RICHMOND, Va. - The Mariners' Museum's Confederate naval flag of the CSS Alabama and the Library of Virginia's copy of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom are among the state's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.
An independent panel of collections and conservation experts selected the artifacts as part of a program sponsored by the Virginia Association of Museums. The program was designed to create awareness of the importance of preserving artifacts throughout the state and at museums and archives in the District of Columbia.
About 190 million objects held by archives, historical societies, libraries, museums and scientific organizations in the U.S. are in need of conservation treatment, according to the Heritage Health Index study. The study was done by Heritage Preservation with funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
While the Top 10 designation doesn't come with award money, officials say the program has helped some of those named on the list apply for grants and helped with fundraising efforts.
Also on the most endangered list are: a locomotive from the early 1900s built in Richmond from the Alleghany Historical Society; a late-1800s ledger highlighting the African-American community housed at the Portsmouth Community Library and Black History Museum; the records of an African-American midwife at the Salem Museum; a horse-drawn rock wagon at the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell; a 1932 deluxe sleeping car from the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke; an 1870s era campaign rally sign from the Albemarle- Charlottesville Historical Society; a 1798 family Bible from the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk; and a collection of store sales receipts from the 1870s to 1930s at the Fairfield Foundation in Gloucester.
Officials said more than 120,000 votes were cast for the "People's Choice Awards," which included a colonial waistcoat worn by former Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood from the Wilton House Museum, along with the Alleghany Historical Society's locomotive named on the Top 10 list.
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