2018 Annual Appeal

Portsmouth Historical Society 2018 Annual AppealDonate Now!

YOU can bring History, Arts and Culture to life!

Can you imagine Portsmouth without exhibitions like Gertrude Fiske, Jay Goldsmith, Wendy Turner or Edmund Tarbell? Can you picture how the city would look minus the iconic John Paul Jones House and Garden, or Discover Portsmouth’s recognizable façade at the corner of Islington and Middle Streets? Neither can we! And with your annual gift, we will work together to ensure that Portsmouth Historical Society remains financially sound, and continues to improve upon its long tradition of bringing arts, history and culture exhibitions and programming to all at a free or reduced cost! [Read more…]

Visit our Museum Shop this Holiday Season!

2018 Museum Shop

Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop
Open Daily, 9:30am-5pm,
and until 8pm Nov. 30, Dec. 1st and Dec. 7th 2018!

Our Museum shop is stocked with the perfect holiday gifts:
  • Books about Portsmouth history – Portsmouth’s best titles!
  • Super cool stuff for kids
  • Keepsakes for your visitors
  • Unique jewelry and apparel from local artists and craftsmen

[Read more…]

Discover Portsmouth Wins “Small But Mighty” Award

Discover Portsmouth receives the “Small But Mighty” Award from the Portsmouth Chamber and Federal Savings Bank.

“Discover Portsmouth, which occupies the site of the old Portsmouth Library, has made a name for itself BIG time as one of the most welcoming ways into Portsmouth. Their mission is magnificent, their vision is vast, and with Kathleen Soldati at the helm, their heart beats strong for the Port City. And their fan base is rabid especially around the holidays during their Annual Gingerbread Exhibit (28 years strong). You can visit them via their terrific website, but we encourage you to head to Discover Portsmouth (and their marvelous Museum Shop) in person for best results. Discover Portsmouth is the December Small But Mighty Business of the Month, sponsored by Federal Savings Bank.”

28th Annual Gingerbread House Exhibit

Gingerbread House Contest 2018

November 30- December 22, 2018, Daily 9:30am-5pm (until 8pm on Nov 30th & Dec 1st and 7th)
Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Open Late Friday December 7, 9:30am-8pm

Please join us for Art Round Town from 5-8pm plus a book signing with Chef Mary Ann Esposito from 5:30-7:30. Meet Mary Ann and view her newest cookbook, Ciao Italia, My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Portsmouth Historical Society celebrates Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth with the kickoff party Friday November 30, 2018 5-8pm when visitors will have the first look at the popular Annual Gingerbread House Contest exhibit running until Saturday December 22 in the first floor gallery at Discover Portsmouth located at 10 Middle Street in downtown Portsmouth. Judges awards will be announced at approximately 6pm.
Gingerbread 2018

Vote for your favorite creation for People’s Choice Award!

[Read more…]

Book signing with Mary Ann Esposito, Ciao Italia!

Friday Dec. 7th, 2018 5:30-7:30pm
Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop

Ciao Italia
My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

by Mary Ann Esposito

While you’re here, enjoy the Gingerbread House Exhibit Opening and check out our wonderful selection of holiday gifts in our Museum Shop!

Leadership Changes at Portsmouth Historical Society

Portsmouth Historical Society Welcomes Ellen Fineberg.

Portsmouth Historical Society Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that Ellen Fineberg has been engaged to serve as Interim Executive Director beginning January 1, 2019. Current Executive Director Kathleen Soldati will be retiring December 31, 2018 after three years of exemplary leadership.

“We are delighted that Ellen Fineberg has agreed to accept the position of Interim Executive Director during this time of transition, enabling the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees to carefully plan and conduct a successful search for the next director over the coming months.” said Martha Fuller Clark, vice chair of the PHS Board of Trustees. Fuller Clark noted that the use of interim executive directors is now considered a “best practice” for institutions when undergoing a change in leadership.

Fineberg, a 30-year Portsmouth resident, is an active member of the community. Her public service includes thirteen years sitting on the Historic District Commission; guiding the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Arts and Culture; serving on the Portsmouth Advocates; co-authoring Portsmouth’s Cultural Plan and being a board member of Art-Speak! Portsmouth’s Cultural Commission.

“Ellen brings just the right combination of skills and experience to Portsmouth Historical Society to serve on an interim basis – from her nonprofit expertise and her passion for community service to her familiarity with historic Portsmouth and the community at large. She is ideally suited for our current situation. The board is thrilled that she will be leading the organization beginning in the new year,” said Portsmouth Historical president Dan Hoefle.

Fineberg has also held nonprofit leadership roles at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Women’s Business Center and NH Kids Count. She currently serves on the Board of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and helped coordinate TEDxPortsmouth 2018.

Dan Hoefle points to the evolution of Portsmouth Historical in recent years under outgoing director Soldati. Hoefle added, “People have been so impressed by the Edmund Tarbell and Gertrude Fiske art exhibitions. During her tenure, Kathleen built a stellar professional staff and volunteer support system. She oversaw expanded programming, needed upgrades to our buildings and the establishment of Portsmouth400. As a result of her work and that of the entire staff over the past three years, memberships and visitor interactions have increased dramatically. We are grateful for all Kathleen accomplished during her tenure.”

Portsmouth Advocates Awards Night Honors City Preservation Projects

Discover Portsmouth 10 Middle Street
Thursday November 15, 2018 5:30-7pm

Award presentations 6pm.
Light refreshments will be served.

Portsmouth Advocates, a key program of the Portsmouth Historical Society, is preparing for awards season! Since 1989 Portsmouth Advocates has honored individuals and projects that enhance the city’s unique historic character and make Portsmouth a better place to live and work. On Thursday November 15 from 5:30-7pm at Discover Portsmouth, the Advocates will continue this tradition by presenting awards to exceptional individuals and projects completed over the last year. [Read more…]

28th Annual Gingerbread House Contest Call for Entries

Entries must be registered no later than Saturday, November 17, 2018.

[Read more…]

Visit Our Museum Store

Museum Store Sunday!
November 25, 2018

[Read more…]

A Nineteenth-Century facebook™

Portraits from the Portsmouth Historical Society Collection

Upstairs at
Discover Portsmouth
Open daily, 9:30 to 5pm through December 22, 2018 [Read more…]