Mission and Description
Founded in 1975, the mission of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies is to advance knowledge about New Hampshire and its relationship to the New England region, through ongoing education and research efforts. The Institute brings together the proficiencies of permanent and adjunct faculty from the social science disciplines, frequently applying an interdisciplinary approach. The Institute sponsors a minor in New Hampshire and Northern New England Studies and has hosted numerous workshops and field schools in related topic areas.
In its efforts to increase knowledge of the region, the Institute sponsors and facilitates projects that support this intent. Since 1980, INHS has sponsored several archaeological field schools as well as research projects, including: prehistoric site excavations; evaluations of a range of 18th and 19th century sites; surveys and excavations of shipwrecks having New England significance.
The Institute conducts a great deal of tourism research, including projects that support state and regional tourism marketing efforts, as well as the planning and development initiatives of tourism communities, accommodations and attractions, and historic properties.
In 1983, INHS instituted its Occasional Publication series. The first of these, New Hampshire Indians: A Guide for Instruction, is still being used by teachers throughout the state. Since the initial OP, there have been a number of other volumes on subjects relating to New Hampshire and New England issues.
In 1985, the Institute received a grant to begin the conservation and cataloging of a large collection of photographs that document the history of the Brown Company, a major producer of lumber and paper in the city of Berlin, N.H. Electronic cataloging is in process, with the intention of expanding the availability and utility of this important collection.
Since 1990, INHS has conducted more than 100 individual projects for the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD); tourism research contracts total approximately $2 million to date. The INHS online tourism data base is the state’s largest. These efforts have gained Plymouth State University an international reputation as a tourism education and research center.
INHS has hosted the New England Industrial Archaeology Conference during alternate years. The Institute has also co-sponsored New Hampshire Archaeology Society meetings.
An affiliate program of the Institute is the Heritage Studies option in the PSU master’s of education degree program; this program also co-sponsors the aforementioned archaeological field schools and other educational seminars.
INHS projects and activities are components of a continuing effort to serve the state and New England region, in keeping with the mission of Plymouth State University.