Sanbornton Historical Document Foundation

Preserving Sanbornton's History For The Future

Our 2010 Annual Appeal is underway. Please read about the Foundation's status and needs.
Featured Document
Moses T. Runnels wrote our most requested book.
Chairman's Letter

November 1, 2010

Dear Friends,

You are undoubted aware that the Foundation has had a low profile for a couple of years. Today, there is a new life and vibrancy that I am anxious to tell you about. If you are patient enough to read through this letter, I am sure you will agree that there is very much promising afoot that warrants your support.

Changes at the Board. We are fortunate to have the services of Cab Vinton, Kent Dover, and Dick Gardner. David Witham has just recently joined as a Director as well. They are a very active, thoughtful and committed group who are doing their very best to keep me on my toes. I can promise you they are succeeding. Most of the duties previously performed by the Foundation’s coordinator now fall to me. Jennifer Mayo remains as a close partner after having served eight years as Coordinator. She performed that job very well in very difficult conditions and without a lot of help. In addition to thanking her for her service, we are delighted that she has agreed to continue being an integral part of Foundation activities.

Changes in structure.  The Foundation was established in 1999 in order to provide for the dissemination of information about the community of Sanbornton as reflected in its documents, historical and contemporary. The intent was that its citizens would have a full and accurate context in which to judge government and social issues. The Foundation’s activities envisioned a large and comprehensive approach to include in its collection documents, books, maps, pictures, genealogies, prints, oral histories and any other available information deemed suitable.

Since 1999, other sources of online documents and information have become available, particularly those documents that are contemporary in nature. The value of free and available online information has become more established, perhaps locally in some small part through the efforts of the Foundation. As a result, the need for such a broad approach is diminished. At the same time, experience has taught us that funding and volunteers for such a select effort can be difficult.

The development of those factors has encouraged the Foundation to re-focus on the main concern: digitally gathering the historical documents of the Town, and particularly those at risk. The Foundation looks to have a collaborative function with other Town entities, both public and private, and in particular with and to the Sanbornton Town Library.

New Mission statement. To digitally gather and share online the historical documents of Sanbornton, New Hampshire, including as possible any contemporaneous documents at risk of being lost. With this pointed focus, we are more able than before to realize the key priority of the Foundation.

Open Access. Previously, only members who paid a fee were entitled to see the full content of the Digital Library. The Board has voted to change that policy and, as of the date of this letter, the full Digital Library is open at all without charge. When you get to the Digital Library, I hope you will notice that some major freshening and updating has taken place. Please let us know what you like and what you would like to see.

New Digital Library. It may take several months, but when it is done, only the web address will be the same. New techniques of scanning will bring many more documents online and update existing ones to the new technological standards of today. The ease of searching for a particular document of keyword will be a significant feature. We should note we still receive 12,000 visits a month at the Digital Library.

In order to support all of these new activities, we will have to reach out to both public and private sources. But none of those sources will take care of the running costs we have each day, right down to the postage stamp on this letter. We have to look to you for that. So we have set a goal for this year of raising $22,575 in order to meet those expenses. I am glad to say that about $5,000 has already been committed and for that we are most grateful.

There has rarely been a time of more financial uncertainty in our country during my lifetime. I am aware that there are many worthwhile causes that ask for your financial support. I hope that as you look at the various organizations that you support, you will be willing to include us among them. The Sanbornton Historical Document Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Please help us meet our goal.

Thanks for your attention. All of us at the Foundation wish you a healthy and happy end of year and holiday season.


Richard F. Spinner, Chair