Free Heritage Day Event Includes Expert Lectures, Door Prizes, and Information Tables
Hosted by Historical Societies and Research Organizations

Winchester, VA, 02/26/19…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) and Handley Library’s Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives will help those interested in researching their family histories during the ninth annual Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day event from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, at the MSV.

A free event, Heritage Day will include three expert-led lectures, door prizes from, and information tables hosted by twelve historical societies and research organizations.

According to MSV Adult Programs Coordinator Sally Meyer, the day’s activities are suitable for beginning researchers and experienced genealogists.

Heritage Day lectures will take place in the morning and afternoon. At 10:30 a.m., National Park Service Art Conservator Fran Ritchie will detail how to store, display, and preserve family heirlooms. At 1:30 p.m., genealogist Joan Wood will present “Beginning Genealogy: A Five Step Program” in the MSV Learning Center. Also at 1:30 p.m. and in the MSV Reception Hall, Library of Virginia Reference Archivist Dawn Tinnell will discuss remote access to the Library of Virginia’s collections to guide genealogists looking for information on their Virginia ancestors.

Heritage Day attendees may enter a free drawing to win prizes from the genealogy website Prizes include an annual membership to Ancestry; a subscription to, which allows people to search military family history; a one-year subscription to; and an Ancestry DNA kit.

Heritage Day information table hosts include: Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Jr. Archives; the Josephine School Community Museum; the Library of Virginia; the Newtown History Center of the Stone House Foundation; the Shenandoah County Historical Society; the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project; The Heritage Museum/Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Historical Society; the Thomas Balch Library; the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (Colonel James Wood II Chapter); the Warren Heritage Society; the Winchester VA Family History Center; and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.

Those interested in attending the lectures are encouraged to arrive early as seating is limited and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be available at the MSV Visitor Information Desk beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Lunch will be available for purchase from Chick-fil-A from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (cash sales only; see the menu here).

All Heritage Day presentations are free and admission is not required to visit the information tables or enter the day’s drawing for prizes. Admission to the MSV galleries and exhibitions is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth (age 13–18). Gallery admission is always free to MSV Members and youth ages 12 and under.

Meyers encourages Heritage Day attendees to visit the MSV Changing Exhibitions Gallery to see Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photos of Lewis Hine. Recently opened, this exhibition presents more than 60 vintage prints by acclaimed documentary photographer Lewis Hine (1874–1940), including shots of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. All works featured in Our Strength is Our People are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. The exhibition is organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions and its MSV display is funded, in part, by The Winchester Star and sponsored by Shenandoah Country Q102.

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV complex includes exhibition galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens. The galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December. Additional details are available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–