The Fairfield Foundation Selected for Circuit Riders Project

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The Fairfield Foundation is one of 10 institutions in Virginia selected to participate in a statewide project designed to help improve care of collections for museums, libraries and archives.

The Fairfield Foundation in Gloucester, Va. is dedicated to archaeology, preservation and education.

The Fairfield Foundation has been selected to participate in a statewide project designed to help improve care of collections for museums, libraries and archives.

The Gloucester, Va.-based non-profit is among 10 institutions in Virginia selected to participate in the project, sponsored by the Virginia Association of Museums, the Library of Virginia, and the Department of Historic Resources, and free to participating institutions.

The program is funded by a “Connecting to Collections” statewide implementation grant awarded to the Virginia Association of Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Designed to help small museums and libraries across Virginia improve collections care, the project involves an on-site visit to the Fairfield Foundation’s archaeology lab by a needs assessment team of museum and library professionals.

This team recently spent a half-day reviewing the Fairfield Foundation and its collections. Soon they will send a report recommending steps the institution can take to help improve collections care over the next two years, with suggested resources to help accomplish them.

The collections curated by the Fairfield Foundation are predominantly archaeological in nature (i.e., artifacts), but the Foundation also has a responsibility, need, and desire to curate associated historical primary documents and associated modern documents, such as field notes, photographs, and other paperwork.

The biggest collections challenges at present are two-fold: the proper care, storage, and maintenance of these diverse resources, and the presentation and display of the collections.

The Circuit Rider visit will help address a more long-term need for the Foundation: a vision for the transfer, curation, storage, and display of artifact and document collections into the Middle Peninsula’s new Center for Archaeology, Preservation, and Education (CAPE).

Located in the restored Edge Hill Service Station on Main Street in Gloucester, the new Center will house a number of archaeological collections, as well as revolving displays and a working archaeology lab.

The CAPE aims to keep history alive by helping students, property owners, educational institutions, and local governments preserve and learn from their historical resources, to ensure they survive for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The advice and recommendations from the Circuit Rider visit will be crucial as the Foundation transfers its collections and activities to the new facility where they can best fulfill the CAPE vision.

The community and visitors can visit the current Fairfield Foundation lab, located in the Rosewell Visitor Center, to view the collections and learn how the Circuit Riders project will impact the Foundation.

The lab is open on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. for lab night, and at other times by appointment.

For more information email Fairfield(at)fairfieldfoundation(dot)org or visit

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Stephanie Heinatz
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