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    Oatlands piano, soldiers’ roster among endangered artifacts

    This contender, a 1905 Steinway piano, sits in Oatlands Plantation. Courtesy Photo
    Loudoun County has two historical artifacts in the running for the 2014 Virginia's Top Ten Endangered Artifacts program hosted by The Virginia Association of Museums.

    The artifacts, both located in Leesburg, are a 1905 Steinway piano and the roster for Confederate soldiers in Loudoun County. They are two of 36 artifacts nominated from around the state.

    The piano is housed on Oatlands Plantation and the soldier roster makes its home in the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

    The Top Ten program brings awareness to the work that goes into culture and history preservation on the part of historians around the country. It's also an opportunity for the public to get involved in that process.

    This is the most nominations the program has had since its first run four years ago.

    Voting began on Aug. 4 and continues until midnight Aug. 23.

    The public can vote on their favorite endangered artifact and donate toward its conservation. Those interested can cast their votes at vatop10artifacts.org. The final 10 will be selected by an independent review panel of experts. Winners will be announced Sept. 9.

    "This is the fourth year of our program, and we are so proud of the results that we are already seeing," says Jennifer Thomas, executive director, in a public statement. "Each year we have more public involvement in our online voting, more objects being nominated, and more past honorees being conserved and saved. The program is definitely fulfilling its mission to raise awareness of the work museums do every day to care for the objects under their protection."

    Originally funded by the Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Virginia's Top Ten program has been held for other states, including Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Colorado.
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