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Local & Regional History Museums, Historical Societies, Research Libraries & Archives

Salem in History Partners | Salem, Massachusetts | Essex County |
Boston and Greater Boston Area
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Salem in History Partners

Peabody Essex Museum
East India Square
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9500


Art and culture museum with extensive collections in maritime, New England art and architecture and Asian, Native American and Oceanic art and culture. Phillips Library has published and manuscript collections relating to museum collections. Also available is ARTSCAPE, an online searchable database of selected images from the PEM collection.

 

Salem Maritime National
Historic Site

174 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 740-1660

 

Twelve historic structures along the waterfront in Salem that document the development of the Atlantic triangular trade during the colonial period, the role of privateering during the Revolutionary War, and the international maritime trade, especially with the Far East.

 

Salem State College Library & Archives
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 542-6230

Includes an Educational Resource Library and the Salem State College Archives. SSC Archives are open to the public by appointment and highlights include: 1950s Beat Writers Collection, World War II letters, SSC student publications and a collection on the history of education and educational reform.

 

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Salem, Massachusetts

Essex National Heritage Area
221 Essex Street, Suite 41
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 740-0444

Includes dozens of historic houses and museums in Essex County centered on the themes of colonial settlement, maritime trade, and early industrialization in the textile and shoe industries. Website features descriptions, hours and a searchable guide to education programs at sites.

 

Historic Salem, Inc.
P.O. Box 865
Salem, MA 01971
(978) 745-0799

 

Website includes information on architecture, historic sites and information on historic preservation.

House of the Seven Gables
54 Turner Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-0991 x118

 

The oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England that inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his novel of the same name. Property also includes Hawthorne’s relocated birthplace.

Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-2540

 

Membership library open to researchers upon request. Collection includes late 19th and early 20th century fiction, biographies, travel and history books.

Salem Public Library
370 Essex Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-0860

 

Salem Collection holds newspapers on microfilm, transcripts of the witchcraft trials, Salem government reports, vital records and published material on the history of Salem.

Stephen Phillips Trust House
34 Chestnut Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-0440

 

Federal style mansion contains a family collection that spans five generations of the Phillips family history, focusing on life in the early 1900s.

Witch House
310 Essex Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-8815

 

The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692.

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Essex County

Addison Gallery of American Art
Phillips Academy
Andover, MA 01810
(978) 749-4017

Collection of American art from the colonial period to the present, including photographs.

Beverly Historical Society & Museum
117 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 922 1186

 

Runs three historic house museums in Beverly: Balch House, Cabot House and the Hale. Offers educational programs. Research library has farm books, records, photographs, and newspapers relating to Beverly and Essex County.

Cape Ann Historical Museum
27 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-0455

 

Museum features fishing and maritime heritage of the region and changing exhibitions of 20th century Cape Ann paintings and sculpture. Also a library and archives are open by appointment.

Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA
(978) 462-8681

 

Museum maintains original artifacts from the trade era, maritime art, models of Newburyport-built vessels, trades routes and journals, and old maps showing the city's birth.

Danvers Archival Center
Peabody Institute Library
15 Sylvan Street
Danvers, Mass. 01923
(978) 774-0554

 

Collections include records of early Salem Village (now Danvers) and Essex County, printed local history books and the Ellerton J. Brehaut Witchcraft Collection, perhaps the most complete collection of printed materials relating to the Salem witchcraft trials.

Essex Historical Society
& Shipbuilding Museum
66 Main Street
P.O. Box 277
Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-7541

 

Collections contain over shipbuilding artifacts, photographs, tools, documents, builder's half-models and rigged ship models. Grounds include an 1835 schoolhouse, cemetery, shipyard and historic schooner.

Glen Magna Farm and Estate
& Danvers Historical Society

P.O. Box 381
Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 777-1666

 


An estate exemplifying historic North Shore summer living and the golden age of American gardens.

Grand Army of the Republic Museum
58 Andrew Street
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 477-7085

 

Main hall retains the original furnishings and has walls filled with photos of Civil War veterans; additional rooms have memorabilia from the Revolutionary War through the Korean War. Also has a research library.

Lawrence History Center
Immigrant City Archives & Museum
6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840-1710
(978) 686-9230

 

Documents and artifacts pertaining to the history of Lawrence, including business and planning records of the Essex Company that created Lawrence, non current municipal records, historic photographs and oral histories.

Lawrence Heritage State Park
1 Jackson Street
Lawrence, MA 01840
(978) 794-1655

 

A restored boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits tells the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities.

Little Farm
5 Little's Lane
Newbury, Mass. 01951
(978) 462-2634

 


Historic site (National Historic Landmark) teaches about life on a New England farm over three centuries. Many opportunities for experiential learning.

