Mapping Our Rich Writing and Publishing History Through Collective Community Creation

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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. “Peoples, Places, and History of Words in Brattleboro, Vermont” explores how this history is embedded in particular places, revealing these treasures through podcasts linked to maps for walking, biking and driving tours around Brattleboro.

Community and Student Research Pods

The Project coordinates student and community research pods that build skills and contribute to producing the audio tours as well as a website, a book on the area’s printing and publishing history, and other exhibitions, celebrations and events that will stimulate tourism and wider interest in Brattleboro while enhancing community relationships and connections to the history and places we share.

Community and classroom-based  ‘Research Pods’ in Brattleboro and surrounding rural communities will explore key places in the history of words 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.

An estimated maximum of 50 research pods (30 classrooms plus 20 other community groups) will focus on particular places in or near Brattleboro associated with writers, writing, and printing.  Research pods will produce handmade books, audio, maps and other creative output that will be edited and used to produce podcasts linked with plaques and pillars at sites in and around Brattleboro.  These self-guided walking, biking, and driving tours will be accessed and maintained through the website.

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

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 build to a culminating exhibition of handmade books, printing and publishing artifacts 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 pod 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.

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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:

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Support the Words Project!

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