Virginia Museum of Transportation

Historical Significance

In January 1997, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc., the official transportation museum for the Commonwealth of Virginia, invited retired and former African American employees of the Norfolk & Western Railroad to become involved in an oral history project called "African American Heritage on the Norfolk & Western Railroad:  1930 - 1970."  Seventeen former African American employees have provided oral histories that have been documented and stored in the Museum's Resource Library and Archives.  In 1999, the Museum opened a permanent exhibit about the project using vintage photographs and artifacts from the Museum's Resource Library and Archives and from the participants' private collection.  The Museum's Education Department offers two workshops for school groups that complement the exhibit.  One workshop, "African American Rail History:  Secrets of the Underground Railroad," gives the background of African American contributions before the 1930's.  The other workshop, "African American Rail History:  Speakers Bureau," is conducted by some of the participants of the oral history project.  The presentation focuses on the workers' conditions in the 1930 - 1970 time period.

Physical Description

No Physical Description Available

Geographical and Contact Information

303 Norfolk Avenue
Roanoke, Virginia
Phone: 540-342-5670
Fax: 540-342-6898

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Virginia Museum of Transportation,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed June 19, 2019,

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