Vermont Press Releases

Secretary of State Jim Condos and Vermont State Archives Shed Light on Vermont’s Sometimes Dark Past

News Release — Secretary of State Jim Condos
May 22, 2017

Eric Covey

Montpelier – The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA), a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is hosting two evening events at the State Archives in Middlesex to provide history and insight into the sometimes challenging history of State of Vermont institutions.

“Eugenics and the Vermont State Hospital are subjects with which we, as a state, continue to wrestle,” says Secretary of State Jim Condos. “Archival records provide context for these chapters of our government’s past, some of which are dark. We are pleased to have the opportunity to host two presentations that illustrate how these and other historical records help shed light on these matters.”

May 31 — “Blood has told:” The Push for a “Eugenical Solution” in the Green Mountain State
Scholarship on Vermont’s eugenics movement has largely focused on the Eugenics Survey of Vermont of the 1920s, even though state officials proposed eugenical policies as early as 1912. Mercedes de Guardiola, a senior at Dartmouth College majoring in history, examines why eugenics emerged in Vermont and its impact on Vermont’s eugenical policies over the course of the twentieth century.

June 7 — Art Out of the Archives: Telling the Story of the Vermont State Hospital
Inspired by Vermont State Hospital records in the state archives, artist Sarah-Lee Terrat and filmmaker Bryce Douglass discuss the history of the mural in the atrium of the Waterbury State Office Complex and how it honors the lives of former patients by reflecting on the Hospital’s complex past.

Both events include open houses from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, when members of the public can get behind-the-scenes tours of the State Archives and view exhibits of records and photographs relating to the evening’s presentation. The presentations are scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm.

The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration is located at 1078 US Route 2 in Middlesex and its Reference Room is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the public interested in state archival records are encouraged visit or contact the Vermont State Archives at 802-828-2308 or [email protected] VSARA’s mission is to provide, protect, promote, and preserve Vermont public records, in collaboration with other public agencies, for the benefit of the public collectively served.

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