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The independent nonprofit that saves, preserves, and shares New Hampshire history.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 21, 2014        


CONTACT:  Bill Dunlap at 603-856-0601 or Brenda French at 603-856-0607


National Endowment for the Humanities awards grant to New Hampshire Historical Society


CONCORD, NH--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the New Hampshire Historical Society a $350,000 Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant.  The Society, a non-profit organization that operates New Hampshire's only statewide historical library and museum, will use the funding to rehabilitate its National Register-listed headquarters building at 30 Park Street in Concord in order to enhance the safety and longevity of the collections that it holds and exhibits while respecting and preserving the architectural attributes of the historic structure.   

Replacement of the century-old building's heating and mechanical systems will improve climate control within for the benefit of the collections and for reduced energy consumption. A combination of invisible thermal barriers and artificial lighting will make the building's skylights more energy efficient while eliminating the damaging effect on the collections from the ultraviolet radiation that is present in natural daylight. By pursuing these conservation measures, the Society will reduce its carbon footprint by 75%, and its annual heating and cooling expenses by approximately 50%. These savings will be reinvested in the independent nonprofit's programs, services, and staff in order to fulfill its mission to collect, preserve, and share New Hampshire's history.

The New Hampshire Historical Society maintains the most comprehensive collection of the materials of the state's history. Assembled since 1823, when the Society was established to mark the 200th anniversary of the settlement of New Hampshire, the collections represent an unequalled breadth of subject matter and media. Including two million pages of manuscripts and 250,000 photographs as well as innumerable printed materials, the collections grew during the 20th century to embrace an unparalleled representation of New Hampshire fine and decorative arts.

Designed by the Boston architect Guy Lowell, the Society's 1911 headquarters building was technologically advanced for its time, providing fireproof storage and exhibition space while embodying the language of classical architecture in an inspiring and instructive composition. The Beaux-Arts building has stood undiminished for more than a century, but its mechanical and lighting systems need to be updated to further safeguard both the collections and improve energy efficiency.

The building rehabilitation project is part of the Society's ongoing capital campaign, which to date has raised $5.6 million toward a $9 million goal. In addition to the improved energy and climate-control systems, the campaign is expected to result in growth of the Society's endowment, digitization of its collections to make them widely available on the internet, and launching of a new internet-based network to allow local communities from around the state to share their historical collections more broadly.


About the National Endowment for the Humanities





The National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this media release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


About the New Hampshire Historical Society

Founded in 1823, the New Hampshire Historical Society is the independent nonprofit that saves, preserves, and shares New Hampshire history.  The Society serves thousands of children and adults each year through its museum, research library, educational programs, and award-winning publications.  The Society is not a state-funded agency. All of its programs and services are made possible by membership dues and contributions. For more information visit nhhistory.org or call 603-228-6688.