Between 2008 and 2012, institutions and individuals in Vermont received $6 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Vermont Humanities Council for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage.
Below are some examples.
- About 90,000 pages of historical newspapers such as the Working-Man’s Gazette and the Windham County Reformer from 1836 to 1922 are being digitized by the University of Vermont with a $691,000 grant. This work is part of Chronicling America, an NEH–Library of Congress collaboration.
- About 25,000 visitors come annually to the Calvin Coolidge Visitors’ Center, in Plymouth Notch, the rural hamlet where the thirtieth president was born. With support from a $330,000 challenge grant, which it used to spur private contributions of $990,000, the center enlarged and modernized its facilities into a full-fledged museum with expanded programming.
- With support from a $24,000 education grant, the University of Vermont has developed a one semester course on the “enduring questions” surrounding individualism and its excesses. Students read authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Richard Rorty.
- Revolutions have inspired historical novels from A Tale of Two Cities to Doctor Zhivago. This literary phenomenon is being examined by Middlebury College professor John Probasco McWilliams in an upcoming book for which he has received a $50,400 research grant.
- The American Precision Museum in Windsor received a $340,000 grant to implement a permanent exhibition exploring how American history was shaped by industrialization and the rise of manufacturing.
- The Shelburne Museum, built from the legacy of Electra Havemeyer Webb’s lively collection of American folk art, received a challenge grant of $500,000 for which the museum is raising $1.5 million, to build a new year-round learning center, which opened in August 2013.
- For 39 years the Vermont Humanities Council has hosted a fall weekend conference on humanities subjects. In 2012, around 200 people gathered at Stowe Mountain Resort to discuss religious architecture and how it expresses spiritual beliefs and social values.
- Three medical centers in the state are hosting Literature and Medicine, a reading and discussion program led by humanities scholars that seeks to help medical professionals to better understand patients and their own reactions to suffering through exposure to notable books.
- The northern front of the Civil War was a major theme in Vermont during the war’s 150th anniversary. The Vermont Humanities Council has been providing educational materials and web resources to help interpret more than one hundred Civil War sites throughout the state.
- For over a decade, “First Wednesdays” have brought lecturers on “Civility in a Fractured Society,” “Beethoven’s Sketchbooks” and other topics to libraries across the state, supported by the Vermont Humanities Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.