Eastern Shore of Va. Historical Society using grant money to go 'virtual'

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 22, 2020

ONANCOCK, Va. - More than half a million dollars in grant money is helping museums and other cultural nonprofits around Virginia stay afloat during the pandemic.

One of those is the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society.

They received $4,000 in grant money as part of the CARES Act, which was recently distributed through Virginia Humanities.

"It's huge because we're completely event and program driven," said Executive Director Hilary Hartnett-Wilson.

They don't charge people to come to the museum and all of their fundraisers for the rest of the year have been canceled.

Hartnett-Wilson says it was a quick and simple process to get the grant, which will help them complete a major project they’ve been working on.

Related: Coronavirus fund distributes more than $1 million in grants to Central Virginia organizations

"What we’re trying to move forward with is digitizing our collections, and through this pandemic it’s become more obvious than not how important 'virtual' is to museums," said Harnett-Wilson, "We’ll be able to create a virtual tour for our museum and also all of our collections and archives will be online, so it’ll be like a one-touch search, and it’ll be educational and research material for anybody that’s interested in the Eastern Shore history."

Hilary Hartnett-Wilson says they've been working on the project for a while, so they’ve already gotten about 95 percent of the collection digitized.

They’re hoping to have everything online by the end of the year or middle of next year.

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