The Vermont Historical Society will receive $210,000 as part of the FY23 omnibus spending bill that passed the Senate on December 22, 2022. This funding is part of a total of $42 million secured by Senator Sanders through the Congressionally Directed Spending process for 51 Vermont projects that will benefit communities across the state.
The congressionally directed funds will go toward implementing an open storage and research gallery at the Vermont History Center in Barre, Vermont. Presently, the Vermont Historical Society holds 30,000 items in its object collection, some of which are on display at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, and in smaller exhibits at the History Center in Barre. Open storage will help bring more of those items before the public, showcasing the objects that make up Vermont’s story.
“These funds will help the Vermont Historical Society complete a vision for the Vermont History Center started in 2001,” says Stephen Perkins, the Executive Director for the Vermont Historical Society. “The Vermont Historical Society holds an amazing collection of museum items that illustrate Vermont’s long and rich history. Finishing the object study center will allow Vermonters to experience their history in a hands-on, visual way. We are grateful to Senator Sanders for securing these funds and to all of our donors who have supported this project from inception.”
“Open storage, sometimes called visible storage, is a technique for exhibiting historic artifacts that invites close looking and study,” says Amanda Kay Gustin, Director of Collections and Access for VHS. “Transforming two currently-empty spaces into open storage will allow us to take out hundreds of objects that were previously not on view and bring them to the public eye. We expect this installation to expand the possibilities for research, study, and education at the Vermont History Center.”
“We’ve taken huge strides in making our collections accessible digitally, through online catalogs, short videos, and podcasts,” Gustin says, “but there’s nothing quite like seeing history in person. This funding, thanks to Senator Sanders, makes possible a truly top-notch setting to share some of Vermont’s treasures with visitors.”
“Understanding history is essential for all of us,” said Senator Sanders. “Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds should be able to learn about the history of our state. I am proud to have secured the federal funding needed for the Vermont Historical Society to bring more of Vermont’s historical treasures to our communities for reflection and education.”
About the Vermont Historical Society
Founded in 1838, the Vermont Historical Society serves to engage both Vermonters and “Vermonters at heart” in the exploration of our state’s rich heritage. Our purpose is to reach a broad audience through our outstanding collections, statewide outreach, and dynamic programming. We believe that an understanding of the past changes lives and builds better communities.