Meet the Staff: Caroline Legros
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.
What is your name and job title?
Caroline Legros, School Programs Coordinator
When did you begin working at the VHS?
I first started at the VHS in 2001, as a work-study student. I transitioned to my current position in 2009.
What are your job duties?
I wear a bunch of different hats in my position – most importantly, I coordinate all on-site educational programs at the VHS. Whether it’s organizing a field trip for a group of fourth grader students or making arrangements for a tour of our special exhibitions for a retirement home, I’m the person who helps visitors make the most of their visit to the VHS. I also develop and present educational programs for various audiences, and coordinate the Society’s Docent program. Lastly, I work with the Museum staff as a curator for exhibits like The Story of Virginia and Original Art.
How did you become interested in history?
I fell in love with history during my freshman year at VCU when I came to work at the VHS as a work-study student. I quickly learned my assumption that history was the rote memorization of dates was wrong; I was hooked when I discovered instead that history is more about examining the stories of people who came before me. I love finding narratives from the past that connect with my experiences as a 21st century Virginian. Visit our online Virginia History Explorer to view illustrated articles about Virginia history including past exhibitions and hidden treasures in our collections. Use the History Explorer tags to select a topic that interests you to continue your journey through Virginia’s rich history.
What is the favorite part of your job?
I love infecting my audiences with a love of history. It’s incredibly rewarding to see a group of kids light up with excitement when looking at something from our collection.
What has been your most memorable moment at the VHS?
I’ll never forget walking through the newly renovated Story of Virginia exhibition the morning it opened to the public. It was awe-inspiring to walk through the physical manifestation of years of hard work contributed by so many VHS staff members, and to see visitors interacting with an exhibition that we’d spent so much time creating.
What is your favorite item in your office? Why?
I love all the crafts that I’ve made as part of the VHS’s “Stories at the Museum” program. They remind me of the fun history-themed children’s book titles I was able to share with family audiences, and of the fantastic activities I got to work on as a part of that program.
Here are some of my favorite crafts that children have made during Stories at the Museum!
What is your favorite collection piece at the VHS?
Choosing a single piece from the millions of things at the VHS seems impossible, so I’ll cheat and list two: the diary of Elizabeth Cooley McClure, a Virginian pioneer who traveled into the West, and the eyeglasses worn by Civil Rights champion Oliver Hill.
Watch this Banner Lecture from February 6, 2015 by Margaret Edds to learn more about the life of Oliver Hill.The Letters of Oliver and Bernie Hill: The Making of a Legendary Civil Rights Lawyer by Margaret Edds from Virginia Historical Society on Vimeo.
What is your favorite historical period?
I love reading about Europe in the Middle Ages in historical fiction, and learning about Civil-Rights-era Virginia through the lens of people who lived through the Commonwealth’s major events. Visit our online Civil Rights Movement in Virginia exhibition to learn more about this time period.
What are your hobbies?
I love hiking through Richmond’s urban trails, binge-watching shows on Netflix, subjecting my husband to my cooking experiments, and reading fiction of all sorts, but I suppose my biggest hobby is gobbling up the as much of the amazing food and drink available in Richmond as I can.
If you did not work at the VHS, what would you be doing?
I’d enjoy writing about food for a living (either the dining scene or adventures in cooking) or work in the world of children’s fiction as an author or editor. Do you want to test out a few new recipes yourself? Visit the online VHS Pusey Museum Shop to see our selection of Virginia cookbooks.