'Revisiting the Founding Era’ Project Focuses on Historical and Thematic Roots of U.S.

WASHINGTON— Two libraries in Congressman Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) Fourth Congressional District were selected to participate in a national educational project “Revisiting the Founding Era,” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).


“I am pleased to announce that Monmouth County Library and Middletown Township Public Library will participate in this special project to look more closely at the founding of this country,” Rep. Smith stated. “They will be able to lead and focus their communities on subjects of immense value to our national heritage.”

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The Monmouth County Library in Manalapan and the Middletown Township Public Library in Middletown are two of only 100 libraries across the country to be selected for the program.


They will each receive a $1,000 grant from the NEH, as well as educational materials and historical documents, to promote community discussions about the Founding Era and the ideas and themes of the era, and how those ideas are still relevant today. The project will explore a historical timeline of events in the United States beginning with the end of the French and Indian Wars 1763 and ending with the Presidential Election of 1800.


The resources available to libraries include 10 copies of a reader with scholarly essays on historical documents of the Founding Era from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, as well as training and support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Library Association.


“Revisiting the Founding Era” is a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center and supported by the NEH.


Rep. Smith has supported funding of the National Endowments for the Arts & Humanities, for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (through September 2017), in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 that was signed into law.


He also joined a letter of support for the NEA and NEH to President Trump in March of 2017, asking for full funding of both agencies in the FY 2018 budget. He has also joined a letter of support for funding of the NEH in the FY 2019 budget.