It’s back to (older) school time

Aug 23, 2018

Staff give a collections tour at the Haverhill Regional Office.

It all started with CoOL

Every fall for the last five years Historic New England has partnered with local colleges to bring quality lifelong learning seminars to older learners. It all started in 2014 when members of CoOL, Northern Essex College’s College of Older Learners in Haverhill, Massachusetts, approached us about hosting a session. Since then our seminar, Discover Historic New England, has become a staple in CoOL’s course catalogue as well at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Granite State College in Concord, New Hampshire, and the University of Rhode Island in Kingstown.

Each college has a slightly different setup for the seminar but the premise is the same: adults fifty and older sign up for non-credit courses in topics ranging from political science to tai chi. Discover Historic New England offers a smattering of New England history on various topics presented by members of our staff. Students also travel to one or two Historic New England properties for in-depth tours. This has been an amazing experience for Historic New England, creating great relationships and garnering many new members.

Topics explored

Each year the topics and site visits vary, so past students can sign up again, and many do, returning with friends. Courses have included Shades of Truth: American Silhouettes; A Preview of the End of the World: The Great New England Hurricane of 1938; Rocks Village: A Haverhill Neighborhood; Domestic Servants in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century New England; and Women of the Quincy Family. Students have toured Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, Coffin House, and First Parish Cemetery in Newbury, Massachusetts; our regional office in Haverhill, Massachusetts; and Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitors Center in South Berwick, Maine.

Past participants have told us how much they enjoy these seminars. They value being part of a vibrant, engaged community where knowledge is shared and new interests are discovered.

Learn more

For detailed course listings and to register, visit the University of Rhode Island’s OLLI; Granite State College’s OLLI; or Northern Essex College’s CoOL.