Creatively Mapping Our Rich Literary, Publishing, and Printing History Through Community Collaboration

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Exploring Our History Through Words

From Abenakis using writing to defend their homeland and Lucy Terry, regarded as the first African-American poet, to Nobel Prize winners and early ‘firsts’ in publishing and printing, Brattleboro and its environs have a rich but undersung history of words. The Brattleboro Words Project explores how this history is embedded in particular places, revealing these treasures through audio segments linked to maps for walking, biking and driving tours around Brattleboro.

Community and Student Research Teams

Research Teams are comprised of community members, students, teachers, and others interested in the places and themes related to the Brattleboro Words Project. It is expected that there will be 50 Research Teams (30 classroom-based, and 20 community-based teams).

Each Research Team will develop skills to produce an audio segment. Content will also be developed for a website, a book on the area’s printing and publishing history, and other exhibitions, celebrations and events. The effort will stimulate tourism and wider interest in Brattleboro while enhancing community relationships and connections to the history and places we share.

Research will be guided by scholars of history, philosophy, literature, religion (Indigenous and imported), American jurisprudence and other disciplines to stimulate a deeper appreciation of the places we share.

Partnering Institutes

There are many other organizations and individuals involved and supporting the project. Read more about our Leadership Team and Supporters.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Recognizing the Project’s potent potential to amplify and enrich the work of each partnering organization for the benefit of the community at large, the National Endowment for the Humanities chose this Project for a rare ‘Creating Humanities Communities’ grant which will match dollar for dollar each gift up to $150,000 until the Project’s final culminating exhibit and celebration at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center during the October 2020 Brattleboro Literary Festival.

Donate Today to Help Raise Matching Funds!

Project Developments

Monthly Roundtable Discussions

Every month, the public is invited to learn more about the project, research progress, and dive into some of the places and themes being investigated. This is a time community members can share their own perspectives and stories related to the topics. Check our calendar and Facebook page for the latest topics, dates, and times.

Heritage Book

A book about the history of printing and publishing in Brattleboro is planned for publication in 2019.  The history will be written by local authors and will tell the story of the many important and interesting people, businesses and collaborative efforts that made Brattleboro known far and wide as a “print town.”

A series of lectures and exhibitions at Brooks Memorial Library starting October 2017 will contribute to the book and a culminating exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in 2020.

MILES – Mobile, Interactive, Literary Exhibition Space

Launched at the October 2017 Brattleboro Literary Festival, each year, MILES will offer different literary exhibitions focused on the life, work and times into underserved areas and directly to schools.

At the end of each school year students and their families, teachers, scholars and all Research Team participants will attend large celebratory community picnics to share the work.  Student work will also be highlighted at each Brattleboro Literary Festival and through podcasts already being created through the Brattleboro Historical Society.

Upcoming & Recent Events

You can follow us on Facebook for all the latest updates, get on our mailing list, and find photos and information about some of our upcoming and recent events here.

Community Benefits

By highlighting the writings and histories of peoples, including those who have been marginalized, we believe the collaborative research and sharing of humanities work will help make Brattleboro a more inclusive place where everyone who lives or visits here feels a greater sense of belonging and pride.

A deeper appreciation of the written word, and all the social systems, language, education, capital, technology, and material goods necessary to support a culture of writing, will help us be more thoughtful in our own use of the written and spoken word, and more attentive to the power of words.

Donate today by credit card- (no paypal account needed).


Email the Project Team with any questions, or to sign up for our mailing list:

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Tax Deductible Donations can be made here. (no paypal account needed).

Email the Project Team with any questions, or to sign up for our mailing list:

Follow us on Facebook


Support the Words Project!

Donate today by credit card- (no paypal account needed).