Houghton Mifflin Launches Educational "Museum-Style" Exhibit, Celebrating 180 Years of Literary Heritage

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, October 26, 2012

Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) unveiled “Contributions to Curiosity”, an interactive exhibit that showcases 180 years of company history and celebrates Boston’s impact on America’s literary and educational landscape. Created in partnership with Boston Children’s Museum, the permanent exhibit will offer Boston youth the chance to connect and engage with invaluable elements of local and literary history.

 “Contributions to Curiosity” features artifacts such as the desk where founding literary figures Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, as well as original illustrations, author correspondence and texts that capture critical moments in history. The exhibit also celebrates HMH’s pre-K-12 education solutions and children’s favorites and includes a replica of a piano decorated by H.A. and Margaret Rey, the authors of the beloved Curious George series. The original piano was recently donated to the Cambridge Public Library, where it will be the centerpiece of a new Curious George Room.

“Boston Children’s Museum and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt share a mutual commitment to lifelong learning,” said Carole Charnow, President and CEO, Boston Children’s Museum. “And we are delighted to have collaborated on the design and execution of this distinguished project, which has brought many remarkable artifacts to life and will be engaging for both adults and children alike.”

Beginning in 2013, HMH will open the exhibit to schools and youth-serving organizations across Massachusetts through a fully-funded educational program. The “Cultivating Curiosity” curriculum, targeted at grades 3-8, will be Common Core-aligned, and offer an opportunity to learn more about Boston’s literary and educational heritage. HMH will subsidize school group transportation to and from the exhibit at HMH’s Boston headquarters.

“As our industry finds itself in the midst of a digital transformation, it brings us immense pride to acknowledge our heritage and physical footprint in the global literary and educational community,” said Linda Zecher, CEO and President, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “In alignment with our mission to change lives by fostering passionate, curious learners, we are delighted to open our doors to students and teachers so that they too might learn from and enjoy this important history.”

The exhibit, which has transformed parts of HMH’s Boston headquarters into museum-style galleries and walls, was developed in collaboration with Boston Children’s Museum. The Museum – the second oldest of its kind in the world – draws on almost 100 years of experience and craftsmanship to create unique, evocative and interactive exhibits for children of all ages within a wide range of settings, including historical museums, private corporations and science centers.

The exhibit also features original, rare artwork by HMH authors and illustrators, original works from Thoreau and Virginia Woolf and a photo collage highlighting HMH’s Newbery, Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning works. As part of the company’s 180th birthday celebration, the exhibit also includes a timeline of the company’s business evolution including its early days as the historic Riverside Press.

Teachers interested in learning about “Cultivating Curiosity: The HMH History Program”, as well as anyone interested in arranging a tour of the exhibit, can email cultivating.curiosity@hmhpub.com for further information.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company with the mission of changing lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 60 million students in 120 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit hmhco.com.

About Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found atwww.BostonChildrensMuseum.org. Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/BostonChildrensMuseum and follow us on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/#!/BosChildMuseum.