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Museum needs your votes to preserve registry

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Wilderness Road Regional Museum (WRRM) holds a wealth of artifacts that provide insight into rural life in Virginia’s early days. Unfortunately, some are too delicate to be placed on permanent display and preservation can be costly.

That’s where the public comes in. Between now and Jan. 22 your votes can help museum efforts to have one historic journal preserved so it can be placed on permanent display and available for genealogical research.

The journal, “Registry of Free Blacks 1855-1864 and Witness Book 1871-1876,” is one of 10 cultural artifacts vying for preservation awards in the annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts online competition sponsored by Virginia Association of Museums.

The 10 artifacts were selected from 30 applications based on their importance and need for conservation. A panel of conservators and exhibition care experts from Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association and Virginia Department of Historic Resources selected the final 10.

According to WRRM, its journal “offers a fascinating look at life in rural Virginia before and after the American Civil War.”

The journal is divided into two sections. The first part offers important genealogical information and physical descriptions of free blacks in Pulaski County from 1855 to 1864.

The second part documents legal proceedings in the postwar period. It offers “a glimpse into everyday life of Pulaski County and surrounding counties of Southwest Virginia,” according to WRRM’s description.

However, to qualify for funding, the journal must first receive enough public votes to be selected one of the top two endangered artifacts. The public can vote daily on their favorite artifact by visiting www.vamuseums.org/vote-2019-top-10-endangered-artifacts.

The top two “vote getters” will be recognized with People’s Choice Awards of $2,000 and $1,000 for preservation of their artifact. A total of $5,000 will be divided among the other eight museum artifacts.

This is the ninth year of Virginia Association of Museums’ campaign to create awareness of the importance of Virginia’s museums and historic sites and the historic artifacts in their care.

The “Top 10” program has benefited over 170 institutions.

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