Virginia Historical Society
P.O. Box 7311
Richmond VA 23221-0311
Mission Statement The Virginia Historical Society connects people to America's past through the unparalelled story of Virginia. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth's history, we link present with past and inspire future generations. With education as our primary focus, we attempt to achieve broad awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Virginia history by offering lectures, seminars, conferences, and consulting services; publishing teacher resource materials; conducting teacher training and re-certification workshops; arranging school and general group tours; supporting scholarly research through endowed fellowships & minority internships; maintaining a museum of changing, permanent & traveling exhibitions; operating a research library and a publications program that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 100 years. We are equally dedicated to the care and preservation of our collections, and have an in-house paper conservation lab that employs the latest equipment, procedures, and standards.
Web and Social Media
The Virginia Historical Society is on Richmond's historic Boulevard.
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Paul A. Levengood
Board Chair Mr. E. Claiborne Robins Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation President & CEO-E.C. Robins International, Inc.
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 7311
Richmond, VA 232210311
Telephone 804 358-4901
Fax 804 342-9647
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1831
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $6,291,000.00
Projected Expenses $6,291,000.00
Additional Documents
Annual Report2013View
Annual Report2011View
Annual Report2010View
Annual Report2009View
Annual Report2008View
Annual Report2007View
Mission The Virginia Historical Society connects people to America's past through the unparalelled story of Virginia. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth's history, we link present with past and inspire future generations. With education as our primary focus, we attempt to achieve broad awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Virginia history by offering lectures, seminars, conferences, and consulting services; publishing teacher resource materials; conducting teacher training and re-certification workshops; arranging school and general group tours; supporting scholarly research through endowed fellowships & minority internships; maintaining a museum of changing, permanent & traveling exhibitions; operating a research library and a publications program that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 100 years. We are equally dedicated to the care and preservation of our collections, and have an in-house paper conservation lab that employs the latest equipment, procedures, and standards.
  1. We remain committed to developing innovative models and exemplary partnership with educators and schools around the state and nation.  This year we initiated Primarily Virginia, an online teachers institute, which is delivered via HistoryConnects.  Each thirteen-week institute highlights the collections of the VHS and the Library of Congress while emphasizing both primary-source learning and historical inquiry.  Additionally, our two week-long Story of Virginia Teachers Institute provided sixty teachers from across the state with a challenging and intensive study of themes in Virginia history as illustrated through VHS collections.
  2. Work was completed on our three-year project to clean and conserve Charles Hoffbauer's Memorial Military Murals, depicting the Confederacy during spring, summer, autumn, and winter "seasons" of the American Civil War.  Painted between 1913 and 1920, the murals represent one of the few large-scale pieces of Civil War artwork on public view in the country.
  3. We awarded forty fellowships for general research, women's history and gender studies, and business and economic history to visiting scholars, representing eighteen U. S. states, Washington DC, England, Scotland, and Wales.
  4. The VHS proudly hosted the Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle film series. The four documentary films, Slavery by Another Name, The Loving Story, Freedom Riders, and The Abolitionists, were used to encourage communities to examine the changing meaning of freedom and equality in contemporary American society.  This free film series was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  5. An eighteenth-century recipe for home-brewed beer found within the VHS collection inspired Ardent Craft Ales of Richmond to brew a small batch beer at its brewery located not far from the VHS headquarters.  The release of this experimental brew, History on Tap: Jane's Percimon Beer, took place on December 9 and included a special tasting, along with commentary about the history of beer-making in the commonwealth.  This program is another example of how the VHS can put history in the current moment.
As we move towards 2015, our goals include:
  1. Eliminate any fees associated with educational programs for school field trips and in-class outreach programs for all public, private, and home schools.
  2. Reopen our renovated galleries, including our flagship exhibition, The Story of Virginia, and present the nationally touring exhibition Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.
  3. Complete and debut Virginia Voices, the first state-specific, crowd-sourced film of its kind.  This modern historical documentary is woven from video submissions of Virginia residents and in expected to premiere in late July 2015.
  4. Seek beneficial partnerships with other local and national organizations dedicated to promoting cultural awareness and programmatic excellence to help people of all ages develop an appreciation and interest in history, the arts, and humanities.