Lowell National Historic Park
67 Kirk Street
Lowell, MA 01852
(978) 275-1700

 

The Boott Cotton Mills Museum, the Suffolk Mill Turbine Exhibit and guided tours tell the story of the transition from farm to factory, chronicle immigrant and labor history and trace industrial technology.

Lynn Museum & Historical Society
125 Green Street
Lynn, MA 01904
(781) 592-2465

 

Museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting all aspects of the history of the city of Lynn. Also has a research library.

Marblehead Museum & Historical Society
170 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA 01945
(781) 631-1768

 

A late colonial Georgian mansion built in 1768 by wealthy ship-owner and patriot. Includes maritime and military artifacts, toys and children's furniture, historic gardens.

Museum of Printing
800 Massachusetts Avenue
North Andover, MA 01845
(978) 686-0450
www.museumofprinting.org

 

Preserves the history of the graphic arts, printing equipment and printing craftsmanship. The museum also contains antique printing, typesetting and bindery machines, and a library of books and printing related documents.

Peabody Historical Society & Museum
35 Washington Street
Peabody, MA 01960
(978) 531-0805


Documents the history of Peabody. Includes exhibits on the Victorian era, military history and a children’s room. Also a research library.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
244 Central Street
Saugus, MA 01906
(781) 2330-0050


The site of the first integrated ironworks in North America, 1646-1668. It includes the reconstructed blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, and a restored seventeenth century house.

Sargent House Museum
49 Middle Street,
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 281-2432

 


Traces the early history of Gloucester and features a collection of original works by the great portrait painter John Singer Sargent who traces his roots back to Colonial Gloucester.

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Boston and Greater Boston Area

 

Adams National Historic Park
135 Adams Street
Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 773-1177

 

House and grounds of four generations of the Adams family, including presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

Alden House Museum and Historic Site
Box 2754
Duxbury, MA 02331
(781) 934-9092

 

A 1620 historic house that was owned by a pilgrim that came on the Mayflower.

American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
(508) 755-5221

 

Research library covering the colonial period through 1876.

American Textile History
Museum

491 Dutton Street
Lowell, MA 01854-4221
(978) 441-0400 x244

 

Museum tells the history of art and design, labor history and industrial organization in the production of textiles. Includes a library/archives.

Boston African-American National Historic Site
14 Beacon Street, Room 206
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 742-5415


Buildings and museum relating to the history of Boston's 19th century African-American community, linked by the 1.6 mile Black Heritage Trail.

Boston Athenaeum
10 _ Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-0270

 

 

Membership research library with strengths in New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature and the fine and decorative arts.

Boston Center for Jewish Heritage
One Financial Center, 40th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 523-2334

 

A new organization working to build a Boston Jewish history museum.

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
408 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110-3349
(617) 223-8668

 

Provides information on the history and ecology of the Boston Harbor Islands.

Boston Museum Project
55 Court Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-1955

 

New museum organization planning to build on the new Rose Kennedy Greenway. Website includes links to Boston-area museums.

Boston National Historical Park
& Bunker Hill Monument

15 State Street
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 242-5688

 

Sites important to revolutionary-era Boston. Part of the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile historic walking tour downtown Boston and Charlestown.

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116
(617) 536-5400

 

Includes a research library with historic maps, prints, rare books and manuscripts relating to revolutionary-era Massachusetts and women’s history. Building has historical significance; self-guided tours of art and architecture available.

 

Boston Historical Society
& Museum

206 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 720-1713

 

Museum and archives with strengths in maritime objects, military items, fire fighting equipment, fine art and objects from Boston businesses.

The Boston Preservation Alliance
Old City Hall
45 School Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-2458

 


Advocacy group for historic preservation.

Boston Women’s Heritage Trail
22 Holbrook Street
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-2872

 

Nine walks focusing on women’s history.

Cambridge Historical Society
159 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-4252

 

Interprets the cultural and architectural history of Cambridge. Includes an archive of books, maps and photographs.

City of Boston Archives
30 Millstone Road
Hyde Park, MA 02136-2324
(617) 364-8679


Historical records from the municipal departments.

Concord Museum
200 Lexington Road
P.O. Box 146
Concord, MA 01742-0146
(978) 369-9763

 

Strengths in 17th, 18th, and 19th-century decorative arts and Concord history.

Davis Museum and Cultural Center
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203
(781) 283-2051

 

Academic fine arts museum with teaching and contemporary collections.

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park
51 Sandy Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773-2699
781/259-8355

 

Modern and contemporary American art and sculpture museum with a particular focus on the work of New England artists.

Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 588-6000

 

Collection of contemporary craft, including works in glass, metal, wood, ceramic and fiber.

Gibson House Museum
137 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-6338

 

Victorian historic house museum in Back Bay with artifacts relating to the family.

Golden Ball Tavern Museum
662 Boston Post Road
P.O. Box 223
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 894-1751


Revolutionary-era historic tavern.

