Historic Jamestowne is owned and managed through a private/public partnership. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Preservation Virginia) acquired 22.5 acres in 1893. The National Park Service acquired the remaining 1500 acres in 1934. During the early decades, the activity on the Island could be characterized as quiet but cooperative in welcoming visitors, providing research and interpretation.
In the early 1990's, the 60-year old partnership took a quantum leap. In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown, the NPS and Preservation Virginia launched extensive archaeological assessment and research--all to address the under-explored 17th century, our nation's origin. NPS conducted an assessment of its massive collections from the region and Preservation Virginia initiated its Jamestown Rediscovery® project to search for the original 1607 fort, long thought lost to the James River. Interest in the research has resulted in international attention from scholars, historians, and the general public.
In September 2010, Preservation Virginia initiated a collaboration with Colonial Williamsburg in order to enhance the archaeology program and expand the guest experience. As a result, today Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. To learn more regarding this collaboration visit historicjamestowne.org/news/2010_williamsburg.php.
The mission of Historic Jamestowne is to preserve, protect and promote the original site of the first permanent English settlement in North America and to tell the story of the role of the three cultures, European, North American and African, that came together to lay the foundation for a uniquely American form of democratic government, language, free enterprise and society.
With the 2007 commemoration complete, Historic Jamestowne is preparing to launch long-term improvements for the next century of stewardship. New facilities, programs and interpretive experiences will convey the whole of the history of America's Birthplace. Combining the recent archaeological discoveries, the continued documentary research and innovative interpretive devices, new perspectives on the history of this nationally significant story will be revealed and shared with visitors from around the world.