February 15, 2010
The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and the New Hampshire Political Library and Archives will join forces starting in March, after the Political Library board of directors voted unanimously Friday for the affiliation.
The 14-year-old library will come under the umbrella of Saint Anselm, and relocate to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) on the college campus. Neil Levesque, executive director of the NHIOP, will assume day to day leadership of both entities. A number of members of the Political Library’s board will join the institute’s board and continue to be involved in carrying forward the library’s mission.
A significant part of library’s political memorabilia will move to the NHIOP, where Levesque plans to establish interactive exhibits on the New Hampshire Primary. The remainder of the library’s collections and archives will remain at the State Library and Archives, where they can be accessed by journalists and historians.
“I am thrilled to welcome the Political Library to Saint Anselm College,” said Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president of Saint Anselm. “For over a decade the library has done much to preserve the rich history and protect the future of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, while also sponsoring civic engagement initiatives that seek to strengthen political knowledge and discourse in our state.
“The NHIOP and the library share fundamental and longstanding commitments to advancing this state’s unique democratic tradition and role in the national presidential nomination process,” he said.
“This is a merger that benefits everyone – the Political Library, the Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College, and most importantly our state and everyone who cares about preserving our first-in-the nation tradition,” said Ambassador Terry Shumaker, chair of the library’s board of directors. “Two great institutions will be enhanced by joining forces behind their shared missions.”
The Political Library was founded in 1996 by Governor Hugh Gregg and Secretary of State William Gardner. Sen. Judd Gregg, son of the late Gov. Gregg, was instrumental in the establishment of the NHIOP and chairs its advisory board.
Once the agreement is complete, the library will move from the Pierce Manse, in Concord, which will continue to be owned and operated by the Pierce Brigade. Several of the library’s programs, which include Kids Voting, the lesser known primary candidates debate, and the Politics and Eggs speaker series, will continue the auspices of the NHIOP