University of New Hampshire Announces Publication of The Encyclopedia of New England

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

September 19, 2005

Editors: Photos of the editors, Burt Feintuch and David Watters, are available for download at: and

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire today announced the publication of The Encyclopedia of New England, the first major reference book devoted to the history and culture of New England.
A project of UNH’s Center for the Humanities and published by Yale University Press, the book is the first reference work to celebrate, document and interpret the unique regional history and culture of New England. Burt Feintuch, professor of folklore and English and director of the Center for the Humanities at UNH, and David Watters, professor of English and director of UNH’s Center for New England Culture, edited the 1,600-page reference book that features 1,300 entries examining significant people, places, events, ideas and artifacts by leading authorities in the field, and more than 500 photographs, illustrations and maps.
“The University of New Hampshire is proud to be the home of this incredible resource,” said UNH President Ann Weaver Hart. “It is another example of the depth and breadth of our world-class faculty, and I know readers and scholars alike will find it fascinating.”
Organized alphabetically within 22 central thematic categories, the book is filled with little-known facts and intriguing stories from the past and present of the six states that make up the region: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Nearly 1,000 scholars and writers, including more than 30 affiliated with UNH wrote entries. Five of the 22 section editors are members of the UNH faculty – Robert Macieski, Barbara White, Charles Clark, Watters, and W. Jeffrey Bolster.
The editors said one of their goals was to create a reference book that could also be used to explore subjects more thoroughly than most traditional encyclopedias permit. Each section opens with an introduction by an expert in the field and has its own table of contents. “The encyclopedia of the region is intended to illuminate everyday life in today’s New England,” said Feintuch. “We believe the encyclopedia will inspire readers to delve deeper into the many fascinating aspects of New England history and culture.”
Watters added that the encyclopedia is not only a reference book, but a great read, too. “I think the contents of the encyclopedia will offer surprises to even a born-and-bred New Englander,” he said. “New England is much more than the traditional taciturn Yankees, town meetings, and maple syrup. It is an important region not only for its past, but the present and the future.”