Lynchburg Museum Director Doug Harvey has announced he will be retiring as of next Wednesday. During his tenure, Harvey organized the reopening of the Museum in 2008 after its closure for ceiling collapse and structural issues. Harvey has had a 36-year career in Virginia museums. He and his wife plan to remain in his hometown of Lynchburg.
From the City of Lynchburg: Doug Harvey, Director of the Lynchburg Museum System since 2005, has announced that he will be retiring as of November 1. “I have had a long and gratifying career in the history field with five years teaching and 36 years in Virginia museums. It has been especially rewarding to spend the last years of my career in my home town of Lynchburg and to be here during such a rebirth for downtown and the growth in local tourism.”
After teaching History and English at Dunbar Middle School, Harvey earned a degree in historic preservation and interned at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. He then worked at the the Manassas Museum System as curator and director and helped preserve and open multiple sites that included two Civil War fortifications, a new museum, and the Jennie Dean site, a school for African Americans founded by former slave Dean. He later worked in management positions at Pamplin Historical Park, the Museum of the Confederacy, and the American Civil War Center in Richmond.
During his time in Lynchburg, Harvey coordinated the reopening of the Lynchburg Museum in 2008 which had been closed for several years due to a ceiling collapse and structural issues. Visitation for the Museum and Point of Honor grew during his tenure from approximately 8,000 visitors a year to almost 25,000. A number of new educational initiatives were instituted and Lynchburg City Schools became a partner with the Museum System, sending five grade levels of students scheduled to visit this school year.
Jennifer Jones, Director of Parks & Recreation for Lynchburg and Harvey’s supervisor noted, “Doug Harvey operated an exceptional museum system for the City of Lynchburg which included the Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor. His accomplishments are many – not the least of which is the record setting visitor attendance over the past two years.”
Harvey and his wife Debbie will stay in the Lynchburg area, and his plans include museum/historic site consulting and travel.