1. Additional Endowment: $20,000,000
2. Underwrite Free Admission: $60,000 annually
3. Conservation of Collections: $250,000
4. Youth Education Fund: $30,000 annually

Although a private, non-profit institution, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is unique in that it is the Official State Historical Society of Virginia. The nature of our comprehensive collection allows us to interpret broad themes in Virginia history spanning all centuries of the state’s history, all geographical regions, and all socioeconomic groups. We are the only Southern member of the prestigious Independent Research Libraries Association. Our educational programs for the public, teachers, and schoolchildren have reached all of the state’s counties and cities. We host an extensive website on the Internet ( and our catalog of collections records is now online. In recognition of the high standards of museum professionalism and our success in the advancement of our mission, the American Association of Museums awarded accreditation to the VHS in 1998 and again in 2008. In the course of its 182-year history, the Society has reinvented itself numerous times in order to survive and serve an ever widening public.

Maintaining the momentum of the last two decades and continuing to expand the ways we fulfill our mission are key initiatives as we set the course for our institution in the 21st century.



CEO Statement
If you've seen the VHS in the last few weeks, you know that we have a big project underway.  This time we're not making the building much larger, but we're trying to make it a better place to visit and a much-improved setting for the programs that so many enjoy.  The project we just began came after the result of almost five years of planning and evaluation.  Our board and staff went through a long and thoughtful process to identifying goals and priorities for the society's next decade or so.  In the end, we decided to create new and improved spaces largely within our existing footprint.  It's going to be a great finished product.
Board Chair Statement
Every two year, the trustees of the Virginia Historical Society elect a new chairman of the board.  I am blessed to be honored with that trust for 2014 and 2015.  It is my good fortune to become chairman as we announce the public phase of our $38-million Story of Virginia Campaign.  The contractors are now on site at our Boulevard headquarters, and the work has begun! Led by our president, Dr. Paul Levengood, the VHS staff is hard at work creating wonderful new educational programs, exhibitions, and online initiatives to take place in the marvelously renovated spaces that will result from this construction.  Look for great things from us over the next year and half.  All of these efforts will enable us to share more fully the rich inheritance of which we are stewards.
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 Historical Society is located in Richmond, VA, but we have members in all fifty states as well as nearly a dozen different countries.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. E. Claiborne Robins Jr.
Company Affiliation President & CEO-E.C. Robins International, Inc.
Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2015
Board CoChair
Board CoChair W. Taylor Reveley III
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. George F. Albright Jr.JP Morgan Private Bank
Mr. Thomas N. Allen Chairman, The Clovelly Corporation
Mr. H. Furlong Baldwin Former Chairman, Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Company
Mr. J. Stewart Bryan IIIChairman, Medica General, Inc.
Mr. Harry F. Byrd IIISenseny South Corporation
Mr. Charles L. Cabell Partner, Williams Mullen
Mr. Herbert A. Claiborne IIICarpenter Company
Mr. Cordel L. Faulk Director of Admissions, University of Virginia School of Law
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
Mr. Gary M. Gore Managing Director-Mid-Atlantic Regional Executive U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Ms. Nancy H. Gottwald Community Volunteer
Mr. Conrad M. Hall Dominion Enterprises
Mr. Brenton S. Halsey Community Volunteer
Mr. Richard S.V. Heiman Virginia Historical Society
Mr. Landon Hilliard Brown Brothers Harriman & Company
Ms. Anna L. Lawson Valley Bank
Dr. Paul A. Levengood Virginia Historical Society
Dr. John R. Nelson Executive Vice President $ Chief Technology Officer, Altria Group, Inc.
Mr. Grady W. Powell Retired pastor, Gillfield Baptist Church
Mr. E. Claiborne Robins Jr.E.C. Robins International
Mr. Josiah P. Rowe IIIFree Lance-Star Publishing Compnay
Ms. Pamela Kiecker Royall Royall & Company
Mr. Thomas G. Snead Retired President/CEO-WellPoint, Inc., Southeast Region
Ms. Carole M. Weinstein Vice Chairman, 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 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 26
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 23
Female 5
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 95
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Dr. Paul A. Levengood
A native of Philadelphia, Paul A. Levengood received his BA from Davidson College in 1993, his MA from Rice University in 1997, and his Ph.D. in history from Rice University in 1999. He arrived at the VHS in 2000, taking up duties as the associate editor of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. In 2002 he earned promotion to managing editor of the VMHB. In 2005 he added program coordinator of the Reynolds Business History Center to his responsibilities.  In May 2008, Dr. Levengood became president-elect and CEO-elect of the Virginia Historical Society, to succeed Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr., on his retirement in November 2008.
Under Dr. Levengood's leadership the VHS has continued to grow its collections and produce award-winning exhibitions such as An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia.  As we move into 2012, the VHS is reinventing our signature exhibit Story of Virginia, with a focus on telling all the stories of Virginia.
