Video Blog: National Tobacco Festival

A digital story by Lydia Barnes, exploring the history of the national Tobacco Festival, which included a ball with Follies and fierce competition in the election for Tobacco Festival Queen, through a scrapbook from 1959. Read more

Video Blog: Soiree d’Elegance 1967

A digital story by Victoria Prater, detailing an event in September 1967 at Miller and Rhoads which showcased the Valentine’s costume collection, “one of Richmond’s greater assets.” Its aim was to inspire designers with the styles, fabrics, and details of Richmond’s fashion history. The event included displays of vintage fashions paired with then-contemporary clothes inspired by their designs. Read more

Video Blog: Ginter Park Women’s Club

A digital story by Diana Muggeridge about her journey of personal philosophical development, spurred by examining the 1950s scrapbook of a member of the Ginter Park Women’s Club. Read more

Video Blog: The Ammon’s Family Scrapbook

A digital story by Sarah Styslinger exploring the stories of travel, family, and personal identity found in a scrapbook compiled by a family from rural Virginia during the early 20th century.

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2015 Holiday Events at the Valentine

This media release includes information on the exhibition “Edith Shelton’s Richmond”, the 29th Annual Court End Christmas and the Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark Walking Tours.

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Sara Sue

Sara Sue Sherrill Waldbauer was Richmond’s most recognized milliner, who worked from the Amethyst Room in Miller & Rhoads department store.  The south’s largest department store, Miller & Rhoads boasted stores from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  Sara Sue created works of art from straw, silk, lace, flowers and ribbon, often acquired during her trips abroad. Richmond’s “ladies who lunch” crowd clamored for her creations, which were often inspired by Sara Sue’s travels. Read more

Video Blog: The Scrapbook of Lois Miller Gayle

A Digital Story by Miranda Rosenblum offering a documentary analysis of a scrapbook belonging to an early 20th century Richmond woman who seems to have held very independent and forward-thinking opinions. Read more

Video Blog: Newcomer’s Club Scrapbook

University of Richmond student Emily Kerwin created this video that explores a fascinating Richmond organization: the Newcomers Club of Richmond, established in 1950 in order to “promote interest in civic affairs” and “extend a friendly welcome to all newcomers to Richmond by introducing them to other newcomers and starting them on a new social life in the community.” The scrapbook featured in the video is part of a collection of records related to the Newcomers Club of Richmond that are housed in the Valentine’s Archives. Read more


According to Fashion: The Century of the Designer by Charlotte Seeling, a bustle is a pad, stuffing, or hoops serving as a base over which the rear of a skirt is draped so as to emphasize the derriere. They came into fashion about 1785, but reached the height of their popularity at the end of the Victorian Era. The bustle acted as a transitional undergarment from the bell shaped crinoline hoop skirt to the more streamlined, narrow silhouette of the Edwardian Era. Read more

Fans: Heating Things Up During the Victorian Era

While the functional use of a fan is to cool things off, during the 19th century they were more often used to heat things up. Fans were used as tools of discreet communication between the sexes, creating a social intercourse ranging from flirtatious desire to devoted love. Read more