The central mission of the Petersburg Museums is to promote a better understanding of Petersburg's history to residents, scholars and tourists. By collecting artifacts, documents and photographs related to Petersburg's history, the staff of the Petersburg Museums is ensuring the preservation of its material culture for future generations.
Several collections from the Museums are highlighted below. For research inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (804) 733-2427. Due to staff limitations appointments must be made for research.
The William E. Lum, Jr. Image Collection
William E. Lum, Jr. operated a photography studio in Petersburg from 1929 until 1951. During this time, he shot images of city life representing a wide spectrum of subject matter. In 1992, a collection of approximately 22,000 negatives was donated to the Petersburg Museums by Lum's heirs. The images provide an astounding record of community life during this time, recording businesses, buildings, streetscapes, high school and college activities, community sports events, military life, charitable organizations, factories, industries and agricultural life.
In the spring of 2003, the Petersburg Museums received a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to duplicate the most fragile negatives in the collection onto a more stable film medium. Matching grant funds will be used to house the negatives in refrigerators and to begin cataloging the collection in a database.
Blandford School Classroom, May 30, 1946 From the William E. Lum Jr. Image Collection, Petersburg Museums.
George Brasfield and Company From the William E. Lum Jr. Image Collection, Petersburg Museums.
Manufacturing Electric Blankets
May 29, 1946.
Photographs and Postcards
In addition to the Lum Image Collection, the Petersburg Museums have approximately 2,000 photographs and 150 postcards in its archives. Dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the images depict buildings, Appomattox River scenes, Civil War sites and scenes and individuals associated with Petersburg's history.
Postcard of the Petersburg Harbor, ca. 1908
The Petersburg Museums' archives housed feature a wide variety of eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century material relating to Petersburg's history. The most requested resources include city directories dating from the last quarter of the nineteenth through the twentieth century. Bound newspapers dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offer a record of events, people and places. Architectural blueprints and plans provide a record of Petersburg's built environment. The archives are open by appointment only, for more information call (804) 733-2427 or email email@example.com
Architectural Blueprint of Centre Hill façade
with proposed renovations
Henry Brauns, Architect
The Petersburg Museums actively collect artifacts and other memorabilia relating to Petersburg's history. While portions of the collection are exhibited at Blandford Church Visitors' Reception Center, Centre Hill Museum, and the Siege Museum, the remainder of the collection is in storage. These collections are utilized for temporary exhibits and are made available to researchers by appointment. For further information call the Curator of Collections at (804) 733-2427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.