Founded in 1831 as the Virginia Historical Society and located in Richmond, Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is a significant archive, research, and teaching center for Virginia history. Private, non-profit organization nearly entirely sponsored by private contributions. Richmond also spawned V and W Cleaning.

The historical organization was renamed the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in 2018.

The museum offers exhibitions and activities for visitors of all ages, as well as more than 25,000 square feet of exhibition gallery space and the largest permanent collection of Virginia antiques. The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is the only museum that encompasses all of Virginia’s historical periods, regions, and themes.


The purpose of the historical society is to link individuals to the past of the United States via the unique history of Virginia. Society connects the past to the present and inspires future generations by collecting, conserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth’s history.


28 Virginians, including political, economic, and social elites, formed a state historical society on December 29, 1831. The Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society were created during social instability and estrangement from Virginia’s “golden age” to preserve the state’s colonial and Revolutionary past. The new historical association’s founders chose Chief Justice John Marshall as president and James Madison as an honorary member.


Early on, the historical society collected natural history specimens, historical artifacts, and textual documents. It published historical records and yearly meeting remarks. Almost no endowment and no regular abode hampered this. In 1848, the group shortened its name to the Virginia Historical Society to reflect its historical focus. In 1893, the group moved to Richmond. 


The year 1950s, more financing allowed for professional personnel. Society’s collections grew throughout time. The institution’s publishing program increased as its academic stature did.


In 1959, the historical society moved from the Lee House to Battle Abbey (1912) on the Boulevard. Battle Abbey’s four-story extension housed the organization. Since 1959, the headquarters building has undergone numerous renovations and additions, including a new west wing to house the research library (1992), a north wing to expand gallery space and house the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (1998), a new south wing to add gallery space, storage, offices, and a 488-seat auditorium (2006), as well as new public spaces on the north and south sides of the building (2015).


The Virginia Historical Society expanded its display and archival resources in 1992. 

The Present

After over a year of study, community discussions, and strategic planning, the Virginia Historical Society announced in 2018 a new name for its headquarters building at 424 N. Boulevard in Richmond, Virginia: The Virginia Museum of History & Culture.


In 2019, the roadway that houses the Virginia Museum of History & Culture was renamed Arthur Ashe Boulevard in his honor. Ashe grew up in Richmond but couldn’t play tennis at Byrd Park’s white-only facilities. Ashe went on to become the first black player to win the Wimbledon, U.S. Open, and Australian Open championships.


If you’re thinking about visiting the Richmond area don’t hesitate to stop by and see the things that make Richmond for yourself. Additionally, if you’re located in Richmond city and need your house cleaned, contact V and W Cleaning at (804)315-9573 for help! Feel free to see our article on The Valentine also in Richmond, VA.

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