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Records of the Home for Needy Confederate Women (SC-23)

Identifier: SC-23


The collections documents the administration of the Home for Needy Confederate Women, a large residential building for destitute female relatives of Confederate veterans for over 50 years. The collection includes administrative files, applicant and resident files, and financial files, among other related ephemera.


  • 1898-2007

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is minimally processed. Requests to perform research must be submitted to the VMFA Archives at least one business day in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.

Historical Note

The monumental limestone building on the west boundary of the present Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' grounds was built in 1932 as a residence for destitute female relatives of Confederate veterans. In operation for over fifty years, the home was closed by its board in 1989. Assuming ownership of the building, the Commonwealth of Virginia designated it as a memorial to the women of the South and transferred its care to VMFA. Today, renovated and renamed the Stan and Dorothy Pauley Center, it houses museum offices and meeting rooms as well as the headquarters of the Virginia Association of Museums.

Funded through private donations and state support, the Home for Confederate Women was designed by architect Merrill Lee, who was inspired by the neoclassical lines and motifs of the White House. Its soaring ionic portico faces Sheppard Street.

Source: History of the VMFA Grounds


2.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes; 68 folders)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into six series. Correspondence files are arranged chronologically.

Series 1
Correspondence, 1924-1997, undated
Series 2
Administrative Files, 1898-1997, undated
Series 3
Resident and Application Files, 1914-1998
Series 4
Financial Records, 1908-1993
Series 5
Property Files, 1924-1989, undated
Series 6
Other Records, 1910-2007, undated

Custodial History

The collection was donated in August 2017 by Mason Montague Bavin, goddaughter and executor of the estate of Janet Roy Nunnally Burhans, who was the last President of the Home for Needy Confederate Women. The Home had been founded by her grandmother, Elizabeth Lyne Hoskins Montague. Burhans was the third President of the organization, serving after her mother, Janet Montague Nunnally, and her grandmother.

Related Materials - Library of Virginia

  • Home for Needy Confederate Women (Richmond, Va.) Records, 1862-1997, Coll. 34092
  • Roll of Needy Confederate Women, 1915-1924, Coll. APA 194
  • Pension Applications for the Relief of Needy Confederate Women, 1915-1967, Coll. 26418

Processing Information

In general, during processing, all publications are removed and added to the VMFA Library’s holdings and original newspaper clippings are photocopied, with identifiers transferred, and then destroyed. Original folder titles are retained, when provided.

Finding Aids to Special Collections in the VMFA Archives | Records of the Home for Needy Confederate Women
Special Collection 23 (SC-23)
Erica Borey, Records Manager; Finding aid encoded by Sylvio Lynch III, Archives Intern (2020)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Archives Repository

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220-4007 United States