Ashley Webb – Anthropology & History ’07

Webb Ashley

Museums Registrar & Collections Specialist

I graduated from Longwood in 2007 with a BA in Anthropology and History. From Longwood, I went straight to graduate school at Bournemouth University, in England, where I received my MA in Museum Studies in 2008.   Once back in the States, I had thought I wanted to pursue archaeology laboratory work or work in an anthropology or natural history museum, but fate intervened, and I received a Collections Manager position at Longwood’s Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA). While I don’t have a studio art or art history background, I easily adapted what I had learned in graduate school with historical collections toward art. I found I enjoyed looking at the chemical makeup of objects in relation to their deterioration over time more than just working with one type of collection. I toyed with the idea of pursuing a conservation degree, and even secured a pre-program internship with Colonial Williamsburg, but did not want to have to get another Bachelor’s degree, this time doubling in chemistry and art, before spending another 8 years in conservation school.  After 4 years at the LCVA, my husband and I relocated to Roanoke, Virginia. I transitioned into a freelance role as a Museums Registrar and Collections Specialist, and currently have ongoing contracts with Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center, the History Museum of Western Virginia, the LCVA, and several private collectors. In addition to freelance museums work, I am a high school and club volleyball coach, as well as a historian. I currently write for Blue Ridge Vintage, a blog highlighting the history of objects in everyday life, and am a guest author on the Emerging Civil War Blog.

Drs. Jordan, Bates, and Dalton enhanced my love for travel, objects, and material culture through the classes they taught, making far off lands and times come to life. Their love for other cultures, both current and antiquated, opened my eyes to the world outside my own bubble, which in turn has made me the person I am today. I am and will forever be grateful for their guidance throughout college, graduate school, and all the moments after.

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