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Meet the Staff: Lizzie Oglesby

09/30/2014

From answering phone inquiries to photographing new acquisitions, the staff at the VHS have a wide range of talents that help make our collections accessible to the world. Who are the talented men and women of the VHS? In a series of “Meet the Staff” blog posts, we will introduce you to the people who work behind the scenes to collect, preserve, and interpret Virginia history.

 

Meet the Staff - Lizzie Oglesby, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing

What is your job title?

Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing

When did you begin working at the VHS?

I began working at the VHS on March 21, 2012.

What are your job duties?

My job duties include:

  • advancing the mission of the VHS by promoting programs, events, and exhibitions, and by developing public relations, marketing, communications, advertising, and social media strategies
  • dealing directly with media outlets and sources, both seeking publicity for the VHS and responding to inquiries for images and information
  • protecting and maintaining the integrity of the VHS in all endeavors related to publicity

How did you become interested in history?

I became interested in history and my family’s genealogy when I first studied Virginia history in third grade. I wanted to know how my ancestors came to Virginia. I still have old drawings of family trees I sketched at my grandparents’ house when I was a little girl and scraps of paper on which I recorded names of long-gone relatives that my grandmother recited to me during car trips on family vacations. As I grew up, I became interested in art history, which I studied extensively to write my MFA thesis in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

A family tree that I drew in 1992, illustrating my Grandma Katie's side of the family.

A family tree that I drew in 1992, illustrating my Grandma Katie’s side of the family.

What is the favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is meeting new people every day and sharing with them my enthusiasm for Virginia history and tourism.

What has been your most memorable moment at the VHS?

There have been many memorable moments at the VHS, but my favorite memories are of the annual members-only Garden Party. It is my favorite event of the year. I love to dress up and see all of our members enjoying themselves at Virginia House.

At the annual Garden Party with two of my favorite VHS members, Jim Browder and Billy Beville.

At the annual Garden Party with two of my favorite VHS members, Jim Browder and Billy Beville.

What is your favorite item in your office? Why?

My favorite item in my office is a vintage cat statue that has been passed around the VHS for many years and was given to me by a cat-loving colleague.

Meet the Staff, Lizzie Oglesby, cat statue in office

Graham, the cat, watches over my office.

What is your favorite collection piece at the VHS?

My favorite piece in the VHS collection is the portrait of Winnie Davis. There are many beautiful and important portraits in the VHS collection, but no other portrait is more striking to me.

Portrait of Varina Anne (Winnie) Davis. (VHS accession number: 1946.219)

Portrait of Varina Anne (Winnie) Davis, by John P. Walker. Courtesy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Virginia Division. On deposit at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS accession number: 1946.219)

What is your favorite historical period?

My favorite historical period is the time of the greatest generation. I love everything about the 1940s, especially the music. I feel that I understand that time period more deeply than any other by simply having known and loved my grandparents.

Collage of family photos from WWII, including images of Lizzie's grandparents: Audrey and Ben Eppes and Katie and Bucky Harris.

Collage of family photos from WWII, including images of my grandparents: Audrey and Ben Eppes and Katie and Bucky Harris.

What are you hobbies?

My hobbies include documenting my life through photography and film, collecting and categorizing old family photographs and postcards, corresponding by letters and cards to friends and family, and participating in alumni activities and fundraising for St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Va., and Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

If you did not work at the VHS, what would you be doing?

If I did not work at the VHS, I would buy a winning lottery ticket and plan a trip around the globe. I would visit every great museum in the world.

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