Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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It’s official: Harris to lead James Monroe Museum

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

Word of this appointment broke over the weekend.

Here’s today’s release from the University of Mary Washington:


Fredericksburg, Va. – Scott Harris has been named director of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library in Fredericksburg. Harris, who currently serves as director of the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in New Market, Va., will begin work at the museum June 18.

He replaces John Pearce who retired after 27 years service to University of Mary Washington, including 14 years as director of the museum.

The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, located at 908 Charles Street, is owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by UMW. The largest repository of Monroe artifacts and documents, the museum is dedicated to the study, interpretation and presentation of the life and time of James Monroe.

As director, Harris will be responsible for the management of daily operations at the museum, including long range planning, fundraising, supporting research and publications, coordinating events and physical improvements.

At New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, Harris administered a 300-acre Civil War site that included a museum and a restored 19th century farm. In addition, Harris oversaw the development and implementation of long range plans, educational and interpretive programs, site promotion and public relations and capital projects.

Prior to New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, Harris served as director of historic resources for the City of Manassas and as curator of the Manassas Museum. In addition, he has worked as a consulting historian and as a historical interpreter. He also was an adjunct instructor in historic preservation at UMW and in history at Northern Virginia Community College.

Harris has served in several capacities on committees within the American Association for State and Local History, American Association of Museums, Virginia Association of Museums, Virginia Civil War Trails, Inc. and Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

In 2010, Harris was recognized for his council service by the Virginia Association of Museums. He has been named volunteer of the year by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and is a two-time award recipient of the New Market Area Chamber of Commerce President’s Award, among additional commendations.

He received a bachelor’s degree in history and historic preservation from UMW and a master’s degree in history from the College of William & Mary. In addition, he completed a training program in historical administration through a seminar co-sponsored by several historical organizations including the National Park Service and National Trust for Historic Preservation.