Message from the President and FY2011 Chair
We Serve the Public...
In 2003 Historic New England committed to being a more public institution, working to use its tremendous resources of buildings, landscapes, objects, and documents to serve larger and more diverse audiences. In making that commitment we recognized that the Centennial offered a unique opportunity at a time in the life of the organization when we could look back at the accomplishments of a century while also launching a second century of public service.
In selecting the projects and programs for the year that encompassed most of the centennial celebration, our trustees decided that the most important role was that of looking forward — being focused on the future to think about what role Historic New England should play in heritage preservation in its second century and determining how to more fully engage our friends and supporters and new audiences with our work. We wanted our activities to be region-wide, serving all six New England states, and to engage us with new constituencies and new institutional partners, those who had not been involved with Historic New England during our first century, but shared our vision of public service and our mission of heritage preservation. This required that we encompass projects and organizations both large and small, and be inclusive of each of our five key program areas: Historic Properties, Collections, Archives and Publications, Educational Programs, and Preservation Services.
The results of these efforts are recorded throughout this annual report, and we invite you — our friends and supporters — to decide how well we fulfilled our goals for this special year. We can report that Historic New England succeeded at increasing attendance at our museums and programs, for the twenty-sixth year we increased the numbers of young people who participated in our in-depth school and youth programs, and with the launch of our new website and Collections Access Portal we introduced our extraordinary collections for the first time to a worldwide audience of nearly fifteen thousand. Partnerships and collaborations, a new Affiliates Program for heritage membership organizations, traveling exhibitions and new publications all contributed to expanding our reach, while strengthening our commitment to collecting, to scholarship, to sharing our professional expertise with others, and to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve.
During fiscal year 2011 Historic New England celebrated the accomplishments of the past, while positively impacting the New England of today, and inspiring efforts beyond the Centennial year. On behalf of the Historic New England trustees, committees, Council, staff, and volunteers we thank you for your commitment to our mission of serving the public by preserving and presenting New England heritage.
William C.S. Hicks, Chairman Carl R. Nold, President and CEO