351 Nassau Street South, Venice, FL 34285
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am-4pm
1st and 3rd Saturday, October-April 11am-3pm
(941) 486-2487


The mission of the Venice Museum & Archives (VMA) is to collect and preserve historical and archaeological material relating to Venice and the communities of Nokomis, Laurel and Osprey, whose histories have all been interwoven from 1867 to the present time.

VMA has a collection of 30,000+ photographs, archives, objects, and publications pertaining to area history and is housed in the historic 1927 Triangle Inn building. The museum engages the public in local history through changing and permanent exhibits, tours of the Triangle Inn, special events, newsletters, social media, as well as onsite and offsite educational outreach programs to youth and adults. Additional services offered also include assisting the public with research requests and assisting with image request orders. The museum’s gift shop offers books, DVDs and other merchandise pertaining to local history available for purchase. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VMA







Thanks to the generous contribution of Dale Laning and Julia Cousins Laning, the City of Venice was able to acquire, and will soon renovate, a house at 224 Milan Ave. W. as The Dale Laning and Julia Cousins Laning Archives & Research Center.

Julia Cousins Laning, her nephew James Lee Cousins, Jr., and niece Julie Hanon

An unveiling of a “coming soon” sign was held on Tuesday, December 19 at the location across from the Venice Museum and Archives. Julia, who recently celebrated her 96th birthday, was in attendance, along with Mayor John Holic, Vice Mayor Bob Daniels, Council Member Rich Cautero, and city Historical Resources Manager Harry Klinkhamer.

When the renovations to the building are completed, it will allow the Historical Resources Dept. to gather the city’s historical collection in one location. The Lanings’ $1 million donation through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation is funding the Milan Avenue building’s purchase and renovation, as well as refurbishments to the Triangle Inn.

“The future Dale Laning and Julia Cousins Laning Archives & Research Center will house the collections, ranging from historic furniture, to Venice High School yearbooks, to the earliest editions of the Venice Gondolier,” said city Historical Resources Manager Harry Klinkhamer. “In addition, space will be available in the front of the building for people to research the collection. This will include access to databases and tables where researchers can work on their own computers.”

Julia’s family moved to Florida in 1926 to find work in the booming land and housing industry and eventually settled outside of Venice (now currently within the city limits) a year later. Her family would eventually move into the Triangle Inn where her mother worked. Her father worked for the Kentucky Military Institute and became mayor of Venice during WWII.

The City of Venice (COV) is the parent organization of the VMA. Museum staff are COV employees under the Department of Historical Resources. The Venice City Council is the governing authority for the VMA with legal and fiduciary responsibility for the museum and for approving museum policy and its annual budget.

Institutional History
Organized through the Friends of the Venice Library, on May 10, 1974, the first Historical Committee meeting in Venice, Florida was held. The Historical Collection was established in 1975 by the committee and was originally stored in a closet at the downtown Venice Library branch. In 1976 the name Venice Area Historical Collection was adopted for the collection. The City of Venice established the Venice Historical Committee in 1982.

By ordinance in 1987, the City of Venice created the Venice Historical Commission and the position of Director of Historical Resources, a volunteer position at that time. The city’s Planning Department provided technical and clerical support for both the commission and the director. The jurisdiction of the commission for the “Venice area” was defined as being from Blackburn Road in Osprey South to Manasota Key.

A Custody Agreement was signed in 1988 between the Friends of the Library and the City of Venice for the COV to “maintain custody of all pieces forming a part of the historical collection owned by the Friends of the Library pertaining to the City of Venice and its history.”

In July 1991 the Venice Area Historical Collection was moved to a storage space on the first floor of the newly renovated City Hall in downtown Venice. That same year, the name of the collection was officially changed to the Venice Archives and Area Historical Collection (VAAHC).

The collection was moved in September 1996 to the restored and renovated historic 1927 building known as the Triangle Inn. The name of the Venice Archives and Area Historical Collection was changed to the Venice Museum & Archives in 2012.