By Sherry Wood
More than a third of the authors in A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects are members of the Portsmouth Athenaeum.
The book is “intended as a record of what we value in 2023 on the 400th anniversary of Portsmouth’s settlement, a resource for historians and future generations, and an illuminating tour of the city’s past for the general reader,” according to Stephanie Seacord, an Athenaeum proprietor, and the project’s director.
An editorial board composed of Athenaeum Executive Director Tom Hardiman as well as directors of Strawbery Banke Museum, the Portsmouth Historical Society, and Portsmouth Public Library asked “a variety of people and institutions (and their own curators) to nominate the list of 101 objects,” Seacord said in a news release.
Among the Athenaeum essayists are Proprietor Valerie Cunningham writing about the African Burying Ground Memorial Park, Research Librarian Carolyn Marvin telling the story of the Ruth Blay quilt/mural; and Proprietor Bob Thoresen recalling the reimagining of Market Square.
Authors with Athenaeum connections also include Hardiman and Seacord, as well as Richard Candee, Jamison French, Jeff and Molly Bolster, Sandra Rux, Hollis Brodrick, Barbara, and Gerry Ward, Chuck Doleac, Elizabeth Aykroyd, Steve Fowle, Ronan Donohoe, Sherm Pridham, J. Dennis Robinson, Elizabeth Farish, Jane and Richard Nylander, Deborah Child, Tara Raiselis, Tom Watson, MaryEllen Burke, Ellen Fineberg, Tammi Truax, Tom Kaufhold, Roger Wood, and Larry Yerdon.
The 224-page, softbound book with 101 color photographs will be available in December. A pre-publication discount of $25 is being offered; the anticipated cover price is $29.99. Orders can be placed with RiverRun Bookstore, through its Piscataqua Press.
Image: Courtesy photo.