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“A good, mostly fair, overview of Virginia history” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Virginia Historical Society

Virginia Historical Society
428 North Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23221
+1 804-358-4901
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Ranked #15 of 158 things to do in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: For more than 180 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been connecting people to America's past through the unparalleled story of Virginia. The VHS-a history museum and research library-features award winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. The Society is the only museum with all of Virginia's history under one roof-all centuries, all regions, and all topics are covered. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. The VHS is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond's Museum District. Admission is free. Galleries closed for renovation (Library and shop open Monday-Saturday 10 a.M.-5 P.M.
Fairfax, Virginia
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“A good, mostly fair, overview of Virginia history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This museum is better than what you might expect from an institution generally acting as a local booster in the past. There is a great deal of coverage of the many years of Virginia history with some interesting artifacts from the various eras, including many from the early part of the twentieth century, such as old cars and trolleys, which may bring back childhood memories for some. The slave era and the Civil War are not ignored though a more vivid description could be given of the suffering caused black people by the slave system. The descriptions that accompany the exhibits on slavery use mild language indeed when you consider that the system completely deprived its victims of their freedom and family life. The Civil War exhibits are interesting though they do suffer from the old Southern proclivity to imply that that the Lost Cause lost the war because there were twice as many Union soldiers on their side compared to what the Confederacy had available as well as that Grant was so willing to sacrifice lives. There is no mention of that fact that some Union generals, such as Phil Sheridan, were simply better than their Confederate opponents. The museum does acknowledge that a great many former slaves served in the Union forces while just a handful served for the Confederacy, which is a refreshing statement rarely made in non-federal government exhibits in the South.

Visited January 2013
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70 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Chuckey, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fabulous! Must go back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

I went on search for some family history and was expecting to find only a library. What an incredible fnd this was. Just fabulous and I didn't allot enough time for this trip. Anyone with school aged children would certainly want to bring them to this. But, we are seniors and were delighted at learning about this history of Virginia, which is nearly the history of all of us. Just so beautifully displayed and well done. I can't imagine us having such a wonderful place in Tennessee. It's really one of the best and so lucky for Virginians to have this jewel. Kudos to those who had the foresight to establish this and fund it. Just incredible.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Surprisingly, if you don't know”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Richmond is underestimated. Richmond is never the place to tour. If you are not a history buff, Richmond might be boring to you. But you might surprise yourself, Richmond is truly rich in history. What Richmond has, Williamsburg does not have. If your destination is always Virginia Beach because of the beach and tan, I think you should know some history at least and Virginia Historical Society is a wonderful place to awaken that curiosity. VHS is a nutshell, it wraps everything you need to know about the Civil War and more. I thought I would not find Richmond interesting and I only think about Virginia Beach but to my surprise, Richmond really has more to offer than I ever thought. I'm glad because of my exploration sense, we went in to this important museum of Virginia. It's truly worth a trip. VHS is Highly recommended. Come in and know yourself.

Visited January 2013
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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Take your kids!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

This place is great! In particular, the portion of the building that shows the progression of Virginia through history. I have been working in a 4th grade classroom in Virginia for the past few months and I was blown away by how awesome this would be for the kids to see. Everything I saw was either relevant to the Virginia SOLs or something fun/engaging. This is an excellent place for kids to go along with adults. Only thing I wish was different was I was confused on who was working and who was a visitor. I would like to have talked to someone and gotten some information rather than just wandered the entire time.

Visited December 2012
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Tampa Bay, Florida
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“A Must See For Virginia and American History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

I spent a wonderful afternoon at the outstanding Virginia Historical Society exploring both their museum and their genealogical records. The story of Virginia is at the heart of the story of America and the exhibits tell the story in a visually appealing way. From the Woodson Rifle, one of the oldest historical artifacts of American History, to the story of the Revolutionary War and the War of Northern Aggression, the Society has done a remarkable job telling our story, with the setting in a beautiful, clean, spacious facility. The staff is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The genealogical library features many collections pertaining to old Virginia families.

I highly recommend the Virginia Historical Society to anyone with an interest in our American heritage. I can't wait to return.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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