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The New Jersey Historical Society receives high honors from the American Association for State and Local History


The New Jersey Historical Society continues to be a leader among the history community.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), the nation’s largest organization for individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history, recently recognized the Historical Society with two awards for its achievements in history.

One of these, the Award of Merit, is AASLH’s most prestigious.

The Historical Society’s exhibition What Exit? New Jersey and Its Turnpike received the Award of Merit, while its exhibition Changed Lives: New Jersey Remembers September 11, 2001 received a Certificate of Commendation.

“AASLH was very impressed with the quality of work and the good history included in these two projects,” said Terry Davis, president of AASLH. “What Exit? and Changed Lives show how effectively The New Jersey Historical Society preserves and presents the history of its state.”

Of the 91 awards given, The New Jersey Historical Society was one of only two organizations to receive two awards this year (The Colorado Historical Society received two Certificates of Commendation).

“This has been an outstanding year for us. These awards recognize our innovative exhibitions and our commitment to setting best practices in the field of history,” said Sally Yerkovich, President & CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society. “Both of these exhibitions allowed us to take significant pieces of New Jersey history and interpret their meaning and impact in American society.”

The exhibition What Exit? New Jersey and Its Turnpike was opened in September 2001 in conjunction with the Turnpike’s 50th anniversary. The interactive exhibition explores the nation’s most heavily traveled toll road with authentic artifacts, advertisements, news clippings, never-before-exhibited photographs, audio recordings, and 1950s film footage.

A poster panel version of the exhibition will soon open at three turnpike service areas: Vince Lombardi, Molly Pitcher and John Fenwick. An award-winning online version of the exhibition can be found at www.jerseyhistory.org.

The Changed Lives exhibition, which opened on the first anniversary of September 11, 2001, is part of a larger statewide collecting project, "The Changed Lives Project: Understanding New Jersey in the Aftermath of September 11th," which includes an oral history component and continued collecting efforts.

The awards, which were established in 1945, were presented at AASLH’s annual conference held in Providence, Rhode Island.

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