Specially designed for delivery at your location, these lectures are available at your site or ours! Investigate the past with these engaging hands-on programs based on the History Center’s extensive collection of photographs and primary sources.
Whether viewing vintage movies of Richmond’s streetcars, handling artifacts from Virginia’s Indians, seeing images from downtown theaters or hearing Fred Astair sing “Top Hat,” our programs allow participants to take a trip down memory lane.
Length: 1 hour
Available at your site
Cost: $75 per program
A Tale of Two Stores: Miller & Rhoads and Thalhimers
This program revisits the glory days of two of Richmond’s former department stores. Using some of the earliest images of both stores, the program discusses how they expanded through most of the 20th century. While listening to music from the time period, participants can reminisce about the heyday of shopping on Broad Street and visiting with Legendary Santa and Snow Bear.
Fall Line City History
Participants explore Richmond’s history from early settlement until the 20th Century through paintings, lithographs and photographs. They discuss how and why Richmond grew in this location and the city’s reliance on the James River.
From Mansion to Museum: The Wickham House
Using photographs, participants take a virtual tour of the historic home of John and Elizabeth Wickham. This unique house is decorated in the neoclassical style, and the detailed wall paintings, furnishings, carpets and architectural details exemplify ancient Greece and Rome. The program also covers the home’s use as the original building of the Valentine Museum and the restoration of the house to the period of the 1820s.
The Great Depression
Participants explore life in Richmond during the Great Depression, in the context of the national story through photographs. The program includes excerpts from radio broadcasts, music from the 1920s and 1930s, and a WPA video.
Growth of a Modern City
This program examines how Richmond has changed from the mid 20th Century to the present and the economic factors that contributed to these changes. Through photographs, participants explore the demolition of buildings and neighborhoods to make way for progress, the building of the highway through Richmond, the move to the suburbs and more. The presentation also includes a General Motors video produced in the 1950s called “New Horizons” about the city of tomorrow.
Hold on to Your Hat
Through photographs, participants view various hat styles from the late 1800s through the present; from top hats to fedoras, cloches to Sara Sue’s creations. Participants guess what a person’s job might be based on the hat they are wearing in the image. The program concludes with a chance for participants to make and decorate their own paper hat.
Hop a Trolley to the Park
Participants learn about the history of Richmond’s electric streetcar system and the parks at the end of the lines. Images begin with the original horse-drawn trolleys, then the laying of the tracks, and trolleys from different time periods. The many amusements at Forest Hill Park, Lakeside Park, Idlewood Park and more also are pictured. The program concludes with a video of the trolley parade that occurred on the last day that streetcars ran in Richmond.
Invitation to a Fancy Dress Ball
Participants view images from fancy dress or costume balls from the late 19th century. Images show the lavish costumes worn by guests at certain notable balls along with prints from the most popular fashion magazines of the day.
Please Enjoy the Show
Through images from the History Center’s collection, participants examine the history of Richmond’s theaters. Participants begin their discussion with the 1811 Richmond theater fire; explore Richmond’s early theaters, vaudeville, movies, dinner theater and much more.
This program explores the lives of the Eastern Woodlands Indians through drawings made by the early European settlers, historic photographs and images of modern interpreters. This hands-on program allows participants to handle authentic reproduction tools, clothing, and instruments during the discussion. The program concludes with participants creating their own traditional coiled clay pot.
Richmond in Gray: Photographs from the American Civil War
Participants delve into the War Between the States through the History Center’s extensive collection of Civil War photographs. Images include Fort Sumter, Richmond views, famous generals, prisons, hospitals and more.
Richmond in Focus Part I: 1850-1930
This program highlights some of the History Center’s most well-known and interesting photographs. Images show early historic views of the city, businesses, famous Richmonders, important events, recreation and much more.
Richmond in Focus Part II: 1930-present
Through images, participants journey through Richmond during the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1970s through the modern day. This program includes some of the History Center’s most iconic and interesting photographs.
Rosie the Riveter
Participants explore the World War II Homefront through images from Richmond and the nation. Topics included are women in the workforce, rationing, propaganda, children, advertising and much more. This program includes music from the period, radio announcements, excerpts from speeches and a video about women in the workforce narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Segregation & Integration
This program explores the realities of segregation and Jim Crow in the Greater Richmond area. Images depict the Civil Rights movement in Richmond, the desegregation of Richmond’s schools and facilities and the legacy of the movement. The program includes video footage from the arrest of the Richmond 34.
Snapshots: Early Photography of Richmond
Through images from the History Center’s collection, participants learn about the history of photography. From the early daguerreotypes to the three-dimensional images produced using stereo cards in the stereoscope, this program uses some of the more fun and unique images to explore this topic.
Groups of 10 or more can arrange special guided tours of the Wickham house (1812), a National Historic Landmark and one of the History Center’s greatest treasures.
Galleries are self-guided and contain a variety of exhibits.
Our tours can be customized to fit an individual group’s need, or the group can select from a variety of existing tours.