Author: James M. Lindgren

professor of history at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He is the author of Preserving the Old Dominion (1993), Preserving Historic New England (1995), and many essays on historic preservation and history museums
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Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

Organized in 1889, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA), currently known as APVA/Preservation Virginia, was the nation’s first statewide historic preservation organization. Spearheaded by an elite mix of female antiquarians and their “gentlemen advisers,” it became a sanctioned instrument of conservatives who strove to counter social and political changes after the American Civil War (1861–1865) by emphasizing southern history and tradition. The APVA enshrined old buildings, graveyards, and historical sites—many of which were forlorn, if not forgotten—and exhibited them as symbols of Virginia’s identity. As the national preservation movement evolved, the APVA became less overtly political and now identifies itself as a professional organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Commonwealth’s heritage.