My Profile

Jackie Spainhour

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Bio

I am a millennial writer, researcher, museum professional, and special needs mom living in Norfolk, Virginia. I am an alumnus of Old Dominion University and sit on the Board of Directors for the Victorian Society in America as its Vice President. My first book, Gilded Age Norfolk, Virginia: Tidewater Wealth, Industry, and Propriety was published in 2015 by the History Press. I serve as the President of the South Hampton Roads Museum Forum, the Chair of the VSA Book Awards Committee, and the Copy Editor for the VSA’s peer-reviewed journal Nineteenth Century.

A life-long lover of museums, I continue to be fulfilled as the Director of the Hunter House Victorian Museum. I was a 2018 Leadership and Advocacy Fellow for the Virginia Association of Museums, with my research focusing on autism and museums. I have served as a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Reviewer and my second book, Museums and Millennials: Engaging the Coveted Patron Generation, was published in October 2019 through the American Association of State and Local History. I have given numerous presentations on the local and national level, including most recently at the American Alliance of Museums 2019 Conference in New Orleans.

I happily ventured into giving in-person workshops and online webinars covering the topics of millennial engagement and autism awareness in museums. The Texas Historical Commission, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Virginia Association of Museums are just a few of the generous groups who have supported my work and given me a platform to advocate for a more inclusive museum world for all people.

In my very spare time, I use my voice as an advocate for the creation of more inclusive museum practices for people living with autism in honor of my eldest son Declan. I love reading, writing, and lounging around the house with a mug of hot tea alongside my friends, my cats, and my little family.