On the New Hampshire state website there’s a lovely list. How to do historic preservation as part of your everyday life: 101 ways to make a difference. As a younger person, it sometimes feels a little frustrating to have limited means to support the cause financially, but it’s heartening to learn there’s still a lot I can do. Today I’ll take a page from their book (or site, I suppose) by posting a few of my favorites:

2. Talk to neighbors and “old timers” about their memories and stories of the area – where they have lived, where you live, what they learned from “old-timers” when they were young.

3. Go to the library and find out what information it has about local history; read the town history and study local history publications.

The Spruance Library is an amazing place; I can’t encourage a visit enough.

4. Learn how to research the deeds for your house or a nearby historic property.

I suggest Terry McNealy’s ‘How to Find the Story of an Old House’, which you can read and / or purchase at the Spruance.

5. Write the history of your own house.

8. Look at old photographs and views of your house, your neighborhood, your community, and try to imagine yourself in the pictures. What can you see, hear, feel, touch, taste? How would it be different now?

9. Arrange to borrow, copy, and catalog old photographs of your town for your local library or historical society.

14. Join your local historical society.

It’s cheap, and it’s worth it.

15. Volunteer to help the historical society with a task or project (it can be mundane, not monumental — just do it!).

19. Share the enjoyment of what you’ve learned with others, especially children (an impromptu “history walk,” a “preservation picnic,” a historic “mystery tour,” an outing to a museum or to nearby historic sites, telling historical or historic preservation bedtime stories … ).

29. Learn how to disagree without being disagreeable, and how to build consensus … then practice!

40. Volunteer to help with local history projects in the schools.

53. Learn about the interrelationships between historic preservation and other aspects of land-use planning.

54. Familiarize yourself with strategies and techniques that communities and Regional Planning Commissions can use to advance and enhance historic preservation action and achievements.

58. Enlist others to help establish a local Heritage Commission, if the community lacks one.

69. Write a “letter to the editor” on a history or historic preservation topic (be courteous!).

So there you go: Just a few things you or anyone else can do. I’d love to hear more suggestions from you, or stories of somebody you know who’s done something to make a difference to preserve local history.

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