Stowe Center Receives AASLH Award of Merit


NASHVILLE, TN—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is the recipient of an Award of Merit for The Stowe House Project. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 73rd year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The Stowe House Project (2011-2017) included interior restoration, collections conservation, systems upgrades, and fire suppression in Stowe’s Hartford, Connecticut home, a National Historic Landmark. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) is the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the influential anti-slavery novel and 19th-century best seller.

In addition to interior renovations, the Project redesigned the Stowe House tour, adding facilitated conversation to connect the past to the present, encourage participants to think critically, and inspire visitors to engage with social issues they care about.

“It is an honor to receive this prestigious award from AASLH, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting history,” said Briann Greenfield, Ph.D., Stowe Center Executive Director. “The new Stowe House experience embraces difficult topics by directly addressing the complicated history of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the legacy of slavery. The conversational approach helps visitors connect 19th-century issues to today.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) published more than 30 books, but it was her best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin that catapulted her to international celebrity and secured her place in history. In the 19th century, the only book to outsell Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the Bible. More than 160 years after its publication, the novel has been translated into more than 70 languages and is known throughout the world. Stowe’s Hartford home is open year round for tours and programs.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer forty-four national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2018 AASLH Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday, September 28. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training in-person workshops, and online training.