Former CEOs
Dr. Charles F. Bryan Jr.Jan 1988 -
Senior Staff
Richard S. V. Heiman Vice President for Operations
Dr. Nelson D. Lankford Vice President for Programs
Pamela R. Seay Vice President for Institutional Advancement
E. Lee Shepard Vice President for Collections
Full Time Staff 63
Part Time Staff 12
Volunteers 90
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2007
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
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).
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
Description The Virginia Historical Society serves the community as a resource for accessing and understanding our state and national history.  We accomplish this task with our museum of changing and permanent exhibitions; a research library; as an educational resource for students, teachers, and lifelong learners; and through our in-house publications. The museum serves as an educational and cultural resource for anyone interested in Virginia's history and its role in the American experience. The VHS also has a research library that offers one of the most comprehensive collections of Virginia history in existence, and a quarterly publication, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, that has continued uninterrupted for more than 100 years, and public lectures during the day and evening hours. Our education department works with schools and students across the state. Our collections include 10 million manuscripts; 150,000 books (15,000 of which are rare); nearly 5,000 maps; 1,200 newspaper titles and 300 serials; more than 4,000 pieces of sheet music; more than 1,000 paintings; 200,000 photographs; and more than 25,000 museum objects including textile, silver, furniture, and weaponry. Permanent exhibitions include: "The Story of Virginia, an American Experience," "The War Horse," "Heads and Tales," "Four Seasons of the Confederacy: Murals by Charles Hoffbauer," "Arming the Confederacy," "Making the Confederate Murals," and "Virginia Manufactory of Arms." Our website address is: and our collections catalog is available online.We offer free admission to all of our exhibitions, both permanent and changing, as well as our library, every day we are open to the public (Tuesday through Sunday). We made the decision to eliminate admission fees in 2010 as a testament to our commitment to make history accessible to everyone. No family, student, or up-and-coming historian is ever turned away from our doors for lack of funds.
Budget $60,000.00
Long Term Success The VHS has made great strides in its partnerships under the US Deparment of Education's "Teaching American History" initiative. Through these various collaborations, we have completed a total of seventeen projects, serving thirty-seven school systems across the state.
Description The Youth Education Fund supports our annual operating budget by specifically funding all our educational activities- both on and off site. The Youth Ed Fund underwrites field trips for students across the commonwealth as well as pre-tour materials for teachers. These field trips are especially popular when classes are preparing for their Standards of Learning (SOL) examinations in History and Social Studies. By eliminating the nominal admission fee ($2.50 per student for group tours), the Youth Ed Fund ensures that all students, regardless of district and family income, have equal access to our exhibits and can enjoy the fun and excitement of a field trip. Additionally, the Youth Ed Fund underwrites outreach to classrooms across Virginia---to schools that are so far from our headquarters building in Richmond as to make field trips cost and time prohibitive. We remedy the distance by traveling to schools with "history boxes" full of touchable artifacts to bring history to life in the classroom. The Youth Education Fund makes all of this possible at no cost to students, their parents, teachers, or school districts.
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 “We’ll 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
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $6,291,000.00
Projected Expenses $6,291,000.00
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 Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$224,163$383,309
Individual Contributions$10,480,721$5,903,372$3,345,318
Investment Income, Net of Losses$6,444,544$6,740,111$572,928
Membership Dues$256,855$239,389$242,819
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind--$2,150,369$43,018
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$6,055,525$6,032,150$5,898,253
Administration Expense$1,236,147$1,236,213$852,015
Fundraising Expense$784,493$732,408$846,616
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.292.040.69
Program Expense/Total Expenses75%75%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%11%23%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$97,166,968$86,311,595$78,830,474
Current Assets$6,737,626$4,194,414$9,022,828
Long-Term Liabilities$4,660,525$4,858,384$5,034,523
Current Liabilities$1,701,317$1,055,577$1,696,902
Total Net Assets$90,805,126$80,397,634$72,099,049
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.963.975.32
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets5%6%6%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose The Story of Virginia Campaign will help us renew and maximize our existing physical space so that we are able to display ever more of our collections, host more and larger groups in our classrooms, lecture halls, and public spaces and build capacity behind-the-scenes so that we can continue to preserve and curate the historical items and artifacts entrusted to our care. The Story of Virginia campaign will open our facility, our collections, and our expertise to an even wider audience. The goal, however, remains the same: collect, preserve and interpret Virginia's past for future generations.
Goal $38,000,000.00
Dates Jan 2009 to Dec 2015
Amount Raised To Date $34,540,724.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2014View
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and audit prepared by Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves.
  • Financial analysis performed with audit.