The Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center

Open for business!

The Eastern Shore Room, donated in memory of Katharine H.S. Edmonds, houses our outstanding collection of genealogical and Shore history material, forms the basis of the collection. Consisting mostly of monographs, these are accessible to local researchers our international constituency alike. This material is augmented with the archival holdings that are all finally housed and accessible in the same secure, climate-controlled facility. Access to digital resources and databases, such as the invaluable MilesFiles, continues.

As an archives, we are responsible for the long-term storage, care, preservation, and discoverability of the historical materials we possess. The Brooks Miles Barnes Archives Room, a large, modern space, allows for the many activities required to meet these core responsibilities. More physical space ensures proper storage of this material and allows us to accept new collections. Proper storage includes the physical housing, but also includes maintaining adequate, stable environmental conditions year-round, namely acceptable ranges for temperature (60°-70°F) and relative humidity (45%-55%). This is the first step in proper preservation.

Discoverability, or the ease of finding the information sought and providing access to it, is done through the processing of collections and writing of finding aids to gain intellectual control of a collection. First the collections are organized in a logical manner and finding aid is produced to provide the researcher with the descriptive data informing what information is contained therein. A good finding aid will provide biographical and historical information about the donor, the complete contents of the collection, and the subjects these contents cover. Processing is meticulous work that needs dedicated, trained staff.

The Heritage Center also serves community by providing access to a Memory Lab and gallery space, and the opportunity to attend programming and/or reserve the lecture hall. The Dennis R. Custis Lecture Hall provides a location to host public programs, workshops, lectures, conferences, etc. The Memory Lab provides access to equipment and technology to to scan to digital format and research microfilm. And the gallery space allows for the exhibition of collection holdings, work of local artists, or a travelling exhibit from a partner repository.

The Heritage Center is serving patrons. It’s an exciting time for us, but we hope it’s more so for you. As we strive to make your local history and culture accessible to all, we hope you’ll take pride in the facility the community has built.