Greater Boston History Project:
“Roads to History"

 


Six trails visiting historic sites in and around Boston.

Harvard University Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-9400

 

Sackler Museum: collections of ancient, Islamic, Asian, and later Indian art. Busch-Reisinger Museum: Central and Northern European art, esp. German. Fogg Art Museum: history of Western art from the Middle Ages esp. early Italian, British and 19th-century French art.

Harvard University Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
11 Divinity Street
Cambridge, MA 02148
(617) 496-5402

 


Anthropology museum tracing human cultural history in the western hemisphere.

Historic Boston Incorporated
3 School Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-4679

 

Organization working to preserve historic sites in Boston.

Historic New England
(formerly SPNEA)
141 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 227-3956

 

Preservation organization that runs several historic properties, publishes two history magazines, offers classes and houses an archives on New England cultural and architectural history.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
2 Palace Road
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 287-5149

 

Museum designed by Gardner, with strengths in fine and decorative art, sculpture and tapestries.

John F. Kennedy Library & Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125
(877) 616-4599


Museum about the life of JFK and presidential library/archives with material relating to JFK’s presidency. Also a collection of Ernest Hemingway’s papers.

John F. Kennedy National Historic Site
83 Beals Street
Brookline, MA 02146
(617) 566-7937

 

Museum of JFK in the house where he was born.

Lexington Historical Society
P.O. Box 514
Lexington, MA
(781) 861-1703

 

Collection of artifacts and archives relating to history of Lexington.

Longfellow National Historical Park
105 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 876-4491

 

 

Home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Museum and archives relating to Longfellow and 19th century material culture.

Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity
200 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 450-7000

 

Museum, library and archives relating to Eddy, the history of Christian Science and spirituality/alternative healing.

Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 536-1608

 

 

Research library and manuscript collection relating to American and Massachusetts history. Includes collection on John and Abigail Adams. Publishes The New England Quarterly and offers summer research fellowships for K-12 teachers.

Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 740-2600

 

Repository of vital records.

Massachusetts State Archives & Commonwealth Museum
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 727-9268

 


State archives including vital records, colonial charters, maps, photographs and changing exhibits.

Minuteman National Historic Park
174 Liberty Street
Concord, MA 01742
(978) 369-6993

 

Commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Museum of Afro-American History
14 Beacon St., Suite 719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 725-0022

 

Preserves and interprets the contributions of African Americans during the colonial period in New England. Includes several historic sites and the Black Heritage Trail.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5997
(617) 269-9300

 

Comprehensive collection of fine art from around the world.

Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists
300 Walnut Avenue
Boston, MA 02119
(617) 442-8614

 

Contemporary and historic art from Africa and the African diaspora.

Museum of Science
Science Park
Boston, MA 02114-1099
(617) 723-2500

 

Includes exhibits on the history of science.

National Archives and Records Administration
Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6399
(866) 406-2379

 


Census, naturalization, military service and other federal records available on microfilm and computer. Teachers PDP workshops offered in using historical documents at NARA.

National Heritage Museum
33 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA 02421
(781) 861-6559

 

Changing exhibits on American history and culture. Includes a research library specializing in the history of American Freemasonry.

National Park Service Sites


Website features lessons using National Park Service sites.

New England Historical and Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street,
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-5740

 

Research library and manuscript collection on New England family history.

New England Sports Museum
Fleet Center, 5th and 6th Floor
Boston, MA
(617) 624-1235

 

Showcases the history of sports in New England

Newton History Museum
527 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02458
(617) 796-1450

 

Exhibits on the Underground Railroad, early New England life, local history in an 1809 farmhouse. Includes library and archives on Newton history.

Old South Meeting House
310 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 482-6439

 

 

Site of the protest that initiated the Boston Tea Party. Museum and public programs.

Orchard House
399 Lexington Road
Box 343
Concord, MA 01742
(978) 369-4118

 

Historic house museum that was the home of Louisa May Alcott and the setting of Little Women.

Paul Revere House
19 North Square
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-1676

 

Restored colonial-era house owned by Paul Revere and interpreted to the late 17th century.

Preservation Mass
Old City Hall
45 School Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 723-3383

 

Organization working to preserve history of the state.

Shirley Place
33 Shirley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 442-2275

 

Georgian mansion built by a British Royal Colonial Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in the mid-1700s.

Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate
100 Robert Treat Paine Drive
Waltham, MA 02452
(781) 314-3290

 

A 1880s shingle-style house designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and Frederick Law Olmstead.

Thoreau Institute
44 Baker Farm
Lincoln, MA 01773-3004
(781) 259-4712

 

Research library relating to Henry David Thoreau, his historical context, and contemporary relevance to environmental and human-rights issues.

U.S.S. Constitution Museum
Charlestown Navy Shipyard
P.O. Box 1812
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 426-1812

 

A museum about the stories of the individuals who authorized, built, served on and preserved Old Ironsides.

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