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  • Pre-publication sale of 'A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects' book for Portsmouth NH 400 Anniversary

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    CAPTION: Cover image of "A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects." Credit: Debbra Obertanec

    PORTSMOUTH—The Editorial Board for the book, "A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects," is now accepting pre-publication orders as it completes final review of the essays written by an array of authors to accompany 101 objects, selected by locals to “tell the stories” of Portsmouth’s past.

    The keepsake, 224-page, softbound book - with 101 color photographs of objects whose stories are important to Portsmouth - will be available in December. A special pre-publication discount is offered to those who order the book in advance. Orders now for $25, in advance of the anticipated cover price of $29.99. Pre-publication orders may be placed with RiverRun Bookstore, the local publisher through its Piscataqua Press. Go to: https://riverrunbookstore.com/101-2/, call RiverRun at (603) 431-2100 or visit the store at 21 Daniel St., Portsmouth.

    As a memento of the 400th anniversary, this volume gives readers a sense of who we are and where we are as Portsmouth continues its journey from before 1623 to beyond 2023. Each object is depicted with a full-page photograph accompanied by an essay by a local author – 80 different writers who are the historians, experts, participants and those observers of Portsmouth history best able to explain how each object’s story offers a path into the city’s bigger 400+ year history. 

    “The idea of using 101 objects to tell Portsmouth’s story, as America’s Smithsonian museums did using objects in their collections, intrigued the city’s historical institutions - Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth Athenaeum, Portsmouth Historical Society and Portsmouth Public Library,” said Project Director Stephanie Seacord. “The Editorial Board, comprised of the directors of those organizations, asked a variety of people and institutions (and their own curators) to nominate the list of 101 objects from Portsmouth’s wide and diverse past. "A History of Portsmouth NH in 101 Objects" book and website (101ObjectsPortsmouthNH.org) are intended as a record of what we value in 2023 on the 400th anniversary of Portsmouth’s settlement, a resource for historians and future generation, and an illuminating tour of the City’s past for the general reader.”

    Over the past six months, the project team has assembled photographs of the objects and invited local authors to write about those objects for the book and website. Features include:

    • The original 1923 City of the Open Door brochure and essay by Mayor Deaglan McEachern
    • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its submarines by D. Allan Kerr
    • The Goodwin Soldiers & Sailors Memorial by Mike Pride
    • Gilley’s hot dog by Rachel Forrest and The Blue Strawbery Restaurant by Chef James Haller
    • The African Burying Ground Memorial by Valerie Cunningham
    • The Piscataqua watershed by Jeffrey Bolster and Piscataqua gundalow by Molly Bolster
    • The Piscataqua region before settlement by Native American Studies professor Lisa Brooks

    For more information, visit 101ObjectsPortsmouthNH.org.