Programs & Events Calendar

All in-person programs will be held at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, unless otherwise noted. 

Mask Policy
Masks fully covering the mouth and nose are to be worn by all visitors and staff in public spaces at the New Hampshire Historical Society. While recent progress with vaccinations is very encouraging, no one can tell who is and who isn’t vaccinated. Our priority is to have a policy that promotes the health and safety of everyone— visitors and staff—at the Society. The Society welcomes families with young children, and we know that only a very small percentage of children under 18 have been vaccinated. We also welcome all adults, including those who may not be able to be vaccinated due to a compromised immune system. In order to accommodate all individuals, young or older, we will continue to adhere to our existing mask policy until further notice.

Saturday, September 18, 2021
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Guided Tours at 10 and 11 a.m. and 12 and 1 p.m.
Once again, the New Hampshire Historical Society is participating in Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, an annual celebration of cultural institutions across the nation. With a Museum Day ticket, visitors can gain free access to many museums. The New Hampshire Historical Society will be hosting guided tours of its building and exhibitions. Tickets will be available to download on the Smithsonian magazine’s website.

Saturday, September 25, 2021, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Member Tour: Celebrate Boating on Lake Winnipesaukee

Our popular annual member tour is back and better than ever! This year, members are invited to join the New Hampshire Historical Society on a visit to Lake Winnipesaukee and spend a day enjoying the beautiful Lakes Region, resplendent in fall colors! The day begins at the recently renovated New Hampshire Boat Museum (NHBM) and a guided tour by the museum’s executive director Martha Cummings. Next up is a catered lunch in the 1812 Room at the historic Wolfeboro Inn, followed by a talk by NHBM board member and local boat enthusiast John van Lonkhuyzen. Afterward, we’ll get out on the water with a two-hour cruise on the Winnie Belle, a replica of the 19th-century paddleboats that once cruised New Hampshire’s largest lake and first summer playground. The cost for the member tour is $90 per person, and attendees must be current Society members. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. Register by Thursday, September 9, through Eventbrite.com or by calling 603-228-6688.

Friday, October 1, 2021
Exhibition Opening: New Hampshire Now: A Photographic Diary of Life in the Granite State 

A partnership of the New Hampshire Historical Society, the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists, and seven other cultural venues around the state, New Hampshire Now is a photographic project to document life in the Granite State over a two-year period (2018–2020). Nearly 50 photographers captured images of life in New Hampshire, both the ordinary and extraordinary events of our times. On October 1, 2021, eight exhibitions will open simultaneously around the state, each one curated with images specific to that region. The exhibition at the New Hampshire Historical Society will feature images that reflect the state as a whole. Admission is $7 for adults. Members of the New Hampshire Historical Society and children age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Full-time students and active military personnel and their families also are admitted free of charge with a valid ID. In addition to the exhibition, the New Hampshire Now book includes more than 250 images from the project and is available for purchase online and at the Society. Get a preview of the photographs in this video.

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 10 a.m. to 12 noon *FREE*
Family Program: Tales of New Hampshire Storytime

Sharing stories about the Granite State is a great way to bring families together and introduce young children to all the things that make New Hampshire a great place to live. This drop-in storytime will feature classic tales from New Hampshire children’s book authors, a guided visit to the Discovering New Hampshire exhibition, and games and crafts. Geared for kids ages 4 to 8, but all ages are welcome. Registration is not required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This is a free program thanks to the generosity of Concord Pediatric Dentistry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 7 to 8:30 p.m. *FREE*
New Hampshire Through the Lens of a Camera (Virtual Event)

Join a panel of photographers who participated in New Hampshire Now and learn more about their experiences capturing the Granite State—and Granite Staters. Did they find what they expected to find when they ventured out into the state? What surprised them? How did this experience impact the way these artists view New Hampshire? Register for this free virtual program through Eventbrite.com. This event is made possible by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities.

Saturday, October 16, 2021, 2 p.m.
Lecture: “More than Just a Pretty Picture,” by Project Director Gary Samson and Professor Inez McDermott

Gary Samson, New Hampshire’s seventh Artist Laureate, and art historian Inez McDermott explore how New Hampshire Now fits in with other documentary photography projects in American history, when photographers like Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, and Dorothea Lange captured images that both reflected and defined their eras. Samson and McDermott explore recurring themes that emerged during the project and delve into the myriad ways that a subject or event can be interpreted by different artists. This event is made possible by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities. Admission is $7 for adults and free for New Hampshire Historical Society members.

