Event Includes Expert Lectures and Information Tables; Hosted by Genealogical and Historical Societies and Research Organizations

Winchester, VA., 01/27/14…On Saturday, February 1, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) and the Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS) will help area residents research their family histories and preserve textiles and photographs during Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day at the MSV. A free event, Heritage Day will include three presentations from research and preservation experts, and a display, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., of information tables hosted by 15 genealogical and historical societies and research organizations. Initially scheduled for January 25, Heritage Day has been rescheduled for February 1 due to the possibility of snow forecasted for January 25.

According to Rhonda Smith, MSV adult programs coordinator, the theme for this year’s Heritage Day event—“Preserving Your Family Dreams”—was developed to complement the Becoming Patsy Cline exhibition on view in the Museum’s Changing Exhibitions Gallery. Organized by the MSV with Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc. and Winchester’s Patsy Cline Historic House, the exhibition tells the singer’s Shenandoah Valley story and includes Patsy Cline’s family tree, preserved and conserved 1950s-era clothing, and rare photographs. 

Heritage Day lectures will provide direction to beginning genealogists interested in researching their family histories as well as provide expert advice to those interested in learning how to save family photographs and textiles for future generations. Throughout the day participating organizations will provide assistance with general Shenandoah Valley genealogical research.

The day’s lectures will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the presentation, “Genealogy for Beginners: 21st Century vs. 20th Century Resources,” by Charles Mason, certified genealogist and professional genealogical researcher. Mason will discuss genealogy basics, detail how researching has changed in the computer age, and describe how traditional research may still be used when modern techniques fail. Mason is past president of both the Fairfax and the Mount Vernon Genealogical Societies and is a co-host of Tracing Your Family Roots, a Fairfax Public Access Cable Channel 10 program. At 1:30 p.m. KD Kidder and Neil Steinberg, owners of Photoworks in Leesburg, Virginia, will present a slide show that illustrates photo restoration and then demonstrate how to preserve family photos and detail what options are available when saving original photos is no longer possible. Since opening Photoworks in 1979, the husband-and-wife duo has preserved or restored images that predate the Civil War including albumen prints, glass plates, tintypes, daguerreotypes, and ambrotypes. They also work with clients to repair, copy, or preserve modern photos, slides, negatives, old movies, and works of art. At 3 p.m., MSV Curator of Education Deborah Hilty will discuss the preservation of textiles. She will demonstrate how to examine, clean, store, and display textiles. Attendees will then be able to apply these techniques to the preservation of family treasures such as christening gowns, wedding attire, scout or team uniforms, and baby shoes.

Those interested in attending the lectures are encouraged to arrive early as seating is limited and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Lecture tickets will be available at the Visitor Information Desk beginning at 10 a.m.

Heritage Day information table hosts include: the Berkeley County Historical Society, the Clarke County Historical Association, the Fort Loudoun Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, the Jefferson County Historical Society, the Jefferson County Museum, the Lexington-Rockbridge Historical Society, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Shenandoah County Historical Society, the Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society, the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives (Handley Regional Library), the Thomas Balch Library, the Warren Heritage Society, and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.

All Heritage Day presentations are free and admission is not required to visit the information tables, shop in the Museum Store, or visit the Museum Café by Bonnie Blue (open 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Admission to the Museum galleries 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.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia.  The MSV complex—which includes the Museum, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum is open year-round; the gardens are open seasonally. The gardens will reopen on April 1, 2014. The house is now closed until spring of 2014 for a comprehensive preservation project. Additional information is available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.