Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Norfolk Museum of Natural History Papers, undated | Special Collections and University Archives

By Compiled by Jay Gaidmore, June 1999. Revised by Mel Frizzell, January 2003

Collection Overview

Title: Norfolk Museum of Natural History Papers, undated

ID: 00/MG 66

Primary Creator: Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (Va.) (1924-)

Extent: 0.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 02/01/1989

Subjects: Museums--Virginia--Norfolk, Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century, Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (Va.), Norfolk Museum of Natural History

Languages: English

Abstract

Includes 144 photographs that depict the museum’s exhibits, staff, special functions, and activities.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Norfolk Museum of Natural History Collection includes 144 undated photographs that depict the museum's exhibits, staff, special functions, and activities.

Collection Historical Note

Ideas for a Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences were originated in 1900 by the Leache-Wood alumnae who formed the Irene Leache Art Association in 1915 and the Norfolk Society of Arts in 1917. The site for the museum was reserved by the city in 1917. The museum was chartered in 1924. In 1932 and 1939, the museum was actually built. One wing was built first, and the other later.

In May of 1952, the Tidewater Natural History Council formed. It developed rapidly as part of the museum, and sponsored lecture and exhibit programs. The program worked well with the existing Tidewater history collection in the museum, and sought to become a permanent exhibit complete with specimens indigenous to the Tidewater area. In 1953, a public gallery containing shadow boxes and dioramas of local wildlife and wildlife habitats was installed in the museum. In particular, the exhibits highlighted life on the local seashores and in the Dismal Swamp.

By the end of 1954, a group of annual contributors known as the "Natural History Associates" was formed to help fund the museum's Natural History Division. With funding, the Natural History Council began to produce a Natural History newsletter, and informative booklets for schools and clubs.

The Natural History Division of the museum was active throughout the end of the 1950's and throughout the 1960's. It had both live and stuffed animal displays, and held classes and field trips on archaeology, botany, and ecology. In 1970, the future looked promising for the division, as the Natural Sciences Section was reestablished as a permanent part of the museum's organization.

In 1971, the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences became the Chrysler Museum of Art when art collector, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., presented the museum with his collection. The Natural Sciences and History functions of the museum were phased out around this time, as part of the museum's reorganization.

Subject/Index Terms

Museums--Virginia--Norfolk
Norfolk (Va.)--History--20th century
Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (Va.)
Norfolk Museum of Natural History

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 Hollinger document box

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Dr. Alan H. Savitsky, Professor of Biology at Old Dominion University

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession #89-5

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Norfolk Museum of Natural History Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[All]

Box 1
Folder 1: Skeletons
Folder 2: The Sun and Moon
Folder 3: Nature Drawings
Folder 4: Visitors to the Museum
Folder 5: The Classroom
Folder 6: Nature Trips
Folder 7: Carving, Sculpting Stone
Folder 8: Miscellaneous (I)
Folder 9: Miscellaneous (II)
Folder 10: Mounted Photographs
Folder 11: Negatives

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