• David Joyce

Research Repository Reviews: The Bassett Historical Center

Research Room at the Bassett Historical Center

Research repositories can take many forms. From libraries, historical societies, courthouses, and museums, each institution you visit will have its own characteristics. Offering the opportunity to research deeds, wills, and other kinds of records, most locations offer patrons a variety of resources to look through. However, every so often, researchers come across repositories that offer them a different kind of experience. For the purposes of this article, we will explore the Bassett Historical Center in Henry County, Virginia to learn about this valuable organization.

Located in the quiet town of Bassett, this hidden gem has earned quite the reputation. Known for its large collection of genealogical material from the surrounding counties, locals have come to respect this institution. From the Kelly family of Patrick County, Virginia to the Joyces of Henry County, the friendly volunteers are more than willing to help patrons research their ancestral families. But the Bassett Historical Center offers more than documentation, it offers visitors a museum quality experience.

Over the years, they have acquired photographs, antiques, furniture, and other family heirlooms related to the families from Southwestern Virginia. Decking every wall of the building, visitors will have the chance to study these artifacts and learn about the history of the region. From the eighteenth century to the present, all eras and aspects of the surrounding counties are represented. Some examples include a saddle from the Joyces of Preston, Virginia, a large collection of photographs from various families, and Native American artifacts.

Dependent on donations from generous patrons, the mission of the Bassett Historical Center has been successful. Dedicated to assisting vistors researching their ancestors, the staff fully recognizes the role it plays in the community, and will continue to assist patrons to the best of their ability. I would suggest, however, to be prepared for a long visit since there is a vast amount of documentation to study.

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