The Vermont Historical Society engages both Vermonters and “Vermonters at heart” in the exploration of our state’s rich heritage. Located in the beautiful historic Spaulding school building in Barre, the Vermont History Center houses the Vermont Historical Society’s archives and the Leahy research library. Built in 1892, this Romanesque style brick building served as a high school until 1965 and as a junior high school until 1988. The remarkable architecture alone is worth a visit.
The Vermont Historical Society is the only organization in Vermont that collects artifacts, books, and documents that reflect the entire history of the state. There are two small display galleries here with creative and fascinating exhibits that change every few months, showcasing artifacts that represent the best, the worst, the weirdest, and sometimes the most wonderful stories of Vermont history.
The Book Nook
There is also a small book shop in the Vermont History Center with some of the Vermont Historical Society’s published works. For more books on Vermont’s rich history, visit VHS’s online store.
The Leahy Library
The Leahy Library of the Vermont Historical Society, open to the public four days a week, is a center for individualized research and discovery. The curious researcher will find a variety of resources documenting the history and people of Vermont, including a collection of books and pamphlets dating from the 1770s to the present. The voices, ideas and commerce of the past are preserved here in unique letters, diaries, ledgers and scrapbooks. Some of Vermont’s earliest maps and planning documents are available here. Extensive photograph and broadside collections create a visual record of the state’s past. With a special interest in family history, the library has the largest printed genealogical collection in the state.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
– Marcus Garvey
The Vermont History Center Galleries are generally open Monday–Friday and the Second Saturday of each month from 9:00am to 4:00 pm, admission is by donation.