We wanted it to be useful to everyday New Englanders, ... We have the town common, weve got the Kennedy family, we have Revolutionary War heroes, we have great mills, we have New England inventors ... But then we have the very new - we have biotechnology and the computer industry.

I think the contents of the encyclopedia will offer surprises to even a born-and-bred New Englander. New England is much more than the traditional taciturn Yankees, town meetings, and maple syrup. It is an important region not only for its past, but the present and the future.

We're really hoping that people can enjoy browsing, ... I think you have a focus on the region that you just can't find elsewhere.

I'm particularly going to be looking at some of the rather creepy images of death.

It's becoming an extraordinarily diverse and multicultural area.

This is probably New England's biggest artistic tradition for most of the Colonial period.

We wanted it to be done in a way people can read and enjoy. My hope is that the encyclopedia will invigorate an interest in the region.