Bible Belonging to D-Day Soldier and "Bedford Boy" John Schenk Honored as Part of the Top 10 Endangered Artifact Program.




Richmond, VA - The Virginia Association of Museums ( announced today the 2014 honorees of Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts,a program designed to create awareness about the importance of preserving artifacts in the care of collecting institutions such as museums, historical societies, libraries and archives throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia.

Below is the list of the Top 10 Honorees and their artifact names and locations. In addition is the 'People's Choice' Honoree that received the most votes during the program's online voting competition. Click here for a complete list of the 2014 Honorees with media contacts for each of the 11 organizations recognized. Click here for a complete list of the artifacts' descriptions and threats. Images are available upon request.


Anne Spence House and Garden Museum
Handmade Mosaic Tile by Artist Amaza Lee Meredith
Lynchburg, VA (Central Virginia)

Archeological Society of Virginia
Virginia's Oldest Batteau
Charles City, VA (Central Virginia)

Danville Historical Society
General Store Ledger, 1798
Danville, VA (Southern Virginia)

George C. Marshall Foundation
D-Day Landing Map
Lexington, VA (Shenandoah Valley)

Manassas Museum System
Liberia House Civil War Graffiti
Manassas, VA (Northern Virginia)

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Portrait Miniature of Thomas Boyle Campbell (1796-1858)
Winchester, VA (Shenandoah Valley)

National D-Day Memorial
John Schenk's New Testament Bible carried with him on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944
Bedford, VA (Central Virginia)

Ordnance Training and Heritage Center
Skeleton Tank
Fort Lee, VA (Central Virginia)

Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center
Chief Paul Miles' Regalia
King William, VA (Chesapeake Bay)

Rockbridge Historical Society
War of 1812 Cavalry Helmet - Rockbridge Dragoons
Lexington, VA (Shenandoah Valley)


Salem Museum and Historical Society
Preston Papers
Salem, VA (Shenandoah Valley)


Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a project of theVirginia Association of Museums. This public outreach campaign for collections care was launched in 2011 with support from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Following three successful years of building awareness for over 60 organizations and their artifacts located across Virginia and DC, the Top 10 has inspired numerous positive outcomes such as pairing donors with artifacts in need of conservation support, new volunteers discovering museums, and grantors rewarding organizations for their stewardship. Eleven artifacts have been conserved and more continue to be. While the results of public voting was a factor in the final decision, the list of "Top 10" honorees was selected by an independent review panel of collections and conservation experts from the Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, as well as an independent conservator.

Learn about the Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program at




Bedford, Virginia--The National D-Day Memorial nominated the Bible belonging to Bedford Boy John Schenk to the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifact competition. The Bible was gifted to John by his step-mother, Rose Lewis Schenk, prior to the D-Day invasion. Assigned to the 29th Division, 116th Regiment, Company A, Ssgt. John Schenk landed in the first wave of the assault on Omaha Beach at 0630 with 34 young soldiers from Bedford, Virginia. In his pocket, he carried this Bible—a physical connection to his family an ocean away—when he became part of the largest amphibious invasion in history along the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944.

It is imperative to conserve artifacts such as Schenk’s Bible, according to Felicia Lowrance, Education Coordinator for the National D-Day Memorial. “Historical pieces such as this create tangible connections to our shared past. This Bible represents millions of family members and friends who would inevitably cheer the news of the successful invasion or grieve at the loss of loved one.”

Ivylyn Schenk, had no idea her husband, John, lay buried on the beaches of Normandy when she composed her daily letter on June 25, 1944. She wrote “John, my darling. Well, it has been twenty-two months since we were married. It has seemed very long, and yet, unbelievably short in duration… the only constant thing about it is that I continue to love and appreciate you more and more each day.” At the time of this writing, her beloved husband was one of more than 4,000 Allied soldiers who had sacrificed their lives on D-Day to secure freedom for generations beyond their own.

The Foundation is delighted to be selected for this preservation initiative conducted by the Virginia Association of Museums. Schenk’s Bible is currently housed in a climate-controlled environment to help protect from further deterioration. “We are concerned with the conservation of this piece and ensuring that it is preserved to tell the story of the Bedford Boys and D-Day for future generations,” Lowrance said.

The Virginia Top 10 Endangered Artifact competition highlights unique artifacts throughout Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area. The program addresses the national recommendations of the Heritage Health Index Report to raise public funding and awareness of the importance of collections care.  #vatop10





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