Photo of house with New York state flagThis is part of a creative fundraising initiative spearheaded by the library’s closest friends across the Atlantic.   Board members of the North American Friends of Chawton House Library (NAFCHL) are encouraging each of the regions of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) to raise $10,000 or more in order to see their flag flying for a day over Jane Austen’s ‘Great House’.

The first to reach the ambitious 10K goal were the members of the generous North Texas region who saw their own Texas Lone Star flag flying proudly over the house back in September. That flag flying marked the happy results of a fundraising event in Dallas, led by Dr Janine Barchas and Dr Kristina Straub (scholars who have used our collections) who helped stir the gathered JASNA crowds to raise over $17,000 in donations. 

Soon afterwards, members of the New York region of JASNA took up the flag-flying challenge and contributed around $12,000 to our fundraising campaign. So now it’s their turn to see their ‘Ever Upward’ New York state flag wafting proudly in the fall breeze over the house. We thought it was particularly appropriate to do this today, on the American Feast of Thanksgiving, with our grateful thanks to the many generous New Yorkers who made this happen!

This time, however, we had an additional challenge as a recent storm had damaged the flagpole, but our trusty Garden Manager, Andrew Bentley, came to the rescue. After some daredevil rooftop acrobatics, the flagpole was repaired and the New York state flag hoisted above the parapet!

If you are a JASNA member who would like to see your state flag flying proudly over Jane’s ‘Great House’, why not talk to your region about a fundraising event for Chawton House Library at your next meeting? With big thanks to all of our supporters in North America. Watch this space for more colourful flag flying in the future!