A few weeks ago we hosted a launch event for William M. Fowler’s new book, American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783. This was exciting not just because of Bill’s long association with NEHGS ― he is a past board chair and serves presently as a trustee emeritus and a Capital Campaign committee member ― but because his compelling book sheds light on an under examined moment in the early years of our nation, gives us new views into George Washington’s leadership, and even draws intriguing parallels to our world today.
This distinguished work, and countless other historical volumes, have benefitted from the resources of this organization and its long history as a champion of our collective history: family, local, regional, and national. Moreover, your work as a family historian complements and adds to this great body of knowledge ― which we strive to preserve, interpret, and disseminate for present and future researchers, authors, students, and scholars.
Later this week I will meet with members in Washington, D.C. and offer them an overview of our Capital Campaign, its key objectives, and suggest ways in which we need their help. While we have reached the $36 million mark in the campaign, we have much more work to do to achieve our $50 million goal. My presentation will outline our plans to:
*Create excellence by helping our audiences evaluate and interpret materials to ensure that their work is not only accurate and thorough but puts family histories into rich historical frameworks.
*Share expertise by helping our constituents learn more about resources and methodologies to provide a stronger foundation and understanding of the field through personal interactions with our staff of world class experts.
*Build collections by continuing to add to the largest collection of original, primary materials collected by a genealogical organization and by making these unique materials widely accessible.
*Expand resources through offering new ways of sharing content, resources and expertise, such as via our award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org.
*Embrace the future by creating a new, stronger platform for economic sustainability and long-term financial success that will propel our organization into an even higher level of serving its national and international constituents.
NEHGS needs the help of all its members and friends to fulfill the promise of these objectives. Sadly, we live in a world where some other nonprofit genealogical organizations are in extremis. Fortunately, that is not the case here. NEHGS has a large and loyal constituency ― now numbering more than 50,000 members and registered users ― and is ably served by volunteer leadership on its Board of Trustees and Council. These women and men, among the most distinguished representatives of a host of professions, help guide our professional staff in setting strategic objectives, establishing critical benchmarks, and taking “the long view” of our field and how best to serve it. If you participate in the life of NEHGS, I thank you many times over. And to others, I encourage you to be more involved in our programs and activities at this critical moment. Please consider yourself warmly welcomed!
Wishing you happy holidays … and all the best in 2012,