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Museum District Association records

Identifier: M 421

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of institutional materials ranging from the 1970s to 2009 for the MDA. There are financial records, board meeting minutes and agendas, and correspondence that are generated from the daily running of the association. There is also a great deal of presidents' notes, MDA published materials and their various stages before publishing, and miscellaneous administration documents. Most zoning cases are residential with a few restaurant business included, and are primarily comprised of board member emails and member emails pertaining to each zoning case.


  • 1986 - 2000

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

The Museum District Association, also known as the West of the Boulevard Civic Association (hereafter referred to as MDA or WOBCA) was founded in 1964 to protect and advance the interests of the community. Their mission is also to realize the potential of the neighborhood so as to improve the quality of life for the residents living therein. The museum district is considered to be the areas up to but not including the south side of W. Broad Street on the north, Interstate I-195 on the west, the alley north of W. Cary Street on the south, and both sides of Boulevard from Broad Street to Idlewood Avenue on the east, within the boundaries of the City of Richmond, Virginia.

The MDA is presided over by a Board of Directors numbering between 12 and 18 individuals. There are standing committees overseeing all zoning and land use within the district, as well as committees for public safety and crime prevention, traffic control and environmental needs such as sidewalk conditions and garbage removal. According to the by-laws of the association any resident, be they leasing or owning, over the age of eighteen can become a voting member.

The neighborhood became designated as a federal and state historic district in 1993. The first Mother's Day House and Garden Tour held in 1995. The Columns, the MDA newsletter is delivered to all residents in the neighborhood quarterly. Their website, has an overview of the history of the museum district.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection was donated in phases. The first donation given in neatly bound and labeled binders and has been placed chronologically but otherwise remains within each binder in complete original order. The materials donated at later times deal almost entirely with correspondence and zoning issues and are separated by materials dated before 2001, when the West of the Boulevard Civic Association became officially known as the Museum District Association, and materials dated after 2001 generated by the Zoning and Land Use Committee (Z and LUC). Materials from this portion of the MDA are organized alphabetically, with the exception of correspondences and reports which are placed chronologically in the original order they were donated. Licensing and zoning cases are arranged alphabetically by the address under review.

There are five series in this collection. Series 1. is the WOBCA papers dealing with zoning issues and board reports and correspondence from 1976 to 2001. The second is the administration information and correspondence contained within the binders and date from 1986 to 2002. Series 3 contain the Z and LUC case files. The fourth series is object based and is comprised of profile silhouette patterned fabric from a MDA event as well as miscellaneous papers. Lastly is the oversize materials; including blueprints for properties requiring zoning approval and news clippings relating to the neighborhood.

SERIES: 1. West of the Boulevard Civic Association, 1976-2001 2. Administration, 1986-2002 3. MDA Zoning and Land Use Committee, 2000-2009 Subseries A. Cases and Licensing Cases, 1994-2009 4. Fabric and Miscellaneous, circa late 1990s 5. Oversize, 1976-2009

Acquisition Information

Donated by Robert Orlowski, 2010


A Guide to the Museum District Association Records
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, M 421
Danielle Tarullo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108