This winter, as we prepared the building for renovations, I had the opportunity to really dig through our photograph archive. Well hidden amidst the shipwreck pictures, I found a historian’s treasure – beautiful images showing people and everyday life in Virginia Beach.

Over the years the museum has compiled a small but gorgeous collection of beach images from a variety of sources. Some came from professional photographers who worked in the area and the Coast Guard publicity office.

But more of them, and to me the most interesting ones, came from ordinary people: families of our surfmen and Coast Guardsmen, men and women who spent summers on the beach as lifeguards, and tourists who vacationed here over the years.

What do they have in common? All of these people wanted to see their stories preserved and shared with future generations. Their photographs allow us to do that.

We’re so excited to showcase them in our new exhibits. This spring, we’ll highlight images visitors have never seen before and feature individuals who have never gotten their time in the spotlight. Together with in-depth research, these photographs will offer visitors a better understanding of what’s happened on our beach and in our building.

If what I’ve described sounds a lot like photographs or home videos you have sitting in a box in your home, I encourage you to reach out to us. We would love to be a part of preserving your photographic treasures for future generations.