public lecture series ever offered by the VHS. Contributions to the endowment to support the series are still being accepted. 

For more than twenty-eight years, the VHS has been hosting noontime lectures that are open to members and the general public. Authors and scholars discuss their most recent work and research on a variety of topics, ranging from architecture and art to genealogy and modern-day politics. Held in the society's Robins Family Forum, the Banner Lecture Series continues to be a highlight of the VHS calendar for many people. These lectures last approximately one hour followed, in many cases, by a book signing. The VHS has been recording Banner Lectures since 2007. Watch and/or listen to more than fifty past lectures.

Population Served General/Unspecified

In 2013, the VHS was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to participate in its Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle initiative. This program used the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. The film series was so well-received that the VHS decided to continue the program and to name it in honor of Rev. Grady W. Powell, Sr., of Petersburg, Virginia, who has served on the VHS board since 1996 and as honorary vice chair since 2011, and is instrumental in the development of relevant and accessible programming.

Now in its third year, the series focuses on themes related to civil rights, human rights, and social justice in American history. The VHS partners with the Richmond Peace Education Center and Diversity Richmond in efforts to present this program free of charge to a new and diverse audience.

Already this year, we have shown Freedom Summer, a film about ten memorable weeks in 1964 when more than 700 student volunteers joined with local organizers and black Mississippians in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation’s most segregated states. In May, we showed the documentary, The House I Live In, which examines the forty-year history of the war on drugs—a war that has resulted in more than 45 million arrests with tremendous and disproportionate consequences to African American communities. Later in September, we will screen Rosenwald. This film tells the story of Julius Rosenwald, the son of Jewish immigrants who rose to become the chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Co. Perhaps his greatest achievement was the establishment of a challenge grant program that led to the creation of more than 5,000 schools for rural African Americans in the south.

After each film, a notable historian or a panel of distinguished guests provides historical context to the audience, and in turn, the audience has a chance to ask questions.

Population Served Families
Budget $25,000.00
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $6,550,000.00
Projected Expenses $6,550,000.00
Endowment Value $56,500,000.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Percentage (if selected) 5
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$41,593$104,138
Individual Contributions$2,416,108$3,441,899$2,470,144
Investment Income, Net of Losses$7,009,539($2,932,971)$1,982,465
Membership Dues$336,062$347,914$238,941
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind----$157,280
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$6,452,641$6,957,941$7,944,546
Administration Expense$1,703,740$1,529,007$1,521,286
Fundraising Expense$878,027$935,724$828,787
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.360.400.73
Program Expense/Total Expenses71%74%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue22%18%18%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$94,860,306$93,945,076$103,532,095
Current Assets$4,997,059$5,360,271$8,062,396
Long-Term Liabilities$650,388$7,906,974$11,879,239
Current Liabilities$5,778,322$1,041,315$3,581,506
Total Net Assets$88,431,596$84,996,787$88,071,350
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.865.152.25
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%8%11%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and audit prepared by Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves.
  • Financial analysis performed with audit.