Vermont Humanities
Image of Madeline Kunin press conference

Before Your Time: The Power of the Press

A massive wooden printing press made in the mid-17th century has a place of pride in the Vermont History Museum, and not just because it’s old. It represents both the history of written law in the state, and the crucial role that journalism—the press—plays in a democracy.

Image of Dimetrodon building

Before Your Time: Built To Last

Plenty of Vermont’s historic buildings are traditional homes, churches, and meeting houses. But as the state changed in the 20th century, its architecture did too. Now experts are looking more closely at buildings that look nothing like what came before.

Image of Bobby Dragon with checkered flag

Before Your Time: Anything for Speed

People have raced cars in the Green Mountains since 1903. There were racetracks in every corner of the state: at fairgrounds, in farmers’ back fields, and finally at dozens of dedicated racetracks. Thousands of Vermonters have been drivers, mechanics, track officials, and spectators at those tracks over the past 115 years.

Image of WWI soldiers marching

Before Your Time: Coming Home from the Great War

More than 600 Vermonters died overseas fighting in World War I. But thousands more brought their unique experiences of battle back to their home state.

Image of stone urn atop tombstone

Before Your Time: Tales Behind the Tombstones

Many of Vermont’s cemeteries date back multiple centuries. They’re filled with worn-down stones that may only offer glimpses of the personal histories of the dead. But these cemeteries still hold lessons for the people who visit them today.

Image of painting of woman with bicycle

Before Your Time: Mobility for the Masses

Many Vermonters felt a sense of liberation during the nation’s first “bike boom” in the 1890s, when bikes became cheaper and easier to ride. Although the state’s early bike clubs were the province of elites, underrepresented groups soon took up the new technology.

Image of man in snow tunnel

Before Your Time: Talk about the Weather

Vermonters love weather. They love bragging about it, complaining about it, hiding inside from it, and playing outside in it. It’s a topic of conversation across the state.

Image of Bixby Library ceiling

Before Your Time: More than Books

We still need libraries. But what is their role in the age of the internet? And why, in a state with so many beautiful libraries, is it such a challenge to keep them going?

Image of hooked rug

Before Your Time: Knitters, Weavers and “Women’s Work”

Vermont today has no shortage of knitters, crocheters, rug hookers, silkers, sewers and felters. Some are avid hobbyists, and some make a living from their craft. But all are part of a long history of fiber arts in Vermont.

Image of men in park with beer mugs

Before Your Time: The Land of Gin and Whiskey

Among its many myths and images, Vermont is now considered a place to get excellent alcohol. Today’s visitors may not know that we used to be one of the driest states in the nation.