Mission Statement

The Mission of the Bedford Museum is to develop and maintain files for genealogical and historical research and to collect, preserve and interpret objects of historical significance to the Town of Bedford and Bedford County, Virginia. Objects of historical significance are defined as objects that were made or used by inhabitants of Bedford or are deemed to have been an integral part of the lives and environs of the inhabitants of the Town of Bedford and Bedford County, Virginia. Objects of historical significance interpret and substantiate the existence and survival of inhabitants of Bedford, Virginia from prehistoric time to present.


In 1933, a joint committee of the local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) founded a new museum in Bedford. The museum opened Memorial Day 1933 on the first floor of the Bedford Courthouse. Subsequently housed across several floors of the courthouse and the Bedford Library, the museum found a permanent home in 1978 when the City and County acquired the 1895 Liberty Masonic Lodge 95 A.F. & A.M. building and leased it to the museum. Since opening day July 3, 1979, the museum has continued to grow and change. In 1999, an addition to the original building provided additional storage space and an elevator for accessibility.
*Pictured (top right):  a gathering of citizens in Bedford and WWI soldiers in front of the courthouse in town (you will notice the brick street). 
  The bottom photo is of the cornerstone ceremony for the masonic building which took place on Monday, May 6th, 1895, at 4 pm. The ceremony was supposed to take place the Thursday before but due to bad weather was postponed. 

Board of Directors

JAMES WITT, Treasurer

Museum Staff 

Director of Research & Collections


Eight long-term volunteers with more than 70 years of combined experience work regularly at the museum. They assist with data entry, obituaries, library files, and other genealogy and archive duties. Students and members of the community volunteer for special projects throughout the year.

Collections and Services

The museum hosts two extensive genealogical libraries which include over 1,500 surveyed cemeteries in Bedford and over 10,000 loose paper files of surnames and historical buildings, homes, and organizations. For more information and access to these materials, visit our Research page.

Permanent exhibits highlight the history of Bedford and Bedford County including Native American, Black History, World War I and World War II, and our room on Company A, 116th Battalion, 29th Division. Our third-floor area houses the War Between the States Museum featuring period objects related to Bedford.  For more information, visit our Exhibits page.

Our gift shop, located on the first floor, includes books, maps, and gift items for sale. To access the gift shop, visit our Books & Gifts page.

Get In Touch

Handicapped access is available in the rear of the building.

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Contact Info

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday 10AM - 5PM
Saturday 10AM - 3PM
Closed on Sundays and National Holidays

Quick Links

© 2024 Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library. All Rights Reserved.
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