Tunbridge is one of those quintessential Vermont towns, nestled amongst our state’s undulating green hills. Old barns, fields, cows, and historic homes along a winding narrow road lead to the relatively unchanged historic downtown of Tunbridge, where, in the valley below the town, the Tunbridge World’s Fairgrounds were home to the 2014 Vermont History Expo on June 21 and 22. Amid idyllic scenery and esteemed fellow exhibitors (all 160 of them!), we hosted an exhibit in Floral Hall.
Over the course of two days, we had the opportunity to meet hundreds of people from Vermont and beyond–many of whom had not yet heard of the project and what we had to offer. It was therefore a weekend full of discoveries!
Particularly helpful was our laptop with Chronicling America set up. Visitors tested out keywords with the guidance of VTDNP team members. There were some amazing newspaper finds, particularly in regard to genealogy. One family discovered an obituary with some confirming information on a relative who moved from Vermont to Kansas in the time of John Brown and Bleeding Kansas. Stay tuned for more stories! (Read our post on genealogy search strategies.)
Our booth featured an exhibit entitled, Expressions: The Newspaper Masthead in Vermont Newspapers between 1836-1922, which took a particular look at the Cronaca Sovverisiva’s masthead artist, Carlos Abate, and displayed other interesting masthead designs from Vermont newspapers. View mastheads on our Flickr account.
In addition to the main exhibit, we challenged visitors with a guessing game featuring mystery toy advertisements from the turn of the twentieth century. It was a lot of fun, and every participant received some candy and a bookmark! Think you’d like to give it a try? Try our online version!
Finally, thanks to our volunteers who helped with manning the booth: Tom McMurdo and Mary VanBuren Swasey. We couldn’t have done it without you!! Many thanks to the Vermont Historical Society for organizing such an impressive History Expo. Additional thanks to Karen Lane of the Aldrich Public Library and Paul Heller, local historian and author, for their help with the Cronaca Sovversiva research and images.
It was an incredible weekend of Vermont history; we are so happy to have been a part of it. We can’t wait for the 2016 History Expo!
Extra! Extra! Read, watch, and view more about VTDNP at the Expo:
Good news everyone!
18,000 more pages of Vermont newspapers were just added to Chronicling America! Currently, there are 224,000 pages (52 titles, 1 in French, 1 in Italian) of Vermont newspapers in Chronicling America. The latest addition includes the following titles (click on the masthead or text to access the newspaper):
VTDNP participated at the 120th Annual Vermont Library Conference, Story Time: Advocate, Celebrate, and Be Heard, on May 20th, 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm at St. Michael’s College in Colchester. We had a booth and poster presentation setup for the event. We also came with handouts, pamphlets, bookmarks, and candies. We talked to many librarians about the (free) primary resources offered through our project at ChroniclingAmerica.com.
PS: apologies for some low-res photos as they were taken with different gadgets at various quality settings.