Saturday, October 23, 2021, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mini Member Tour for Families: Explore the World of Factories
Location: Millyard Museum, Manchester

Spend the morning at the Millyard Museum in Manchester at this fun family event organized by the New Hampshire Historical Society. Families will explore the treasures of the Millyard Museum and learn all about everyday life in an industrial city. Following the gallery program, the group will participate in a hands-on activity to get a taste of what factory work was like at the turn of the 20th century. This program is geared for kids ages 7 to 11, but all ages are welcome. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. The cost for Society members is $25 per family for up to 4 people or $35 per family of four for nonmembers. Additional family members are $7 for members or $9 for nonmembers. Register through Eventbrite.com or call 603-228-6688 to register and pay by phone.

Tuesday, October 26, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Virtual Genealogy Workshop: Raising the Dead: Finding Clues to Ancestors from Headstones, Family Plots, and Burial Records

Cemetery records can offer important clues to understanding the lives of those who came before us. Join New England Historic Genealogical Society Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert to learn how headstones, family plots, and burial documents can shed new light on your ancestor's life. The cost of this workshop is $15 for members of the New Hampshire Historical Society or the New England Historic Genealogical Society; $25 for nonmembers. Advanced registration is required through Eventbrite.com or by calling 603-228-6688.

Saturday, October 30, 2021, 2 p.m.
Lecture and Book Signing: Chasing Eden, by Howard Mansfield

Join beloved New Hampshire author Howard Mansfield as he discusses his new book, Chasing Eden. Mansfield’s latest work is about seekers: Americans searching for their Eden, longing for a Promised Land, a utopia somewhere out on the horizon. With his usual deep perception, humor, and grace, Mansfield writes about “a small gathering of Americans” united by longing and devotion in their search for something perfect here on earth, a goal that is ever receding. Mansfield illuminates how this longing—for God, for freedom, for peace—can be found in every era, and gives form and force to our lives in our pursuit of happiness—“the primary occupation of every American.” Mansfield is the author of nine books about preservation, architecture, and history, most recently Summer Over Autumn (2017). He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Historic Preservation, and Yankee. Chasing Eden will be available for purchase at the Society, and Mansfield will be signing copies. Admission is $7 for adults and free for New Hampshire Historical Society members.

Saturday, November 6, 2021, 2 p.m. *FREE*
Lecture: “Forced into Politics: Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Fugitive Slave Crisis,” by Geoffrey R. Kirsch

The long and storied Senate career of New Hampshire’s favorite political son came to an ignominious end with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. After Daniel Webster endorsed the notoriously harsh law as part of a broader compromise meant to forestall civil war, his constituents turned on him. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who once admired Webster as “the conscience of the country,” accused him of having “no moral sentiment” and lamented that he had “betrayed the North to please the South.” Why did Webster support the Fugitive Slave Act as a means of preserving the Union, and why did it backfire? How does the explosion of antislavery sentiment after 1850 parallel the political polarization and social justice activism of 2020? And how, ultimately, should we assess Webster’s legacy at our own politically fraught moment? Scholar Geoffrey R. Kirsch, doctoral candidate in Harvard University’s Department of English, is a New Hampshire native, hailing from Concord and earning his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. His writings on the intersections of legal and political history and American literature have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the New England Quarterly, among other publications. This program is part of Humanities To Go, a program of New Hampshire Humanities. This lecture is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

Saturday, November 13, 2021, 1 to 3 p.m. *FREE*
Family Program: Giant Steps Across New Hampshire

Have you ever wanted to travel from Peterborough to Pittsburg, from Portsmouth to Plymouth, all in one afternoon? Drop in to the New Hampshire Historical Society for games and activities using the Giant Map of New Hampshire. Kids will play with this room-sized map to explore the regions, resources, and history of the state we all love. No shoes on the map, so please be sure to wear socks! Geared for kids ages 7 to 11, but all ages are welcome. Registration is not required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This is a free program thanks to the generosity of Concord Pediatric Dentistry.

Saturday, November 20, 2021, 1 to 4 p.m.
Genealogy Workshop: Using Land Records in Researching Family History (in-person)

Land records are an important, but sometimes overlooked resource for many family historians. Hidden in the “metes and bounds” and other legalese, there can be critical clues to identifying extended family members, the location of ancestral homelands, and family relationships. Join Lindsay Fulton, the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s vice president of research and library services, to learn how you can locate, read, and apply the information contained in land records to your own family history. The cost of this workshop is $35 for members of the New Hampshire Historical Society or the New England Historic Genealogical Society; $50 for nonmembers. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. Register through Eventbrite.com or by calling 603-228-6688.