Preserving History – Presenting Art
Call Us: 540-382-5644

Our Artifact was selected as one of the top ten most endangered in the state

The Rice D. Montague Account Book has been selected as one of Virginia’s Top 10 Most Endangered Artifacts
We recently learned the Library of Virginia will be scanning and digitizing the book for us at no charge. Funds still need to be raised to conserve this special book. You can made a donation on this website or by contacting the museum at 540-382-5644.
 
 88.09.01_MontagueAccountBook_MontgomeryMuseum
Rice D. Montague Account Book Nominated to Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts 

Who was Rice D. Montague?Rice D. Montague (1801-1877) was Montgomery County clerk of court  from 1831 until 1858. He was a member of the House of Delegates from 1859-1861. Montague also had an active business life, manufacturing and bottling horse liniment made by his own recipe in a factory behind his house at 109 East Main Street by the 1870s.

Why is this little book so important?The sheepskin leather account book was an 1866(?) Christmas gift  to Rice D. Montague from his son-in-law Judge George Junkin. It contains detailed financial records dating from about 1867 through about 1870 pertaining to his business, agricultural, and personal life. The full extent of the information is unknown due to the poor condition of the book. As one of the county’s preeminent nineteenth century citizens, the account book can help to illustrate this important man as well as business and daily life of the era.

How Can I Help?…..Get out the Vote!
From August 1 through August 31, you can VOTE for the Montague Account Book on the Virginia Association of Museums website at www.vamuseums.org

Donate!
One of the greatest challenges for most museums is to provide appropriate perpetual care for the objects in their collection such that the object remains a useful part of the collection forever.  Donations large and small are being sought to make professional conservation and digitizing of the account book possible.

Rice D. Montague
Rice D. Montague (1801-1877) photo courtesy of Roy Kanode
Scanned Image #4 7-10-13-600
Image from the Montgomery Museum D.D. Lester Collection Press Release

Montgomery Museum Nominates the Rice D. Montague Account Book to Virginia Association of Museum 10 Most Endangered Artifacts Program

One of the greatest challenges to the Montgomery Museum – and for most museums – is to provide appropriate perpetual care for the objects in their collection such that the object remains a useful part of the collection forever. Many objects come to the museum in a condition that clearly shows the great age of the piece. The Rice D. Montague Account Book, which was donated more than twenty years ago by Rice D. Montague, III, is such an object.

The sheepskin leather binding of the small book, is very aged, with detached covers, deteriorated spine, loose pages, and a nearly-detached leather closure flap. The original leather pencil sleeve is almost completely missing. Such severe deterioration of the leather and binding make it impossible to utilize the information within the book or to safely display the book for long periods. Each touch further loosens and damage the delicate leather.

Why is this little book so important? Rice D. Montague (1801-1877) moved to Christiansburg to become Montgomery County deputy clerk of court in 1821. He became clerk in 1831 and served in that office until 1858. Montague was a member of the House of Delegates from 1859-1861. Montague also had an active business life, beginning to bottle horse liniment made by his own recipe in a factory behind his house at 109 East Main Street by the 1870s. The account book was an 1866(?) Christmas gift  to Montague from his son-in-law Judge George Junkin.

The Montague account book contains detailed financial records dating from about 1867 through about 1870 pertaining to his business, agricultural, and personal life. The full extent of the information in the book is unknown due to its poor condition. As one of the county’s most preeminent nineteenth century citizens, the account book can help to illustrate both an important man as well as business and daily life of the era

A  conservation treatment plan has been prepared by a professional book conservator and will include cleaning, resewing or (more likely) rebinding the book following the original method and pattern, repairing loose and damaged paper,and re-attaching the covers with a new leather spine dyed to harmonize with original leather and remounting spine fragments. Badly worn leather on the covers, pencil sleeve, and flap stub will be stabilized, treated with leather with consolidant and dressed. The text will be digitized for use by researchers making the original available for display and special research.

The museum has nominated the account book to the Virginia Association of Museum’s 10 Most Endangered Artifacts program to highlight the important need for conservation of this artifact and others within our collection. Donations large and small are being sought to make professional conservation of the account book possible.