About Historic New England

Historic New England, presented by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional preservation organization in the country. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions.

Historic New England offers five distinct yet interrelated program areas:

Historic Properties – Thirty-six house museums and landscapes spanning four centuries of architectural styles and five New England states. This is the most comprehensive collection of homes and properties in New England, with a uniquely thorough and authentic approach to presenting the stories of those who lived here. Visitors experience, in a real and personal way, the lives and stories of the individuals and families who made New England what it is today. Offerings at the historic properties include house and landscape tours, adult and family programs, special events, museums shops, function rentals at select properties, and Historic New England membership.

Collections – An extraordinarily broad collection of more than 100,000 objects of historical and aesthetic significance, family heirlooms presented in their original context, and accessible through the extensive study collection. This is the largest assemblage of New England art and artifacts in the country. The collection helps people understand the heritage of New England through the possessions of those who lived here, and appreciate the ingenuity, craftsmanship and style of the region. Historic New England uses its collections to mount exhibitions that travel regionally and nationally. Collections are also on view at the Historic New England properties.

Archives and Publications – More than one million items that document New England’s architectural and cultural history. The archival collections include photographs, prints and engravings, architectural drawings, books, manuscripts, and ephemera. This is a premier source for researchers, history buffs, and everyone who loves New England. Archives users can personally access a wealth of information on the people and events that defined the history of New England. Information is also shared through Historic New England magazine, books and catalogues published by Historic New England, and at http://www.HistoricNewEngland.org.

Educational Programs – A series of nationally recognized school and youth programs that use historic resources to reinforce and enrich student learning. The programs are fun, multi-disciplinary, and suited to a variety of learning styles. They allow young people to learn through a range of approaches and include hands-on activities, role-playing, and cooperative learning. Children discover the entertaining side of history – the stories and people who have made their communities what they are today. They learn how, by understanding our shared past, we build a better future. Historic New England offers museum field trips, Programs to Go! (in the classroom), out-of-school-time programs, and educators’ resources.

Preservation Services – A program built on partnership between property owners and Historic New England, with a shared goal of protecting the unique character of historic properties through the region. As one of the first preservation easement programs in the country, Historic New England’s Stewardship Program is the model on which many other programs are based. Homeowners can let Historic New England experts show them how to preserve their historic properties and communities for the enjoyment and education of current and future generations.

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